Start planning for long term care so they can live life with confidence
Discussing potential future long term care needs with aging parents can be intimidating. But it’s important for your whole family to make informed decisions while there are several options to choose from. The longer you wait, the more limited options become. By making these important decisions together and planning ahead, you can help make sure your parents can age on their own terms.
It’s important to consider what kind of assistance might be necessary for one parent should the other pass away. Would they be able to take care of daily activities on their own? Would they like to live independently or in a community setting? These issues are difficult to discuss and it’s important to remember that empathy and a positive attitude can make the conversation easier for everyone. With a little objectivity and a lot of compassion, you can help create a plan to prepare your entire family for whatever the future brings. Only 11% of consumers have had a conversation with their parents or in-laws about the potential need for long term care.1
As you start the discussion about long term care, it may be helpful to create a checklist to guide the conversation. You’ll want to discuss what plans your parents currently have in place for the future, including whether they have a current will, a power of attorney appointed, and a living will. Take note of if they have a preferred doctor that already knows their health history and make sure you have that contact information. Discuss what their preferences are for their overall standard of living including housing and their choice of caregiver, and ask about anything specific they would like to avoid.
This discussion about long term care planning is one that will likely not be resolved in one sitting. You’ll want to take notes, and start researching the different options for receiving and funding long term care based on their needs, desires and resources. It may also be helpful to accompany your parents to meetings with their current financial professionals. By taking care of these details now, you, your parents, and your family will be ready to face tomorrow with confidence.
If you’re still unsure of how to best approach your parents about this topic, download this brochure to see how you can prepare, guide the conversation, and a checklist of action steps after you have the talk.
1. Let’s Talk Research, Genworth, March 2015