Your aging parents don't want to need long-term health care, and they don't want to be a burden to their families. Another truth is they don't want to ask for help either. You will be no different when you get older.
"Aging adults talk about how staying at home during retirement years is a dream; however, few know what it really takes to make this happen," says Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA, a National Certified Guardian, and Certified Senior Advisor.
Wilson says that family caregivers don't have the answers either. These family caregivers struggle as their parent's needs increase, and they cannot provide the proper care they require.
Caregivers Face Stress and Burnout
Wilson says they lose balance in their daily lives and experience greater stress and burnout. These often untrained and unprepared caregivers feel overwhelmed by their duties as a caregiver, and they don't want to ask for help.
Caregiving is a family matter since few people ever discuss or plan about their aging and the consequence declining health can have on them and their families. The lack of planning creates a family crisis.
If your parents didn't plan, what can you do? Will your parents listen to advice? Will you listen to advise?
Being Open to Help
Wilson says that admitting that help is needed in caregiving situations is difficult. Caregivers feel like they can do it all. No one in a caregiving situation wants to look like they cannot do what needs to be done.
But these family caregivers and the aging adults they are taking care of don't know everything about caregiving. This gap between wanting to do it all and not knowing all of the complexities of caregiving can result in unintended harm to loved ones.
There are sources of help for aging parents and their family caregivers who find themselves in a crisis they have not planned for before the crisis. Wilson offers many resources that help, but sometimes, people fear trusting online caregiving programs, support groups, and courses.
While we all get older, the need for long-term health care seems to take people by surprise. Her course, "Stay at Home," helps aging adults and aging parents stay at home. Most people want to remain at home when they get older and require help with daily living activities. While they regret not planning, being open to help and taking proactive actions to accept the support will make the situation easier on everyone involved.
Wilson says that seeking help early will increase the available choices in caregiving situations, thus reducing the stress and burdens generally placed on family caregivers.
Use Your Parent’s Experience to Benefit Your Future
Many experts say the realities of longevity should get our attention as we see our parents get older themselves. Have you thought about your future aging? The consequences of declining health, mobility problems and even dementia have a tremendous impact on our families and finances.
Long-term health care costs are rising rapidly across the country due to the increasing demand for care and higher labor costs. Even part-time care is expensive. The costs vary depending on where you live. While nursing home costs are the costliest, assisted living, adult day care, and in-home care aren't inexpensive either.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will cost you current and future long-term health care costs where you live. In addition, you will see state-specific information about long-term care in your state. Find the information where you live - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
Don’t Depend on Health Insurance or Medicare
Remember, health insurance, including Medicare, will not be an answer as it will not cover most long-term health care expenses. Medicaid will pay for long-term health care, but the care recipient must have little or no income and assets to qualify for those benefits. Keep in mind most Medicaid benefits are paid in a nursing home, the place most people want to avoid.
LTC Insurance will provide the finding for your choice of quality care options either in your home or in a facility. The money from the policy will safeguard your income and assets and preserve your lifestyle and legacy. But LTC Insurance also benefits the family by giving loved ones the time to be family instead of caregivers.
There are resources available if your parent needs help now. But don't ignore your future aging by preparing now.
About the Author
Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.
Contributor since October 31st, 2017
Most of us want to remain independent for as long as possible, yet we experience declines in our health, body, and mind as we get older. We become dependent on others whether we like it or not.
We can avoid placing this burden on our family by preparing for the costs and burdens of aging. Long-Term Care Insurance gives us the resources to avert complete dependency. An LTC policy gives us access to our choice of quality care options, including care at home. Our loved ones will have the time to be family instead of caregivers. We get the opportunity to stay at home. Plus, our assets are protected from the high costs of long-term health care.
Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. Every insurance company has its own underwriting rules. Be sure you share all your health information with a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who works with the top companies so they can find you the best coverage at the best value.
Get Expert Assistance in Planning
Long-term care is a very specialized area, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise. Seek the help of a specialist who represents the top companies.
Experts recommend seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find the right coverage. A specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right coverage at the right price.
Top specialists will often have over 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance, some in the thousands. This experience is necessary as every company has its own underwriting criteria. Plus, premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies.
A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
LTC NEWS Offers Many Planning Tools and Resources
Planning for the future is never easy, but long-term health care planning can be very complicated and comes with many emotions. Getting the right tools and resources will make the process much easier.
One of the goals is to reduce the stress and anxiety usually placed on your family at the time of crisis. LTC NEWS can be beneficial in providing you with important information for you to consider.
LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad
If your family is already in crisis and you need to find help for mom or dad, LTC NEWS can help. We have put together several comprehensive guides to help you in your process.
Start by reading our four guides -
If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea.
Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim
Many insurance companies have issued Long-Term Care Insurance policies over the years. Filing a claim can sometimes be complicated unless you know what to do or get expert help and assistance.
Don't allow the claim process to stop you from using the benefits available in an LTC policy. Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care.
If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help. LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you, or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work - free with no obligation.
Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance. You might be eligible at younger ages as well.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, and even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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