The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some form of long-term care services during their lives. However, the majority of Americans age 40 and over have done “little or no planning” for how they might pay for future care, according to the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. What’s more, only 32 percent of Americans have even discussed their future care wishes with their family, yet 90 percent think it’s important to do so per The Conversation Project’s National Survey.
Learn what’s causing this disconnect and the benefits of future care planning here.
Why We Aren’t Talking About Future Care Planning
Simply put: because it’s uncomfortable and depressing. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone! In fact, The Conversation Project also reports that 21 percent of those surveyed say the reason they haven’t had the conversation with their family is specifically because they don’t want to upset them.
Other reasons include not knowing where to begin planning or how to start the conversation. And, some people just don’t like to plan or hope they’ll be part of that lucky 30 percent that won’t end up needing long-term care.
But what most families don’t realize is that they aren’t really making things easier on themselves by putting this off.
Future Care Planning Benefits
While future care planning isn’t easy to talk about, it is perhaps one of the most important topics to discuss. Benefits to you and your family include:
- Decreasing potential for family conflicts – Chances are your family members have some differing views on how to handle caregiving, living arrangements, end-of-life decisions, and more. Having a plan in place resolves any confusion or disagreement by making sure everyone is on the same page. Not to mention your family will be able to spend more time being in-the-moment with you.
- Taking the burden off the family – No one wants to be a burden to their family and the reality is that it’s not necessarily the care needs that are; rather it’s the surprise. The stress of suddenly having to make these decisions when you don’t know what mom or dad would want, as well as the financial toll should your family have to cover expenses that could have been planned for in advance.
- Knowing what to expect financially – Speaking of finances, it’s common for families to underestimate the cost of care (particularly at home) and overestimate what Medicare will cover. Proper planning can give everyone a better idea of what the costs might be, plus you have time to research potential funding options (there are more than you may think) including long-term care insurance if you are still in good health now.
- Giving you more control – Planning ahead puts you in the driver’s seat to ensure you’ll receive the future care you want instead of reaction driving those decisions in a time of crisis. Or worse, having others make those decisions should you not be able to speak for yourself. Having these conversations and putting a plan in place can also reduce anxiety over the “what ifs” you may be worrying about so you can focus on enjoying life.
- Easing the transition – By taking the time to think through your wants and needs now, you’ll be able to find what’s truly the best fit should long-term care be necessary for the future. And being able to carefully research all your options without pressure will ultimately give you more confidence in the decisions you make which can help ease the transition.
For more information on planning for future care, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!