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When You Need Care

caretakerAs America ages, more people are confronting the challenges of finding and paying for adequate long term care. Baby Boomers, in particular, face this challenge on two fronts as they care for aging parents while considering their own potential future care. This potential challenge needn’t become a crisis if you prepare accordingly.

WHAT IS CARE?

While some people think of the extreme type of care typically provided in nursing homes, most long term care looks quite different. Care can be as unobtrusive as family, friends or a professional caregiver helping with household chores, cooking or yard work. Or, you might make bathrooms and other areas of your house more accessible as you age without needing the help of others.

The next step up in care may include a visiting nurse. Or consider a community service provider, which could provide meals and activities for you and your peers. Either approach allows you to continue living in your home. And when more care is needed, assisted living communities are another step up in care. Nursing home care is needed only for the most acute care conditions.

PREPARING FOR CARE

Creating a strategy that deals with several care scenarios may ensure you and your loved ones aren’t surprised if and when care is needed. Include family in any discussions about care, detailing who will provide help at which point and how to pay for it.

From a legal standpoint, you will want to consult an attorney to ensure you have a will, powers of attorney for healthcare and financial situations, and an advanced directive. Financially, you may periodically put money away to pay for potential care, consider long term care insurance to help defray some costs or adopt a combination of approaches.

Talk to an insurance professional to learn more about how to prepare for potential long term care expenses.

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