Like many of life’s realities, the issues surrounding long term care and the need to plan for a possible long term care event are often something that people prefer not to talk about. According to a recent study by Genworth Financial, 8 out of 10 people have not communicated their long term care desires with their spouse or partner, children or other family. Many people think they won’t need care, or that their health insurance will cover them, but that is simply not the case. 70% of people who reach age 65 will need long term care services at some point in their lives. While talking about the need for care during a long term care event can be uncomfortable, keep these tips in mind to help the flow of the conversation:
- Try to be a good listener
- Outline your objectives, but keep the ability to go with the flow
- Don’t assume you have all the answers
- Be open to everyone’s wishes and desires
- Talk in person
Try to have a sense of humor if things get really uncomfortable. To help break the ice, here are some questions that can get the conversation rolling:
- What are the best and worst case scenarios for the next stages of your lives?
- How important is it to stay in your home if and when long term care is needed?
- What are your concerns about the future? Finances? Health? Family? Giving up the family home?
- Who would be your choice as caregiver? Your spouse? One of your children? A caregiver service?
- Do we have a current will, power of attorney, and other documents in place? Where are they located? Does a trusted friend or family member know where they are?
- What would you absolutely NOT want as part of your future plans?
After the talk, make sure you take action on the topics you covered. You may want to summarize what was discussed or decided, gather medical, legal and other financial records in one place and make sure a trusted family member or friend is aware of their location, educate yourself on different options for receiving and funding long term care and speak to someone who specializes in long term care planning. Our team of specialists at LTC Consumer are some of the best planners in the U.S. and help thousands of people per year with their long term care planning. Feel free to contact us today.