Planning for the Realities of Long-term Care

By Sara Bohn, Senior Financial Planner, JSW Financial

When we talk with our clients about long-term care and long-term care insurance (LTCi), we inquire about their experiences. Many people know one or more individuals who have needed long-term care. Most people who have experienced a long-term care situation have either had their loved ones cared for at home by a family member (or family members), or cared for in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

In many of these instances, the families didn’t plan for the hardship that came along with the care responsibility, whether performing the actual care or the cost of it.

Plan ahead for the realities of long-term careWhen the loved one was taken care of by family members at home, the stories tended to reveal that the responsibility of care was much more than the family members expected. Family members have to work with each other to make sure that no one is over-burdened by providing the care. As such, they share in the responsibilities of all the different times that care is needed. Often, they need to work in shifts, whether to care for the person at intervals throughout the day or all 24 hours of the day. Indeed, even though the family members want to care for the person, if this care is needed for a very long time, the family members soon, and understandably, become tired. This care can be quite challenging, as well as physically and emotionally taxing.

Unfortunately, even though respite care is welcomed, it often simply isn’t enough. While the care is one significant aspect of long-term care needs, the other major aspect to consider is the cost. If a family hasn’t planned for this cost (whether using LTCi, their savings, etc.), there can be substantial care expense hardship also.

When families have planned for long-term care needs, the stories are different. Outside help is used sooner than later. Most individuals needing care want to remain in their homes as long as possible. Instead of family members helping with moving, bathing, feeding, etc., a hired assistant can do the “heavy lifting” while the family members supervise and coordinate care. Individuals can often be cared for longer in their home because the support system is established, reliable and not exhausted. If nursing home care is eventually needed, the transition is easier on everyone involved. Many LTCi policies help with coordinating care as well, so family members can better understand all that encompasses their loved one’s individual desires for care.

Long-term care can be a very expensive and complicated matter. Consulting a financial planner can help prepare for long-term care needs.

JSW Financial guides people and companies in the development of planning, investment and wealth management strategies to achieve individualized goals.

To talk with Sara Bohn of JSW Financial about long-term care planning or other financial matters, please contact her at [email protected], O: (540) 961-6706 ext. 116 or (888) 553-2211,
C: (540) 239-0371.

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