Long Term Care: Start Planning Now!
Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton
Certain events only take split seconds to drastically change our expectations, for both the present and the future. For many, growing old comes with these unexpected twists and turns. Sudden accidents, illness, or injury can happen when least expected. Yet, the question remains: how do people adequately prepare for something they never expected happening in the first place?
While none of us know what the future holds, the best way to anticipate the unexpected is to start making plans in advance. One way to plan for your future is by creating a Long Term Care Plan. Planning now for the possibility of Long Term Care provides you with ample time to self-educate about your potential future needs and what services for these needs will cost. A benefit of planning for Long Term Care in the present is the level of confidence that comes with making important future decisions while of sound mind and memory. Important future decisions typically fall into these four realms: legal preparation, financial planning, healthcare assistance, and housing decisions.
Legal preparation decisions involve contacting your attorney to draft advance directives and important legal documents. These legal documents make your future wishes very apparent. For example, some legal documents state in black and white the type of medical care you wish to receive in the event of an emergency, so this information cannot be disputed by those providing your care. Before reaching the point of needing Long Term Care, it is important to have your Durable Power of Attorney and Living Will drafted so those in charge of your medical and financial circumstances know your wishes well in advance.
Financial planning also plays a large role in your future care. Finances are certainly considered in drafting an estate plan with an experienced attorney in regard to who will receive portions of your estate after you pass. Financial planning involves more than planning for when you are no longer around. It is also important to consider meeting with a financial advisor to create a practical future financial plan, overall. This typically includes planning for retirement and how you will pay for medical necessities in the future.
Healthcare assistance decisions primarily include being proactive with your health by eating right, exercising regularly, and maintaining a social lifestyle. But beyond the obvious, healthcare decisions also involve future prescription coverage, access to Medicare and Medicaid, and healthcare providers.
Housing accommodation decisions include making the tough decision whether to stay in your house and receive home care, or to move to an assisted living facility. If you choose to receive home care, it is important to consider: the current and future condition of your home, whether the house can be modified to accommodate wheelchair access, nearby public-transportation options, nearby medical facilities, and much more.
Ultimately, monumental decisions such as planning for Long Term Care involve expert opinions and guidance. It is vital to contact lawyers and other professionals with experience in planning for future needs before there is a need for a Long Term Care Plan to come into effect. Also discuss your wishes with family members and doctors. It is important to make your wishes for Long Term Care known, and update them as needed. Anticipating your future needs now is essential to manage a well-orchestrated and stress-free future.
Lanoka Harbor and Lacey Township Attorney | Long Term Care Plan | Elder Law