A special "thank you" to Hazel Bridges who has written another informative article on long-term care.
Planning for long-term care can be tricky, to say the least; you never know what might happen in the next five or 10 years, and it can be difficult to think about financial planning when you’re unsure of what the future may bring. For seniors, however, it’s imperative to start thinking about how you might pay for your care should you need to stay in a hospital or nursing facility for an extended amount of time. Health insurance and Medicare are wonderful resources, but they only cover so much of the cost associated with long-term care.
For now, think about how to boost your savings and ensure that you are doing everything in your power to prevent issues down the road. This means making your health and mobility a priority and making changes to your home to make it more accessible. This will ensure that you are able to live in it longer, even if your health should fall into decline, and that you will stay safe.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to plan for long-term care.
Turn Your Home Into a Safe Haven
Prevention is one of the best ways to ensure that your health and safety are a priority. Making changes to your home is a great way to start, as it will help you remain there longer without the need for an assisted living facility. For example, you might add grab bars in the shower, place sturdy railings on both sides of the stairs, widen doorways to allow for medical equipment, add lighting to prevent falls, or remove loose rugs or carpeting that can be trip hazards. Think about what each room in your home needs in regard to safety and comfort, and do a little research to figure out what the cost will be to make the changes. Check out this guide for some great tips on which changes you should make and how to get started.
Know Your Policies
You may have a health insurance policy that will help pay for care down the road, but how much will it cover in the long term? Take a good look at your policy, and carefully read over your Medicare or Medicaid paperwork to see exactly what you will be responsible for should you need long-term or daily care due to an injury or major health issue.
Consider Selling Your Life Insurance Policy
If you need a large sum of money to cover care costs, or if you just want to pad your savings account, consider selling your life insurance policy or see if your policy offers a cash value option that would allow you to take money from the total benefit amount now. This will reduce the amount that your loved ones would receive in the event of your death, but it could be a viable option if you need cash to pay medical bills or to put aside for your future needs.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Along with the changes to your home, you can make changes to your lifestyle that will allow you to stay healthy, which, in turn, can possibly reduce the risk that you will need long-term care down the road. This includes eating right, getting daily exercise, and eliminating bad habits, such as smoking or using substances such as alcohol to excess.
Planning for long-term care does not have to be stressful. By starting now, you are on the right track toward ensuring that your healthcare needs won’t be overwhelming in the future. Make the necessary changes to help your body and mind stay healthy, and remember to ask for help when you need it.
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