As a responsible senior citizen, the better part of your life has been spent preparing for a variety of events. From marriage to raising children to planning for retirement, having plans in place can provide peace of mind when life's circumstances change. Most people plan for their financial future, but the importance of a good care plan, should the need for long-term care arise, is just as valuable.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Things You'll Need
- An Elder Law Attorney
Select a qualified professional to help you make your care plan. A geriatric care manager, elder law attorney or organizations like the Alzheimer's Association are all places to get started.
Choose the right care giver. This can begin as an extension of or modification to existing legal documents. If you've never put together an estate plan of any type, the care plan itself might be the first thing you do.
Nominate within the plan the person or persons you wish to care for you or make decisions about your care.
Understand your flexibility and rights, and to whom your caregiver is accountable. A good care plan ensures flexibility not only to the caregiver but also to the person being cared for. It gives the ability to respond immediately in making a legal decision without getting permission from a probate judge.
Don't wait for a crisis to make a plan. Making a care plan ahead of time will ease the stress of making decisions when an emergency happens.
Consider long-term care insurance. This type of insurance is becoming more and more popular and is a great way to provide for long term care without putting the estate in jeopardy.
Consider hiring a geriatric care manager. Have a geriatric care manager who has assessed your loved one and knows about them and their needs, available and ready to go if you are out of town and things don't go well.
Tips & Warnings
- When thinking about long term care planning understand the options available and make informed choices. A well thought out care plan maintains your flexibility and provides for caregiver accountability.
- Organizations like the Alzheimer's Association provide information on services and options for people needing long term care.