Did you know that with less than half of all Americans today having an estate plan, it is not surprising that even fewer have planned for their long-term care needs? Long-term care planning, sometimes referred to as elder law planning, addresses the necessity for a possible future where you may need to rely on another person each day due to physical or mental cognitive issues. In other words, a time when you cannot safely care for yourself.
Have you created an estate plan as well as a long-term care plan? Our office meets with many seniors and their loved ones each week on what it means to need long-term care and how to develop a good plan to meet those needs. Below, we would like to share six ways you can successfully plan for Florida long-term care by both educating yourself and getting the answers you need.
1. Create a plan now. Do not be like most people and put off long-term planning until it is too late. Think of a long-term care plan as the best gift you can give yourself and your family because you have a plan in place so that if the time should come when you need full time healthcare assistance you are prepared. Also educate yourself on the cost of long-term care because long-term care in any setting is expensive. You can learn the cost for the type of care in the state of Florida by using this link from the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
2.Know the different types of long-term care. Gone are the days when a nursing home was the only long-term care option. There are many steps in between nursing home care and home care, including, from homebase care to independent care to assisted-living care and skilled nursing home care. You can use this link we want to share with you from the AARP website.
3. Investigate now as to whether long-term care insurance is an option. Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance that can provide financial assistance should you need long-term care. You need to meet with a long-term care insurance agent to learn more about what your options are as soon as possible.
4. Make an appointment now with an experienced Florida elder law attorney who understands long-term care planning. Your experienced Florida elder law attorney will be able to advise you on what your options are in numerous circumstances and come up with a plan to make sure you, your family, and what you care about most, is protected. She can look at your financial resources because should the time come that you need long-term care there will be a cost. What can you afford right now? What do you want to protect? What are your monthly bills? Your attorney will be able to prepare you for the future by helping you understand where you stand right now. In addition, she can ensure your estate plan is up-to-date and reflects what you want.
5. You need a support group. Regrettably, most of us do not have the fortunate circumstances of our children living in the same city. So reaching out to them for help with long-term care needs would be difficult. Right now think about who your local support group is, other relatives, friends, neighbors, and speak candidly with them about your concerns in regard to long-term care. Talk to them about what long-term care for you may mean and whether you could get the support you need from them.
6. Discuss long-term care now with your doctors and specialists. Be aware that every person is impacted differently in regard to long-term care. If you have a new diagnosis or a chronic condition, you should speak freely with your doctors about what you should expect in the future. Even though your long-term care needs are unique to you, your doctors know you and will be able to give you advice on what to understand and potentially plan for.
We know this list may seem daunting. We also know you may have more questions now that you have read it. We believe in a collaborative approach to helping our clients. This means that our assistance does not end with just legal help. We work closely with other senior providers to make sure all our clients’ needs are taken care of from start to finish. Our mission is to make sure every family feels that they have been taken care of, have peace of mind and have someone to lean on during difficult times.