It isn't uncommon for families to feel a certain level of discomfort when thinking about a loved one's long-term care needs. However, making plans now rather than later is beneficial for all involved.
Several different care options - and different payment options-are available. It's important to plan ahead not only to ensure loved ones have their needs meet, but also to ensure their assets are not depleted while doing so.
Thinking About Your Loved One's Needs
The first step toward long-term care planning is to have an understanding of what your loved one may need in the future. Is your family thinking about putting them in a nursing home? Or, have you been giving thought to in-home care? If so, you'll need to research hospice programs and assisted living.
You may also need speech therapy help or assistance with Alzheimer's issues. The creation of this plan will also require research regarding benefit programs such as Social Security, Medicare and other government assistance programs.
Choosing A Family Member To Come Alongside
One of the best things you can do for your aging loved one is to choose a family member, or more than one, who can attend doctor appointments with them to determine what their baseline needs are as they age. This effort will help your family develop a useful long-term care plans.
The chosen family member may also be responsible for setting up meetings or phone calls with benefits programs so interviews can occur and the right programs can be in place.
Modifying The Home For Safety
There may come a time when your loved one will need some modifications to the home to keep it safe. These changes should be built into the long-term care plan and may include grab bars in the shower, handles near the toilet, railings in hallways, extra lighting in the bedroom and bathroom, and the removal of all trip hazards.
Developing A Support System
Your aging loved ones will want to remain independent for as long as possible. It's normal and healthy for them to have these feelings, but it's also important to develop a support system. Friends can stop in and check on them on assigned days, family members can schedule times to take them out, and other activities can be planned to ensure they're receiving adequate care. These steps help you and your family continue to monitor them passively without being too intrusive.
For personalized help with long-term care planning, consider talking with a lawyer skilled in this area of law. An attorney can provide the detailed guidance you need.