The holidays: They’re all about taking time to eat, drink and just plain be merry with family and friends.
Since everyone will be together anyway, they’re also a great opportunity to start talking about long-term care for your parents or elderly loved ones.
The truth is there’s almost 100 per cent chance your family unit will eventually need to make decisions about long-term care.
In fact, 7 in 10 Americans over 65 will need long-term care at some point, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Whether you’re thinking about retirement homes or tag-teaming with your siblings to care for a relative, you can save yourself much stress down the road by hashing out sticky financial details now.
“Your Money” contributor Phil Moeller offers this advice:
“Understand what caregiving entails. There is a wide range of caregiving requirements based on the needs of the family member requiring care. If you’re a caregiver, it’s important to understand the care needs of the person you’re helping. People who are thrown into caregiving in a crisis report high levels of stress and anxiety about their roles.”
Before you broach the subject with your loved ones, financial advisor Denise Gott, of LTC Financial Partners, offers some important questions to consider:
1. If you, your spouse, mum or Dad, brother or sister, or another family member suddenly needs long-term care, how will it be paid for?
2. Have you looked into an insurance policy? If mum or Dad were to need long-term care suddenly, who would have the time to care for them personally if there’s no insurance to cover professional care?
3. Who has a spare room, or who could afford time away from work or family responsibilities?
4. What about the question of inheritance? Are you expecting something from mum or Dad to help with your kids’ college expenses?
5. Or if you’re the ageing mum or Dad, are you considering passing something on to your family? Long-term care expenses can quickly consume one’s assets, leaving little or nothing to bequeath.
6. Is Medicaid an option you’re considering for long-term care expenses? If so, remember that one must exhaust assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.