Planning long-term care can be overwhelming, especially when you first get started. It’s daunting for anyone to consider a future where you may need assistance with tasks we take for granted like grocery shopping or running errands, but many of us will need some level of help as we get older. For this reason, an elder law attorney's ability to help you craft an estate plan is an immensely valuable part of the long-term care planning process.
We’re going to take a look at the most important factors to consider when you’re planning long-term care and how an elder law attorney can help you do so.
Why You Should Start Early
To make this transition easier, it’s essential to start talking about long-term care before you actually need it. You’ll be better prepared and won’t have to make these substantial decisions in a hasty rush. Your health care provider will be able to direct you towards what level of medical care you may need, but what about everything else?
Preparing in advance gives you time to put all the puzzle pieces together, including finding an elder law attorney who can help you navigate all the legal matters at hand. This ensures that you’ll have all the care and assistance you need the exact moment you need it, instead of scrambling to get matters settled during a medical or personal crisis. You'll have sound peace of mind both now and moving forward.
What Factors Should I Consider?
When many people delve into long-term care planning, they focus on their medical care. This is a great first step; if you’ll need to be in an assisted living home or a nursing home, that’s a key part of the planning.
Other factors need to be considered, too—even if you aren’t planning on moving to a care facility. These include:
- Your support network.
- Who will be your primary support network? Will your family and close friends be able to provide the care you need? Would you benefit from relocating to a retirement community or assisted living home, where assistance is always available when you need it? Taking in your future care needs and who you trust are important.
- Your home.
- Some people might move to an assisted living facility, but many others decide to stay in their home. If you do, you’ll want to be able to answer questions like how you’ll be able to manage the up-keep of a home. You’ll also want to evaluate the home for any potential problems, like stairs or narrow hallways that aren’t wheelchair friendly.
- Transportation is often overlooked, but should be a huge consideration in long-term care planning. How will you get to your doctor appointments, or to the supermarket to pick up shampoo? See if your community has good public transportation that you can use when friends and family can’t drive you.
- Legal & financial decisions.
- This is an area where many struggle most with long-term care planning. We need to make legal and financial decisions to protect ourselves, our assets, and our families down the road. This includes deciding who would be in charge of decisions in a medical emergency and end of life care requests. It can also determine who will make your financial decisions and control your estate if you are one day unable to make these decisions. An elder law attorney can help you with all these decisions, along with the paperwork to make them legally binding.
How Can I Get Started?
It’s never too early to get started with long-term care planning, and we’re ready to help. Our elder law attorney in Denver can help you start the discussion of your long-term planning goals and ensure that your wishes are met and that you-- and your family-- are protected.