For seniors, the terms "long term care" and "eldercare" are synonymous. For younger people, "long term care" is the more appropriate phrase.
For the uninformed family member, eldercare or long term care might appear to be a very straightforward and easy-to-understand process. Unfortunately, the reality is that long term care is very complicated and finding care systems and providers is a frustrating and time-consuming process. There is no one single source to help caregivers find services or solve problems with a simple phone call or a single community contact. For this reason, planning for care requires a great deal of prior knowledge in order to avoid operating in a crisis mode trying to find help when the need for care suddenly arises.
However, knowledge of long term care systems is not enough. Because it can happen suddenly, at any time, you must take action now to prepare for the day when you will need to deal with eldercare for your loved ones or for yourself. This action involves:
- Determining the care settings and services you or a loved one most likely would want.
- Providing funding for paying the cost of care, especially when government support programs are lacking or require sacrifice of assets.
- Completing a survey to determine necessary financial and legal arrangements to be made.
- Completing a written long term care planning document to provide instructions to caregivers and to your care coordinator in advance of needing eldercare.
- Assigning a care coordinator and determining the role of other family members, friends or advisers involved in caregiving.
- Holding a planning meeting and drawing up a written agreement for involvement between all those who are willing to participate in future caregiving for you or a loved one.
We have defined four crucial steps necessary in this process for long term care planning. These four steps will be described below. The four steps are based on the following four concepts:
- Knowledge and preparation are the keys to success.
- Having funds to pay for care greatly expands the choices for care settings and providers.
- Using professional help relieves stress, reduces conflict, and saves time and money.
- Success is assured through a written plan accepted by all parties involved.
At Idaho Estate Planning, we have the skill and resources to help you put your long-term care plan together, including preparing for the possibility of Medicaid. We have the experience and expertise to help you maintain your options and protect yourself as well as your loved ones now and into the future. Remember, good planning is no accident!