Although it’s something none of us like to think about, you or a loved one may require long-term care one day. Regardless of your current situation, over time, your mind and body may need more support than you currently do. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure you’re prepared, come what may. Whittier Glen Assisted Living brings you some tips that can help you prepare your own safety net.
Planning for Long-Term Care Needs
Before making any investments, you should determine the likelihood that you or someone you love will require long-term care in the future. Here are some factors that can impact your health:
Long-Term Care Primer reports that women typically live longer than men. Women are also more likely than men to get Alzheimer’s. In fact, more than 70% of nursing home residents are women.
- Family History
Scientists have discovered that there is a higher risk of dementia if it runs in the family. Many other illnesses (such as heart conditions or stroke) are also hereditary. Check your family history to see if you are at risk.
- Genetic Testing
Genetic testing can tell you whether you are prone to a disease, which can help you take preventative measures. Read more about DNA testing at the Stanford University blog.
- Your Lifestyle Choices
The relatively new field of epigenetics tells us that today’s lifestyle choices have a big impact on our future health. For example, research has shown that certain plant chemicals can influence how our DNA reacts to stress, which can, in turn, reduce our chances for diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Are you caring for your health with a balanced diet, proper sleep, and exercise? If you aren’t, start now.
Two more important issues factor in on your future health: safety and stress. You can reduce the risk of slips, falls, and other common injuries with simple home modifications. These include proper lighting for hallways and stairs, non-slip floor covering, and walk-in bathtubs.
Stress is another contributor to illness. According to Verywell Mind, stress can contribute to diabetes, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, ulcers, even tooth and gum disease. Proper self-care can reduce your stress and bring you better physical health.
Planning for Long-Term Care Costs
Once you have an idea of your possible future needs, it’s time to plan your financial options. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- How close are you to retirement? The closer you are, the more you’ll need to save up and plan.
- What savings and insurance programs are available now to help pay for long-term care? Research local as well as state options, including nonprofit organizations.
- How do you plan on paying for the costs of long-term care?
- Where will I live?
Long-term care services primarily fall into one of the following options:
Options that support aging in place.
If you stay in your home, you may need finances for things like home modifications, home health aides, adult daycare, and caregivers. If you want to age in place, you may benefit from researching and investing in a home that’s a little more senior-friendly.
Selling your current home and using the proceeds to buy a more accessible one might be a more affordable option than making extensive modifications. You can get an idea of how much you’ll get for your home by factoring in your sale price, the size of your outstanding mortgage, where you live, and your real estate agent’s fees.
Assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Assisted living can be fairly expensive, but these communities are often necessary for seniors living with dementia or other serious physical injuries and conditions. The average monthly cost of assisted living in the US is currently $4,300. Medicare will not cover such costs; however, there are some options for funding if you plan properly. For help determining costs in your state, use this long-term care calculator from AARP.
Long-term care insurance is a helpful tool that you should purchase as early as possible, as the price increases with age and infirmity. Other funding options include reverse mortgages, veterans benefits, and state and local organizations.
It’s important to anticipate and plan for your long-term care needs. An earlier start will provide you with a more secure future, not to mention the peace of mind that comes along with effective planning.
Are you looking at assisted living communities? Then it’s time to turn your attention to Whittier Glen Assisted Living. We provide a variety of lifestyle options, an abundance of space and a wealth of amenities. Reach out today to set up a tour!