How to Plan Ahead for Long-Term Care

It can be difficult and frightening to plan for your or your loved one’s long-term care, especially when there is currently no signs of needing care. Many people adopt an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality to care planning, only seeking help when immediate solutions are necessary. However, last-minute organization can be detrimental to you and your loved ones, causing stress and frustration, limiting available resources, and preventing you or your loved ones from receiving quality and timely care that can make all the difference in recovery or continued quality of life.
If you or a loved one become ill, disabled, or otherwise unable to manage your own affairs, it is important to have previously communicated desires and needs in long-term care and/or medical treatment, and all of the legal and financial entailment of either.
When planning for caregiving, especially long-term care, a personal representative must be designated to handle each of the following tasks:

  • Knowledge of availability and placement into long-term care facilities in the area
  • Coordination of medical or hospice services
  • Understanding Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits
  • Understanding the complexity of end-of-life decisions
  • Being able to  champion YOUR needs and advocate for benefits
  • Overseeing the delivery of long-term care services
  • Being the “point” person for communication with friends and family
  • Responsibility for arrangements at and after death

It is also important to consult with and designate a trusted associate to handle your legal and financial affairs, including:

  • Preparing and administering budgets
  • Safeguarding finances and assets
  • Reporting to courts and other authorities as needed
  • Creating inventories of goods and assets (and overseeing subsequent distribution of assets as dictated in legal documents)
  • Coordinating financial arrangements with financial institutions
  • Filing closing tax returns
  • Preparing and filing Trustee documents as required

You may also find the Guide to Choosing a Long-Term Care Setting