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When is the best time to plan for long-term care?

It happens to everyone, aging. No one wants to think about it, but every day we get older. So, when should you start thinking about taking care of your parents? The answer is, right now. Think about any long-term care they may need and what services are available.

What is long-term care?

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), long-term care assistance is usually offered to people with a disability, chronic illnesses or other disorders. It can last for a few months or a lifetime. It just depends on your parent’s needs. Many people receive long-term care at home. Some friends and family members may pitch in to help. There are also community programs that may deliver meals, provide nurses who visit and offer supervised programs. Long-term care can include:

  • Technology to keep them independent
  • Changes to home to make it safer for them to get around
  • Proficient medical care provided by a health expert or nurse
  • Help with meals, chores, and bathing or getting dressed
  • Retirement communities also offer assistance
  • Some people also decide to move to an assisted living facility if their illness or condition prevents them from taking care of themselves

Will your parents need it?

No one ever knows what kind of care they may need in the future. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. You should also consider how your parents can pay for long-term care if it is needed. They could choose to:

  1. After they pay for their insurance, let it pay for their care. A long-term care policy may work.
  2. They can choose to pay for the care by themselves with no help from anyone else. It would be a great idea to research how much it would cost if they did become ill.
  3. Another option, letting Medicaid foot the bill for them. Medicaid was created just for that. If they have a lower income, it is ideal. Make sure they are clear, that it is Medicaid, not Medicare because it will not pay for long-term care.

Your parents may still feel young at heart and remain very active. That’s why it is important to think about the possible future of their health now. That way, you will be more than prepared if that day does come when they will need valuable assistance.

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  • Richard P. Johnson is Board certified Texas Board of Legal Specialization Estate Planning And Probate
  • Wealth Counsel
  • The College of the State Bar Of Texas Professionalism Through Education
  • Dallas Bar Association
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  • NAELA tm National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
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The Johnson Firm, P.C.
2400 Lakeside Blvd.
Suite 120
Richardson, TX 75082

Phone: 972-364-7176
Fax: 972-925-9227
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