Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Planning for Long Term Care

Long-Term Care: Planning for the Inevitable
The aging process is a natural part of life, and as such we all know that we are going to get older. Although the inevitability of long-term healthcare may seem obvious, many people do not plan for the financial challenges that long-term care can present. If you are taking care of an elderly loved one or are simply looking to avoid putting your caretakers through the difficulties of paying for long-term healthcare when you get older, here are some tips to help you plan for the future.
1.       Ensure that proper legal action has been taken. Your elderly loved one should complete the proper legal forms to allow you or another senior care provider the power to make decisions pertaining to their health and estate. The necessary forms include a Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Durable Power of Attorney. Through this paperwork, your elderly loved one can appoint someone to make financial and health-related decisions, as well as set guidelines through which those decisions are to be made.
2.       Review all necessary legal documents. By having important documents, such as Social Security forms, in order, caretakers will be better able to ensure that all necessary actions are taken when the time comes. Some items to review include: deeds, titles, wills, trust fund documents, credit history, insurance coverage (both life and health), and mortgage terms.
3.       Confirm and pay for funeral arrangements. Elderly individuals can help ease the impact of their passing on their families by arranging their funerals and leaving behind the funds to cover them. Not only does this ensure that elderly loved ones are given the memorials they want, it allows the family to quickly put their plans into action and decreases the stress that caretakers experience.
Long-term healthcare is something that seems to sneak up on many families. Instead of leaving preparations until the last minute, elderly individuals and their caretakers can prepare for long-term needs early. Doing so will prevent them from having to make quick decisions, will decrease financial stress, and will allow senior care professionals and family members to know exactly what elderly loved ones expect from their long-term care.

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