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An Aging Parent’s Guide to Long-Term Care

| October 27, 2017
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Remember when your children were little and they came down with the flu? You lovingly nursed them back to health. You nursed them through colds, the measles, and chicken pox. You kissed their boo-boos and bandaged their scraped knees. After all, that’s what parents do. 

Today, your children are grown, probably married with families of their own. They may have professional careers that took years to establish, or they juggle domestic responsibilities with their children’s extra curricular activities. You also know firsthand that married couples need time alone to nurture their relationship. Regardless of their age, you only wish the best for your children. After all, that’s what parents do. 

Meanwhile, your youth is behind you, and your health may be deteriorating. It may be getting harder to get in and out of the bath, prepare your own meals, or put your shoes on. It may be getting difficult to get out of a chair or remember to take your medications on schedule. Someday soon you may need help with such activities. So, what’s your plan? 

Perhaps you think your adult children can care for you. They will probably be more than willing to help out. But, what happens if medical care is needed or you are no longer able to live independently? If you don’t have a plan for long-term care, your adult children may need to assume the role of unpaid caregiver. In fact, an estimated 36.5 million households in the U.S. have one or more caregivers in them, according to a report from the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP (2009). What’s more, 70% of caregivers report making work changes such as cutting back on work hours, changing jobs, or even quitting working. 

A Long-Term Plan

Planning for your future with long-term care insurance (LTCI) can provide options to meet your needs in terms of safety and well-being, while allowing your adult children to live their own lives. If you’re considering LTCI, don’t wait until an illness or injury forces you to make a hasty decision. Take the time now to consider your options. 

Meant for people with chronic illnesses or disabilities, the primary purpose of long-term care is to provide various support services to assist in activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs are tasks such as dressing, bathing, eating, and toileting. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. 

Services can range from scheduled help at home to full-time care in a nursing home. A home health care aide, for example, can help with weekly shopping or daily tasks, such as bathing and dressing, which may be difficult to accomplish without assistance. Knowing that someone will be there to help can be stress reducing both for you and your children. 

Plan for your future today with LTCI so that your children can care about you, rather than for you. After all, that’s what parents do.

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