Planning for your own long-term care is a daunting task and may not be pleasant, but it remains essential. Let’s take a look at how you can look after yourself and your future:
- You’ll never know for certain if you’ll need long-term care, and maybe you’ll never need it. But an unexpected illness, an injury or an accident can change everything, sometimes suddenly. The best time to think about long-term care is before the need calls for it.
- People with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive diseases need to begin planning for long-term care as soon as possible.
- Planning for the possibility of long-term care gives you enough time to come to know about the services in your community and what the costs are like for them. Planning ahead gives you the time to make important decisions while you’re still fit and able to.
When thinking about long-term care, it’s very important to also give thought to where you will live as you grow older and how the place of your residence can best support your needs if you no longer can take care of yourself fully.
Most seniors prefer to stay in their own home for as long as possible. If that’s the case with you, make sure you learn all you can about services, products and resources that can help older adults stay in their homes.
Decisions about your health
Give good thought to what would happen to you if you become seriously ill or disabled. Talk to your family and friends about who could provide care if you would need help for a long period of time.
On the other hand, you can prevent or delay the need for long-term care by staying fit, healthy and independent. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your family and medical history and lifestyle. Your doctor will then suggest steps you can take to improve your health.
Regular exercise, healthy eating habits and staying away from harmful habits like alcohol consumption and smoking can help you greatly in staying healthy. And so will a safe home, regular health care and an active social life.
Talking to your family about long-term care
It can be a very difficult decision to make about whether you or your loved one needs to leave home. Sometimes decisions about where to care for an aging family member needs to be made quickly, like when a sudden injury calls for a new care plan. Other times, a family will have some time to look for the best place to care for an elderly relative.
You may even have had a conversation with an aging loved one where they asked you not to put them in a nursing home. Many of us want to stay in our own home but not agreeing to a nursing home option may close the door to the right care option for your family. The truth is that for some illnesses and for some