Are you planning to discuss long-term care with your parents during the holiday season?  What exactly is long-term care planning?  The National Institute on Aging defines long-term care planning as steps to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a long or short period of time. With the help of these services, people may be able to live as independently and safely as possible even though they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.

Both personal wishes and financial means impact the type of estate planning best suited for a person. The following are some helpful questions to ask your parents this holiday season to determine what type of long-term care planning may be best for them.

Do your parents want to live in assisted living or do they want to remain in their home? Assisted living can offer a wide range of amenities that may make it an attractive option to some. Other times, people want to stay in their own home at all costs.

Do your parents want to stay in their home at all costs?  What needs to be done to help them remain in their home as long as possible and remain safe? This may involve discussing modifications to the home to make it safer and easier to move around. It may also involve a discussion as to part-time in-home care help or possibly having a family caregiver move in with them or make daily visits.

Do your parents still safely operate their car? The holidays can be a good time to check in and see how your parents have been doing in their day to day lives. As delicately as possible, ask them about driving. Have they been feeling anxious about driving? Have there been any car accidents, even minor ones? These can be signs that it may be time for your parents to stop driving and discuss alternate means of transportation.

Do your parents have any plans for how to pay for a nursing home if the need should arrive? Medicare may cover a short stay in a nursing home, but beyond that, your parents will need to cover the cost. Do they have the money or long-term care insurance? Medicaid planning can be done to preserve the assets of your parents and make them eligible for Medicaid to cover the cost.

Do your parents have someone who will handle their financial matters? As people age, they are more prone to a medical event, such as a stroke, which can leave them mentally incapacitated without warning. A durable power of attorney can be an important legal instrument to have executed and will give the designated person access to bank accounts and allow them to make financial decisions. Ask your parents about what plans they have in place for the management of their affairs in the future.

Do your parents need assistance locating a qualified elder law attorney? Once you have had the conversation with your parents regarding long-term care planning, they should locate a qualified elder law attorney to help with long-term care planning.

Knowing that there is a long-term care plan in place, your parents will be able to enjoy their golden years. Our office is available to help. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.