If you're considering long term care options for yourself, a parent or another loved one, start the research and discussions early. Thinking about one's finances 20, 30, even 40 years in the future is becoming more common. What if everything does not go as planned and you need help with your daily living activities as you grow older? If you ask the average person and/or senior about Long Term Care Planning, you will probably receive a response such as, haven't given it much thought, I cannot afford it, or that is a long way off. Now, you may not be surprised to hear a younger person respond in this way, but the majority of our seniors feel the same way.

If you ask a senior what is most important, according to surveys frequently conducted among the elderly, the most frequent response would be:.

  • Remaining independent in the home without intervention from others
  • Maintaining good health and receiving adequate health care
  • Having enough money for everyday needs and not outliving assets and income

For any person, but especially for seniors the need for long-term care is probably the most catastrophic unexpected event that could happen. Yet very few elderly spend money or time to plan for the event of long-term care. This lack of planning will always have an adverse effect on the older person's family. It usually results in great sacrifice or financial cost on the part of the spouse and/or children.

Because of Changing Demographics and future lack of Government Funds, we need to Plan for our Long-Term Care. Following are a few reasons that we need to take into consideration:

  • We are living longer. The population segment of the "very old", older than age 85, is the fastest-growing age group in the country. The older the person, the more likely the need for long-term care and the more likely a need for care which lasts not just months but years. Over 50% of the age group over 85 is receiving long-term care.
  • The older the person the more likely the risk of onset of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association estimates about 46% of people over the age of 85 have dementia or Alzheimer's
  • The ranks of the elderly are growing larger. The population of elderly over 65 will double from about 37 million people today to about 77 million people in 2035, 30 years from now
  • With a large and growing number of single person households there is no spouse and oftentimes no children to provide care. About 40% of the population is single
  • Children are moving far away or the elderly are relocating after retirement and this makes it difficult or impossible to provide the resulting long-distance caregiving
  • Medical science is preventing early sudden deaths which often results in a prolonged life with impaired health and a higher potential need for long-term care
  • Government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration will cover the cost of long-term care under certain conditions

So, if you have not discussed, considered, or even pondered the need for Long Term Care, maybe this information will encourage you to begin your initial research to ensure your care in the future.

Remember, this familiar quote "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part"

Let's Discuss, Plan, and Prepare, because no one can plan for your future, better than you can.