As you age, senior life care planning seems to bring up more questions than answers. If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness or disability, trying to plan for the future may feel paralyzing. Senior life care planning is about thinking and planning for your future with intention. It’s about making decisions that will serve you and your family best. It’s about maintaining control of your life and your future throughout your golden years.
What is Life Care Planning?
The goal of senior life care planning is to promote and maintain your health, safety and well-being. It’s about making decisions that will serve you and your family based on your current and future disabilities and/or health conditions. A life care plan is a document that puts your decisions on paper. This document helps you also cover the current and future costs that will be associated with your disabilities and/or health conditions. Life care planning is getting all your ducks in a row legally and before you are no longer able to do so.
How Much Does Care Planning Cost?
The cost of life care planning depends on how you do it. There are several options, the most common being 1) a lawyer 2) the DIY approach or 3) senior transition specialists
- Using a Lawyer: Elder law firms specialize in providing legal aid to the elderly or disabled. This is the most expensive option, but they do provide several areas of specialized services including:
- Medicaid Planning – $6000 estimated
- Estate Planning – $5000 and up depending on property/assets
- Social Care and Placement – $6000 estimated
- The DIY Approach: Of course, this is the least expensive approach, but may also be the least effective. You can work through the Medicaid hoops yourself – but the approval process and information can be confusing and cumbersome. Estate planning can be done on your own, but validating it in a court of law may be impossible. And of course, placement in a senior living facility requires time, research, and expertise that you likely do not have.
- Senior Transition Specialists: This gives you the best of both worlds with free transition services to help you find the best solution for your future. Senior Transition Specialists can give you expert advice for choosing a senior living community. They can also help you determine when you need a lawyer or whether there are other low cost/free services for both Medicaid and estate planning help. Patti Naiser at Senior Home Transitions can offer advice on elder law services, senior living communities, or any other questions you may have. Her advice is 100% free with no strings attached. Start your senior life care planning by giving her a call today.
What to Do If You Didn’t Plan for Senior Living Care
If you haven’t even thought about your future, you’re in good hands. Most seniors are in the same situation because it’s not something a lot of us enjoy thinking about it. Whether you never thought you’d need it, couldn’t afford it, or you were trying to save your money for your children – we can help you start wherever you are.
Fortunately, just like the variety in settings, styles, and amenities, senior living residences are available at a variety of price points.
Your first course of action should be to call the friendly team at Senior Home Transitions. We can help you plan for senior living from any point in the process. We will make sure you find the living situation that not only best fits your needs, but your budget as well.
Determining Your Budget for Senior Living Care
We work with families from unlimited to minimal budgets to find placements they are happy with. When we help you budget for life care facilities, we look at the whole picture. This includes your income, assets, medical expenses, insurance, and family needs. We also exhaust all options for pensions or assistance. Most seniors are not even aware that assistance programs are available. Proper financial planning and asset reallocation will assure every senior is taken care of. We can connect you with professionals who specialize in this area.
How to Save Your Money for Senior Living Care
If you do not have a strong savings fund, the cost associated with life care and senior living, can be a little startling. In recent years, the cost associated with senior care has only increased. Here are some easy steps to follow to help you save and protect your money for senior life care planning.
- Don’t sign up for any contests, sweepstakes, or “free” offers for anything.
- Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
- Protect your Social Security number. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone, mail or the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
- Don’t give out passwords for any of your accounts to anyone
- Don’t give out credit card numbers to any strangers.
- Never click on the link provided in an e-mail if you don’t recognize the sender. It may contain a virus that can contaminate your computer. If you believe the contact is legitimate, go to the company’s Website by typing in the site address directly or using a page you have previously bookmarked, instead of a link provided in the e-mail.
- Don’t be intimidated by an e-mail or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information. Don’t assume that people online are who they claim they are. Always be aware of being kept on the phone for a long time. Instead, get a phone number and call the person back.
- Be wary of promises of quick profits, offers to share “inside” information, and pressure to invest before you have an opportunity to investigate. Words like “guarantee,” “high return,” “limited offer,” or “as safe as a CD.” are red flags.
