I always love to see major media outlets shine a light on elder care. Not long ago, “The Today Show” aired a wonderful segment about long-term care, encouraging young people to take it seriously and start learning about it now.
Carol Levine, author of Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies, joined the hosts to talk about the changing face of long-term care in the United States.
“The newer approach to long-term care is really not your grandmother’s long-term care,” Levine explained. Today’s approach differs from the previous generations in a few key respects. Generally speaking, she says, these include:
- A wider range of options
- Longer time periods, as people live longer
- Care plans that are based on what people need, not on institutions’ needs.
But some things don’t change. Long-term care is still confusing and still very expensive. “Today” cited costs that span from $40,000 to $75,000 a year —sometimes higher. Often, it’s the families that end up paying for most or all of that.
Levine’s basic advice is golden. Do your homework, she says, and begin now.
She suggested starting small. Make your parents’ homes safer, more accessible, and more fall-proof. Falls often trigger an early need for elder care.
From there, you can start to put together a financial plan that might include savings accounts, trusts, long-term care insurance, retirement funds, health insurance, and more.
Like most things in life, long-term care is a mountain best scaled one stone at a time. Starting early is the key. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or have any questions whatsoever, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and ask. I’m more than happy to help.