What would you do if you or a loved needed long-term care? Would you be prepared to pay for it? Although most people will need long-term care within their lifetime, most adults do not plan ahead for it. That leaves family members and seniors scrambling for funds to afford care. You can avoid that stress by using these pieces of advice to plan ahead for long-term care.
Make Modification Now to Support Aging in Place
One way that you can better prepare for long-term care is to prepare your home to age in place. You will need to make sure all rooms and spaces are fully accessible, especially if you anticipate reduced mobility. Walkers and wheelchairs can make maneuvering through your home a bit trickier, so if you can, have doorways widened.
Undoubtedly, your accessibility upgrades will include some products to make it safer and more secure as well. Consumers Advocate provides detailed information about home-upgrade solutions, such as walk-in showers, chair lifts, and medical alert devices, that can keep seniors protected as they age in place in their own homes.
Plus, making these changes now will make it less likely that you will suffer a serious fall in the future. Injuries from falls can be debilitating for older adults and can bring about the need for long-term care, so taking proper precautions is prudent. Install grab bars in the bathroom and slip-resistant flooring to maintain your independence.
Plan for Practical Ways to Pay for Long-Term Care
Like many seniors, you may be planning on relying on Medicare for your health needs. But Medicare will not help with the costs of long-term care in the majority of cases. The most Medicare may pay for is 20 days at a skilled nursing facility. Since most long-term needs extend beyond this narrow window, your best bet is to be prepared to cover those long-term care expenses.
Home health assistants are the most economical long-term care option, but if you or a loved one needs to be in a nursing home, that bill can run upward of $100K per year. That’s a huge expense for seniors and family members to budget for on the fly, which is why it is important to plan ahead for other long-term care solutions. Some people do end up paying out of pocket, from either their savings or retirement funds, but you can also find help paying for that essential care. Veterans can get assistance from the VA, and you may even be able to lock in some affordable rates for long-term care insurance, if you purchase your plan early enough.
Start Taking Better Care of Your Overall Health
If you can take steps to prepare your home for long-term care needs, then you can also prepare yourself. Making healthier lifestyle choices is your best defense against needing extensive care in the first place, so make an effort to take better care of your health. Again, fall prevention is critical, and you can take steps to strengthen your body against potential injuries. Exercise is a definite health necessity, and getting more of it can build more stable muscles and joints that can keep you upright.
You can also add supplements to your diet to boost your physical health, or try adding healthier foods to keep your body and brain strong. Fish is high on that list, but you can also get benefits from eating more blueberries and nuts and possibly from drinking coffee as well. Finally, top off those healthy new habits by refining your sleep hygiene. Sleep is central to your cognitive health and immune system, so getting more of it can help you retain more control over your life.
Many seniors forget to think about their need for long-term care until it’s too late. You can avoid that added stress for yourself and loved ones by planning ahead to preserve your health, prepare your home, and prime your finances for the high costs of long-term care.