Recently a 74 year old man, who has an 82 year old wife asked me “How can my wife and I stay home when we need long term care?” Although it is his desire to remain in his home, I told him he would need to plan for things like: who will bathe his wife when she is no longer able to do it herself and when he no longer has the strength to lift her? There were many things to consider, I told him.
Regardless, if his wishes were to remain at home or to go to a facility, he needed to think about: downsizing his home, having assistance with cleaning and cooking, understanding that there may be a point where required medication will need to be administered and he may need to appoint someone of sound mind to take on those responsibilities.
Things I wished families would consider prior to putting their loved one in to a senior facility are: what steps does the facility take to ensure safety (especially for those who are known flight risks), agitation, what kind of programs are available for residents of all abilities to participate in, is there a 24/7 care staff and what accessibility do visitors have to see their loved one? Are you an active senior that wants to travel and visit family and friends but does not want to have to worry about transportation? Does the facility allow pets? Animals provide an amazing source of comfort and joy to people.
Other topics to consider are ensuring your wills, power of attorney (POA), administrative medical directive (AMD), and any other estate documents are up to date and reviewed at least every 5 years by your attorney and financial planner as laws change and update quicker than you think. Many times our clients have these documents, however they had been created 20+ years ago and in many instances the verbiage in the documents do not apply or is out of date.
We understand that there are many issues you should consider long before assisted care, assisted living, or chronic illness care become a necessity. Every facility you visit, every caretaker you interview, you will need a list of things that are important to you or your loved one.
There is no time like today to plan for the future. The further out you plan, the more likely you are to set up what you need, with the amenities you want, be able to budget, and afford future care.
Feel free to call our office if you have any questions or concerns about setting up long-term care. The process can be time consuming and overwhelming. We can assist you in the financial portion of this process. 757-216-1214
This is meant for educational purposes only. It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions. 11/18