While people may not like to think of themselves as growing older, it’s important to recognize that aging is simply a fact of life. Advances in medicine and healthcare have allowed the population to live longer than ever before. Plus, more people recognize the need for a healthy, active lifestyle as they age, which can help them avoid illnesses and injuries that previously affected the older generation.
Living longer means that planning for the future is more vital than ever. Older adults need to start considering how their needs may change as they continue down the path of aging, and what type of lifestyle they plan to lead.
Planning for Long Term Senior Care
Preparing for long term senior care consists of more than just the financial aspect, although thinking about how to pay for senior care is extremely important, too. Too many people have no idea how they’ll take care of themselves or loved ones in their old age. However, the best time to start thinking about long term care is before you actually need it.
Planning for your future now, while you’re still in good health and can make your wishes be known, can give you time to learn about all your options, do some senior community research, and start making decisions. Your preparation should include:
- Having a conversation with loved ones. While there’s no exact time to start thinking about your long term care needs, having the conversation with your spouse or loved one about your wishes is important before a sudden illness or unexpected event occurs. It’s reported that 75% of adults never have a conversation about long term senior care with loved ones, and almost the same percentage wouldn’t know what to do if a loved one needed care. Talk to your family about who will provide the care should you need extra assistance; too often caregivers are thrown into their role by unforeseen circumstances.
- Assessing your healthcare needs, now and in the future. Because adults are living longer than ever, it’s highly likely that you will need at least some form of care in your later years even if you are in peak physical condition now. Decide if downsizing and moving into a senior community would help provide peace of mind for you and your family that all your future healthcare needs will be met, or if another form of care would better fit your lifestyle.
- Considering your financial situation and preparing for the cost of care. The cost of long-term senior care is on the rise and will continue to get more expensive. Know the financial options available and how you can start saving for the cost of senior care.
- Creating a living will. Be prepared legally for the future, too. A living will, or advance directive, is a legal document that will spell out your wishes for end of life care should you become incapacitated and unable to express them yourself.
The sooner you begin planning for long term senior care, the sooner you’ll be prepared for any changes that may come. Your decisions about housing, your health and finances are all important considerations, as you can never be too prepared for the future.
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.