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The Importance of Long-Term Care Planning

Senior Couple

No one wants to think about a time in our lives when they will need long-term care. In many cases, most people do not think about long-term care planning until a loved one needs it or they need it. By then they may have missed an opportunity for better options, more resources, and more information to make decisions off of. Thinking about the unthinkable, and making a plan, gives you a lot more options, and lets you have more of a say in you and your spouse’s lives when the time comes for long-term care. 

Developing a Plan

If you live over the age of 65, there is a strong chance you will need some form of long-term care services at some point. Developing a plan ahead of time allows you to examine all the options, and tailor your care to your needs. You will be able to see what is available where you live, what conditions may apply to certain types of care, eligibility criteria for various services, and what costs and payment options you may have. Advance planning will ensure that you have choices when the time comes and the resources in place to make the best decision possible.

The costs involved with long-term care often exceed what you can afford in terms of income or other sources. Long-term care planning allows you to save assets and income for uses other than long-term care. Those uses include keeping up your spouse’s and family’s quality of life.

Planning also gives you a better chance of leaving an estate to your loved ones, as you are less likely to use up your estate paying for long-term care. This may cut down on the emotional and financial stress your family will feel. 

Long-term care planning also allows your family to take part in the process, and involves them in the decisions you are making. This will lessen the burden on them when the time comes, as those decisions will already be in place. It will give you a form of independence and freedom, should you need care, as you will be able to make your own choices. This includes receiving care in your own home, as opposed to being in a facility. 

There are reasons people do not want to think about long-term care planning. They do not want to think about being dependent on others. They may have read something that was not entirely accurate about needing care, and were put-off by it. Again, it is not always pleasant to think about getting older, getting sick, or being incapacitated. These are hard but important things to plan for. 

There are often misunderstandings about how expensive long-term care is, and how you pay for it. Some people do not realize that their health insurance or Medicare will not cover the costs of long-term care, or that Medicaid will cover a certain amount of it, but only if they are eligible.

These are tough things to discuss with loved ones, and some people never broach the subject. Sometimes, adult children are hesitant to bring these topics up to their parents.

Despite all of the reasons not to bring up long-term care planning, the reasons to do it far outweigh them. These are important decisions to make, and everyone deserves the freedom to make their own choices, and provide the best quality of life for themselves and their families. It is easier than it might seem to start, either by speaking with family, or discussing your options with an experienced elder law attorney at The Mattar Firm who can point you in the right direction. You and your family deserve it. 

Contact The Mattar Firm

At The Mattar Firm, our experienced elder law lawyers can assist with your long-term planning needs. Contact our elder law lawyers today at 239-222-2222.

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