- Do business with people you know and take your time to make decisions.
- Be sure to talk over all financial decisions with a trusted family member, friend or financial adviser.
- Never act on a recommendation from your sales representative that you make a dramatic change in your investments or investment strategy.
- Watch out for any pressure to trade your account in a manner that is inconsistent with your investment goals and the risk you want or can afford to take.
- Do not believe any assurances from your sales representative that an error in your account is due solely to a computer or clerical error. Insist that the branch manager or compliance officer promptly send a written explanation and follow up to make sure the error is fixed.
How to Find the Best Senior Living Facility
What should you be on the lookout for when it’s time to find a senior living facility? The level of care you need will determine what type of senior living facility is best suited to take care of those needs. When researching your options, consider the following:
- Background Checks: For any facility you are considering, talk to both staff and residents. Check public records to find out which facilities might have violated codes governing cleanliness or patient care. Our senior transitional specialist take care of all of this for you.
- Budget: A lot depends on what you can afford. If you are dependent on Social Security income and government healthcare programs, your choice will be restricted to facilities that accept Medicaid and you may be sharing a room with someone else. If have a nest egg saved up and money is not an issue, you’ll have a lot more choices. The national average for assisted living base rates is $3,700 per month in 2019.
- Staff-to-Resident Ratio: There’s no set rule at what numbers are best, but if a place is understaffed, or overfilled – it usually results in poorer care. Try to get a gauge of your local facilities.
- Medical Services Onsite: It’s important to find a place that meets your medical needs (both current AND future). Some places have nurses who are limited in their ability to provide care while others employ a full-time medical staff. If you or your loved one seek higher care, this is an important element to investigate.
- Activities/Quality of Life: This may be determined by the desires of the individual. Do you like the outdoors and want nice green or flowery areas? Is there music? The goal is to have enough activities to prevent isolation, and social options to keep you happy and engaged.
- What is the food like? Tasty food is important, but how it is prepared is also important. For example, if you have high blood pressure, it’s important to have alternatives that are health conscious. Ask about what food options are offered and how it’s prepared.
- Are pets allowed? If you have a pooch partner or a kitty companion, you’ll want to ensure that those furry friends can accompany you in your new space.
Because there are so many questions and options to consider, it can be overwhelming. A Senior Care consultant who knows Louisville, KY and has deep ties with the myriad of facilities in the area. For example, Senior Home Transitions is owned by a Louisvillian, who doesn’t charge you a dime for assistance. It is a FREE senior-living referral service that works with you to navigate the choices, costs, and processes of finding the senior community best suited for you or your loved one.
Dealing with The Dynamics Between Caregiver and Family
Senior transitions represent a whole family transition. Oftentimes a caregiver reached the point that they need to place their loved ones in memory care or assisted living and others do not understand or agree. Other times the family disagrees completely on where their loved one should be living or what care they need.
Sometimes this comes from denial, sometimes it’s stemmed in financial concern, but most of the time it’s from lack of education. Loaded with good intentions, the result is often exhaustion, frustration, and strained relationships.
We fill in the gaps and help the entire family find the missing piece. The key is to find the right community. The perfect match relieves stress and actually provides an environment for relationships to flourish through encouragement and support.
A Note on Dementia/Memory Care: Family members who are trying to place a loved one experiencing dementia must keep in mind that although their loved one may seem as if they are just being obstinate, they simply may not have the ability to go through the reasoning process with you. It’s at this point that a family member may have to decide which may go against the loved one’s wishes. But, with education, family members can find some encouragement and support towards making this tough decision.
We Make Senior Care Planning Easy
The transition into a care facility can be the most emotionally difficult decision to make – and preparation helps. Patti Nasier at Senior Home Transitions is your go-to when it comes time to finding you or a loved one a senior care facility or start the senior life care planning process. She will make the process easy, stress free and even fun. Her free of charge service will ensure you or your loved one lives out their golden years in comfort and happiness. Call Patti today to start your senior life care planning process in the right direction.