Thanksgiving is a time to be with family, friends, and loved ones and take a look at all there is to be thankful for.  It’s during this time that you also may be seeing relatives who you haven’t seen in a long time, and you may realize that sadly, Grandma is having trouble walking around, or Grandpa isn’t following conversations quite like he used to.  While it’s important to spend this special time with loved ones appreciating the time together, it is also a good idea to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to a long term care event.

There is good reason that people are hesitant to talk about long term care.  No one likes to think about a time when you are no longer able to live independently.  The truth is, 70% of people who reach age 65 will need long term care services at some point in their lives.  If you can have a plan for this possibility, you will gain peace of mind and reduce stress in the long run.

Keep these tips in mind when you start the conversation about long term care with a loved one:

  • 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.