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Planning for Long-Term Care: A Guide for Seniors

Planning for Long-Term Care: A Guide for Seniors

Photo via Pixabay by Gpalmisanoadm

Planning for the future can be a stressful event regardless of where you are in life. For seniors who must think about the possibility of long-term care and end-of-life preparations, it can be downright scary. These are very important considerations, however, and every senior should sit down and think about where they’ll be in five or 10 years. Is your home sustainable for your lifestyle and physical needs? If not, will you have the means to downsize or make home modifications? Many seniors find that they require care later in life due to illness or injury. Is your insurance policy one that will help cover the cost of those needs?

Thinking about these questions can, of course, cause anxiety, but doing so will give you peace of mind in the long run. It’s better to start planning now rather than waiting until the time comes that you require care, only to discover that you don’t have the funds to cover it. Having a conversation with your loved ones about your end-of-life plans is also important. 

Keep reading for some great tips on how to start planning, and how to start a conversation about your wishes with your friends, family, and loved ones.

Thinking About the Future

The first step in planning for your future care is to assess your current lifestyle. What choices are you making now that could affect your overall health down the road? For instance, if you are a smoker, are overweight, or have mobility issues due to arthritis or diabetes, the chances are higher that you’ll need medical attention five years from now. Quitting bad habits now is a great way to help ensure that you’re healthy down the road.

It’s never too late to start thinking about your health even if you’re over 65. Talk to your doctor about the best changes you can make to ensure that your body and mind are in great shape. Daily exercise, a well-rounded diet, and attention to your mental health are all great places to start. If you’re a senior enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan like one from Humana, you may even be eligible for wellness and health programs like SilverSneakers, which offers access to thousands of fitness facilities nationwide. Making small changes now could have a big impact down the road. Start a conversation with your family members about the changes you want to make and how they can affect you years from now.

While some seniors have a need to stay in an assisted living facility or hospital due to injury or illness, others are able to find services that are closer to home. A home-health aide or caregiver can help with daily needs, while adult daycare centers can assist with helping you stay social and mobile, as well as giving you plenty of ways to boost your cognitive skills. Consider all your options and do some research into which one will be the most cost-effective.

Consider the Costs

Health care is expensive, and long-term care can take a serious toll on your finances. However, health and life insurance policies can be extremely helpful later in life, not only because they aid in covering the rising costs of health care, but because those policies might be worth a cash payout to you if you need a large sum all at once. There are many things to consider before you take that route, however, such as how much your final payout will decrease and how much your health insurance (including Medicare) will cover when it comes to hospital or nursing home stays, so do some research beforehand or consider long-term care insurance. You should also consider whether you have enough equity in your home to finance long-term care (homes in Palm Bay are currently selling for $196K on average). 

Planning for the future is a big job, and it will take some time to do it properly. Do some research before making any decisions, and include your spouse or family members in your plans so that everyone is on the same page. With a little preparation, you can find peace of mind. 

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