As you prepare to sit down with your extended family in three weeks to celebrate Thanksgiving, keep in mind that November is also National Long Term Care Awareness Month. This observation month was developed in 2001 by the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, and the goal was to encourage people to develop a plan for retirement, to protect their wealth and their relationships, and to look into long term care insurance. While it may be an awkward conversation to start, it’s an important one to have.
Family Caregivers Month
We don’t think it’s a coincidence that National Long Term Care Awareness Month coincides with National Family Caregivers Month. With 83% of help to older adults being provided by friends or family members, maybe someone in your family is already a caregiver. Send them a special shout-out this month and make sure they know how very appreciated they are. Understand that their life may be even more difficult than you realize. Also let them know that there are resources available to help them out should they be reaching the end of their rope.
“The important part of retirement planning is to have a plan.”
Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
November is also National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Sensing a theme yet? More than five million people suffer from this form of dementia and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. To honor the cause people will often make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association, participate in a walk, or bring awareness to the cause by talking about their family’s experience. You could also volunteer at a care facility or make some holiday treats for the residents.
Having “The Talk”
While all the siblings are gathered in one place, ask older parents and relatives how they envision their retirement. Do they want to sell the childhood home and explore the country in a Winnebago? Are they planning on moving in with you? Can they even afford to retire at all? Ask them if they’ve heard of long term care insurance or looked into coverage. If they’re curious, they can speak to a specialist to find out if it’s a good option for their plans. If they don’t feel ready to speak to someone, and wish to do a bit of research first, here are a few good starting points:
- What is Long Term Care Insurance?
- How to Qualify for Long Term Care Insurance
- Cost of Long Term Care Insurance
- Guides and Resources on Long Term Care
The Importance of a Plan
The important part of retirement planning is to have a plan. When it comes to long term care insurance not everyone can afford it, not everyone qualifies, and not everyone needs it. That’s why it’s important to research it, talk to your family and support system, and speak to a specialist. Together you can chat about your goals, examine your finances, and discuss any health questions. A specialist will be your guide, will recommend the best plan of action, and will be with you every step of the way. Be sure to start the conversation and set the plan in place this Thanksgiving with your family by participating in Long Term Care Awareness Month this year.