Why We Need To Plan For Long-Term Care

Many Americans do not know the facts surrounding long-term care and the costs associated with it. When it comes to planning for long-term care, it is not uncommon to put off planning due to the belief that a loved one will not need care in the foreseeable future. Other concerns are a lack of understanding of the coverage of long-term care services by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance and an increase in lack of concern over failure to plan for the costs associated with long-term care.

Americans who tend to avoid thinking about their golden years are missing out on the preplanning that can benefit both them and their families before that time comes. One approach is collaborative care, a health care model with supportive services that allows individuals to take control of their own care by specifying preferences and outlining goals that will improve their quality of life. This type of care involves communication among various medical providers to reduce overlap, misdiagnosis or other medical oversights. A collaborative health care team integrates their knowledge and skills across all professions, which can include physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, physical therapists, and more working together with patients and their families to improve health care outcomes. This approach could setup an individual now in their 40s for a successful path of understanding their needs for their future long-term care and take an active role in their health care now. Someone in their 50s and 60s can become more informed of their health status now and start to take actions to improve it and begin to plan for long-term care needs with that information.  A person in their 70s and 80s may already be facing long-term care needs and this approach can allow them to participate in the plan.

Despite the availability of information and legal counseling, most Americans are unprepared for the costs associated with long-term care. For example, results of a recent survey showed that only one-third of adults were “very or extremely confident” in their ability to pay for long-term care. While many individuals reported being concerned over leaving family with debt or becoming a burden to loved ones, many do little to alleviate their concern in the way of planning. Many Americans are reluctant to face the possible loss of independence related to aging and this plays a role in the unwillingness to plan for the possibility of needing assistance later in life.

Although not a popular topic among Americans over the age of forty, long-term care is an increasingly important one. Elder Law of Omaha provides free 30 minute consultation to provide options for people in planning for their potential long-term care needs. If you, a loved one, or a client need help figuring out the available options, please call us today to schedule your consultation.

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