4 Critical Steps When Planning For Your Senior’s Long-Term Care

Posted by Machelle Thompson on Aug 18, 2015 8:37:00 AM

planning-for-senior-long-term-careMany people have loved ones close to them who have been planning for retirement most of their lives so they are able to live this phase of adulthood comfortably. To help your loved one in this next phase of life, it is important to understand the aging process as well as the financial implications associated with caring for the elderly.

It is essential to create a long-term care plan that ensures health and happiness for all the phases of your loved one’s life as they age. Without a plan in place, times of crisis give rise to hurried accommodations that don’t take into account all of your senior’s needs.

A comprehensive plan provides you and your loved one with increased dignity and control in determining where your senior will live. Ensure your loved one receives the type of care they need and lives a healthy retirement.

Consider the following 4 essential steps to take in developing a long-term care plan for your aging loved one.

1. Choose An Attorney To Assist With Long-Term Planning

Choosing an attorney helps your senior establish a will or trust, and an attorney also assists with estate planning. It’s better to act sooner rather than later when planning for these important legal issues because there is a risk of cognitive function decreasing as your loved one ages.

An estate plan includes instructions regarding wishes for the distribution of assets and designates a financial Power of Attorney. When selecting a financial Power of Attorney, eligible individuals include family members, friends or a bank trust officer. This person is responsible for paying your senior’s bills and overseeing finances should the senior be unable to act as his or her own agent. As such, it is important to choose the right attorney who is able to provide guidance regarding Power of Attorney selection, as well as advises on the most appropriate course of action for a given situation.

2. Consult A Financial Advisor

A Certified Financial Planner is a valuable resource who is able to assist with your long-term care plan. If you or your senior have questions when designing a plan, a financial advisor is able to provide beneficial solutions.

Your advisor’s role is to assist you and your loved one as you determine what steps to take in planning for long-term care and how to prepare for the plan’s design and implementation.

Most importantly, a financial planner provides guidance on what elderly care options are possible based on your current and projected financial situation.

3. Speak With A Geriatric Care Manager

While you are in the planning stages of designing a long-term care plan, it is beneficial to consult a life care professional, known as a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM), in your senior’s location.

GCMs are knowledgeable regarding senior care service options in your area, the relative costs and other benefits of long-term care based on the trajectory of your senior’s current health issues. They are also a valuable resource when you need referrals for healthcare providers, attorneys and financial advisors.

4. Find An Appropriate Physician

It is necessary to choose a physician who is knowledgeable regarding age-related issues and communicates well with your senior. A suitable physician acts as your loved one’s advocate in directing his or her total care.

When considering physicians, keep your senior’s personal health issues in mind. Chronic illnesses change over time and genetics play a role in future health concerns. Physical and mental assessments are beneficial precautions to take as your senior ages.

Choosing the right long-term care option is a major decision in the care of your loved one. As your senior ages, it is more difficult to adapt to change and crises. Finding a caregiver for your elderly loved one ensures less stress and more positive communication. When planning for long-term care, follow through with the items on this list and give your loved one assurance so they are able to live out their retirement peacefully.

Ready to discover which senior care options best suit your loved one’s needs? Learn more about planning for long-term care.

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