Most of us plan for the future well-being of our loved ones, but are we overlooking something important? It’s just as important to plan for your future well-being through long-term care planning. We don’t know what the future holds; it’s best to be prepared and hope we never have to put your long-term care plan into action. Through long-term care planning you can make sound, smart decisions about your future in case you are unable to do so later on in life. Here are 3 things to know about long-term care planning:
In creating your long-term care plan, you should think about where you want to live in the future. Do you want to remain in your home if possible? Or would you prefer to move into a smaller home where you have more assistance and amenities?
If you want to remain in your home you should consider how to make that possible. Consider things such as:
- whether your home can be modified should you have physical impairment;
- whether there are services in your area that can assist you in your home; and
- whether your community is accessible, through public transportation or otherwise, should you no longer be able to drive.
Should you be unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself in the future, do you know who will make those decisions? Have you legally designated an individual as your healthcare power of attorney to make those decisions? Does that individual know and understand your wishes?
Have you made those wishes clear in an Advanced Directive for Healthcare? Do you have a back-up designation should that person no longer be able to serve on your behalf? Have you executed a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order and/or Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, if that is what you wish?
Have you considered the financial ramifications of your long-term care plan? Things to consider to ensure you have the funds to carry-out your long-term care plan are:
- Long-term care insurance;
- Medicare and Medicaid;
- Social Security;
- Pensions and retirement accounts; and
- Savings or other investments that can be used.
Depending on which assets are available to you and the plan to have in place, you should create a financial plan to ensure your wishes are carried out. Remember that you may not be able to make financial decisions for yourself at some point so be sure to designate someone through a Power of Attorney who can manage your funds and assets for your benefit. Consider trust planning, as well.
We know we asked more questions than gave answers here. Asking yourself questions is the first step to creating an effective long-term care plan. The goal is that your wishes are made clear and are able to be carried out by your loved ones in the future. Of course, if you are unsure of the answers to any of the questions you are asking yourself, we are here to help you find the right answer for you.