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Long-term care planning: 5 first steps

Long-term care planning: 5 first steps

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Acknowledging that an aging loved one needs additional support, either physically or with simple tasks of daily living, is a significant step for a family. However, it is the next step that can be the most challenging: What do I do now?

Here are five suggestions that can help your family on the road to long-term care planning:

1. Understand your options.

When it comes to a long-term care plan, there are some basic options with which you should be familiar. A video series on housing options for seniors explains the levels of care available and can help start a conversation with your family on short- and long-term care options.

2. Take advantage of free online resources.

The Internet is full of information on senior care and aging, but sorting through the dense web of resources can be overwhelming. Free, downloadable resources from the book “Stages of Senior Care” are a good place to start. They cover topics such as senior choices, aging in place, and family care. You will also find links to multiple senior support organizations that may prove helpful in your research.

3. Explore local resources.

There is nothing quite as comforting in a difficult situation as speaking face-to-face with someone who truly understands. Seek out senior support organizations or caregiver groups in your area, and find out what programs they offer. You may consider scheduling a free consultation with a local Home Instead Senior Care professional. They will listen carefully to your questions and provide helpful information tailored to your unique needs.

4. Take a financial inventory.

Perhaps one of the most important first steps in long-term care planning is to assess your family’s financial needs and resources. Long-term care can be quite expensive, but there are options and resources available to help you determine the best course of action for your family’s unique needs. An article by care expert David Troxel provides a helpful overview of the financial considerations of long-term care planning for both Alzheimer’s care and other senior care patients.

5. Get Advice from Others.

You’re not the first person to have aging loved ones, and you won’t be the last. Ask your friends what they’re doing to plan, or start a discussion with caregivers on Facebook who belong to the Caregiver Stress Relief community or the Remember for Alzheimer’s community.

If you would like to learn how home care services can be part of your long-term care plan, and the costs involved, schedule a free consultation with your local Home Instead Senior Care office.


Monica Kuhns owns and operates Home Instead Senior Care in Lincoln.


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