“Everyone has a story.”
It may be difficult for you to imagine yourself needing that kind of care but you probably know somebody who does. You better start planning for it.
It’s not just about IRA’s and 401Ks. You are at risk of having to spend all your savings on long term care.
That kind of care gets paid for in one of three ways
Qualify for Medicaid
Use Up Your Savings
Short Term or Long Term Care Insurance Contract
The idea is to be smart about it:
protect your money, avoid family turmoil,
and be able to make choices for yourself.
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4 Signs of Cognitive Impairment and Why Early Detection of Memory Impairment is Important
1. Difficulty doing familiar things in their life.
2. Difficulty remembering things that happen in the last day.
3. Sudden behavioral changes.
4. Having trouble keeping a conversation.
- Asking the same question repeatedly, without remembering the answer
- Not referring to people by name
- Vagueness and lack of details in conversation
5 Most Important Financial Questions to Ask Your Parent
2. Have you updated your will, insurance and retirement account information recently?
3. Do you have plans or insurance in place to pay for long term care?
4. Who is advising you?
5. Where is all the important information: passports, social security cards, bank accounts, etc.?
How Boomers Should Approach Aging Parent Issues
Get yourself mentally and emotional prepared. Think about how you would want to be talked to in the same situation. Keep the conversation casual and as clam as possible. The conversation will be counterproductive if your frustration and anxiety comes through.
Holidays can be a good time to talk about the future. However, telling them that it is not safe to live alone with everyone around the holiday table is not a good idea. Take them aside and voice your concerns and potential fixes.
Regarding financial information, it may be best to use the indirect approach. Break the ice with stories like: Phil and Doris are having trouble paying their utility bills or Frank had to get a part time job to make ends meet. This might help them open up about their personal financial situation.
If you hear that they are getting financial advice, it would be helpful to know from whom.
It’s still their life so when talking about moving to a long-term care facility present options that include in-home care or moving in with a friend or relative. Leave them feeling that they are still in control and can make their own choices.
The cost also is different depending what state you are in and the level of care you need. The cost of care is generally lower in the south and higher in other parts of the country. Click on the link to see what it cost in different zip codes.
Options with Long Term Care Insurance Policies
There are 3 kinds of policies…
1. Traditional contracts
2. Hybrid Long Term Care Policies
3. Short Term Care (STC)
Designating a Health Care Proxy:
Who is going to make the life or death health care decision for you if you are unable. Appointing a Health Care Proxy is important for everybody over the age of 18? Bad things can happen at any time to anybody. The critical element to the document is the appointment. Choosing somebody you trust and discussing your wishes with them is critical. The link below is poised to an online form but it would be better to have your attorney draw it up and keep a copy in their file.
Do Not Resuscitate:
Literally, this means that if you stop breathing, you do not want any heroic efforts to bring you back to life. DNR orders come from physicians, not from patients. If a patient wants CPR to be withheld, he or she has to discuss the decision with a physician to get the order written. It is not good enough to have it in a will or verbally expressing your wishes. The Doctor must write the order. Also, it is important to remember that the DNR order probably doesn’t stop other life sustaining efforts like transfusions or dialysis.
Wills and Trusts:
There are so many legal considerations to make regarding end of life wishes and asset protection. If you want to get to the point of become Medicaid eligible, you have to find legal ways to divest all of you assets. You have to be at the federal poverty level to be eligible for Medicaid then the government tells you what kind of care you will get. There are five year ‘look back’ rules, spousal considerations, and probate laws that require the skills of a good local elder care attorney.
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