Long Term Care: Planning ahead and securing your future
What do you think of when you hear the words “Long Term Care?” If you’re like most people, you might think of an insurance policy, or maybe a nursing home. Surprisingly though, Long Term Care involves much more than those things. Sure, a person can purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy, or go into a nursing home for an extended period of time, but it’s important not to forget about the emotional, physical and financial effects that also come into play for individuals dealing with Long Term Care. Whether it’s arthritis in our joints or amnesia in our minds, getting older and slowing down is inevitable for all of us, and while it may seem far off in the future, effective planning for how to handle these life changes as we age is critical.
Long Term Care planning becomes especially important for partners and spouses whose children are likely to become the primary caretakers once their parents can no longer manage living alone. More often than not, these are the individuals who take on the responsibility of assisting with their parents’ daily tasks and managing their schedules, from eating and bathing, to doctor’s visits and household chores. More often than not, the magnitude of the situation – mainly the tremendous amount of time and effort required to provide this care– can only be understood by those who experience the day-in and day-out stress of keeping their parents and/or family members alive. Take a moment to stop and think about the toll this process can take; there are a host of complexities and inherent challenges that result from the parent-to-child-to-parent transition. Add to that the additional responsibilities most people live with (taking care of their own families, full-time jobs, etc.) and the situation becomes physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting.
At this point, many adult children often have no choice but to move their parents into a full-time care facility. Making this decision is never easy, and often evokes feelings of guilt, fear and shame for everyone involved. While many nursing homes offer quality care services and provide safe and healthy living spaces for patients, many people are reluctant to make this type of move.
What if there was a better solution? What if, instead of a spouse and/or adult children providing direct care, they could manage it, meaning they could supervise the process of someone else providing elderly care within the individual’s home. This situation appeals to many families, since it allows the elderly person to continue living independently while still receiving direct care.
Americans are well-aware of the importance of saving for retirement planning and saving enough money to ensure that they are able to live comfortably once they’re done working. Unfortunately however, many don’t give the same thought to what will be happening to their bodies and minds during those years. Money isn’t the only thing we need to think about – Long Term Care options are equally crucial.
Now is the time to act and take proactive steps to prepare for the future. While it may seem far away, delaying this process will only create more challenges in the years ahead. Rather than relying on self-funding, talk to your broker about creating an insurance plan that can fund both your own and your family’s Long Term Care. Doing so expands your care options beyond traditional nursing homes, and establishes a workable solution that can alleviate the pressures and challenges associated with elderly care.
Click here to read more about Long Term Care policies and the viable solutions and coverage options available for your future.
About the Author
Christine Vogan is the Key & Individual Insurance Representative at William Gallagher Associates in Employee Benefits Group with a core focus on WGA’s Private Client Group. Her responsibilities consist of working with both individual clients and executives at corporate companies and assisting them with the Life, Disability and Long Term Care insurance planning.