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Because the need for long-term care can happen suddenly, at any time, you must take action now to prepare for the day when you will need to deal with elder care for your loved ones or for yourself.  You never want to be alone as you or your loved one=s condition progresses.  And you never want to be out of money and out of options.

Life Care Planning, Estate Protection, Disability,
VA & Medicaid Assistance Lawyers

Planning For the Rest of Your Life -Part 1

Planning For the Rest of Your Life

Part 1 of 2

 

It is a little known fact that 60% of us will need long-term care sometime during our lives. Thus, it is important for all of us to prepare for that day when we will need to help loved ones with care or we will need long-term care for ourselves.

 

We would be foolish to not prepare for unexpected disasters by covering our homes and automobiles with insurance policies.  Just imagine a situation where there was a 60% risk that your home would burn or that your auto would be involved in an accident.

 

Yet the vast majority of the American public does not plan for the devastating crisis of needing long-term care.

 

No other life event can be as devastating to an elderly person=s lifestyle, finances, and sense of security as needing long-term care. It drastically alters or completely eliminates the three principal retirement dreams of elderly Americans:

 

1.  Remaining independent in their home without intervention from others

2.  Maintaining good health and receiving adequate and appropriate health care

3.  Having enough money for everyday needs and not outliving assets and income

 

This lack of planning also has an adverse effect on the older person's family. With few exceptions, an older person=s family makes huge sacrifices in terms of their time, their money, and their lifestyles.  Often, care giving will even affect the family=s or caregiver=s medical, physical, and emotional health.

 

What Is Long-Term Care?

 

The need for long-term care arises when an individual requires assistance with medical care, daily living activities, comfort, supervision, or advice. The need for care may be caused by an accident, disease process, or frailty.

 

Most long-term care is provided at home by family members.  Care may be needed to help the elderly or disabled person with household cleaning, preparing meals, transportation, shopping, paying bills, visiting the doctor, and answering the phone.

 

Oftentimes, long-term care in the form of supervision in a care facility is needed due to cognitive impairment from stroke, depression, dementia, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's disease.  Such conditions may require help with the ability to move about, dress, bathe, eat, use a toilet, medicate, and avoid incontinence.

 

What Is Long-Term Care Planning?

 


For a younger person, long-term care planning will encompass planning for disability due to an accident as well as planning for their eventual physical and medical decline into older age.  One only needs to recall the crazy carnival that arose in Florida regarding Terri Schiavo to realize that everyone over the age of 18 ought to plan for their possible disability.  (That case involved a young woman in her twenties and dragged on for 15 years, eventually even drawing President Bush, Congress, and the U. S. Supreme Court into the fray.)

 

For an older person, long-term care planning can be called elder care planning. When a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach is used, the planning is called Alife care planning@.

 

For the uninformed family member, elder care or life care might appear to be a very straightforward and easy-to-understand process that needs no planning. Unfortunately, the reality is that long-term care is very complicated and finding care systems and providers is a frustrating and time-consuming process.  Resources to help caregivers find services or solve problems are not well-known.  For this reason, planning for care requires a great deal of prior knowledge  B  in order to avoid the need to operate in crisis mode trying to find help when the need for care arises suddenly.

 

Moreover, knowledge of long-term care systems is simply not enough.  Who will take over if the caregiver suddenly is unable to continue to provide the level of care that is needed? What will happen if the long-term care system does not perform as expected?

 

Because the need for long-term care can happen suddenly, at any time, you must take action now to prepare for the day when you will need to deal with elder care for your loved ones or for yourself.  You never want to be alone as you or your loved one=s condition progresses.  And you never want to be out of money and out of options.

 

What Is Life Care Planning?

 

Simply stated, life care planning provides the ultimate in peace of mind for elders and their families.  Life care planning combines asset protection and care coordination into a single comprehensive package that addresses all of the tough issues that may arise regarding elder care for you or your loved one  B  now and in the future.

 

The elder gets the right care at the right time and in the right manner, maximizing independence for as long as possible  B  so there is the ability to age in place with dignity and a higher quality of life.  The elder=s family gets: help finding the right care and services; guidance with health and care decisions as the elder=s condition progresses; and the security of knowing the elder=s spouse and dependents are provided for.

 

Like a traditional asset protection plan, a Life Care Plan includes all the legal protections needed to preserve assets.  But it doesn't stop there.  A Life Care Plan provides a Aroad map@ that will lay out how your or your loved one=s financial, physical, and psychological needs will be met.  It also provides all of the legal protections needed to honor your or your loved one=s wishes and to provide for family members  B  with the goal of maximizing quality of life, until the end of life, while preserving the family=s assets.

 

Tell Me More About Life Care Planning

 


With Life Care Planning, you can be assured that you or your loved one is getting the right care at the right time and in the right manner.  You never need to wonder.  A multi-disciplinary team of geriatric care coordinators and lawyers provide you with the resources, support, and guidance that you and the caregivers need to make decisions with confidence.

 

Life Care Plans are designed to achieve three primary goals:

1.  Help to ensure that you or your loved one gets appropriate care, whether at home or in a care facility;

2.  Access all public and private resources to help pay for long-term care, while solving the asset protection problem created by the devastating cost of care; and

3.  Give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you or your loved one is safe and getting the right care.

 

Depending on the need, a Life Care Plan will include:

!  Legal services to protect assets and coordinate public and private resources to pay for care and to preserve family assets for future generations;

!  Advocacy services to help you or your loved get the highest quality health and long-term care;

!  Care coordination services by experts who do whatever is necessary to protect and promote you or your loved one=s dignity and quality of life.

 

Finally, once a Life Care Plan is written, it is a living document that changes along with your or your loved one=s changing needs.

 

In next month=s article, we will take a look at the four crucial steps necessary for effective long-term care planning.

 

Richard Habiger is an elder law and life care planning attorney.  You may contact him at 618-549-4529 or Richard@HabigerElderLaw.com.

 

 


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1808 Clark Street, Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: 618-985-4529
Toll Free: 800-336-4529

Mailing Address
1808 Clark Street
Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: (618) 985-4529