Long Term Care Planning

Maybe you’ve heard of long term care insurance but haven’t had time to research exactly what it is. Perhaps you think it’s a benefit you get through work. Or your plate is full and you figure it’s one of those things you can put off until you’re closer to retirement. But planning for long term care needs is just like planning for retirement. You can start early and achieve your goals. Or, you can fail to plan, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.

Generally, long term care is thought of as housing, medical and home care services that will be most likely required as an individual ages. Some examples of costs that commonly occur that could be included are:

• Modifications to your residence (such as wheelchair ramps or grab bars)
• Ongoing care by moving to assisted living, senior housing or a nursing home (Monthly rent can be more costly than maintaining your house – nursing home care can run over $10,000/month)
• Requiring more medical intervention (such as help managing medications, physical therapy, more frequent hospitalization, surgery, medicines)
• Requiring home care services to allow one to remain at home (such as assistance with bathing, toileting or home tasks. These costs vary depending on the amount of care needed)

Sometimes we don’t even think about how we will budget for such needs. As they come up, we figure out how we will pay for them. In fact, there are several ways to pay for these items:

1. Your own accumulated assets, such as savings and investments
2. Reverse mortgage (It’s possible to borrow up to 60% of the equity in your house. No repayment need be made; rather, payoff occurs upon death or sale of the property. The rules around these are complex and specific.)
3. Health care spending accounts
4. Long term care insurance

All of these methods require advance planning and investment. To pay for long term care through your own accumulated assets, you need to have been saving.

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Maintain Bone Density to Prevent Broken Bones

A broken hip can be devastating. It’s imperative to maintain bone health to avoid breaks and prevent bone loss. Help the older adult in your life to follow these five tips to preserve bone health.

1. Get enough vitamin D

Vitamin supplements are readily available at your local pharmacy, but many doctors recommend “eating” your vitamins through diets of vitamin-rich foods. Some foods that are good sources of vitamin D are herring, sardines, salmon, tuna, liver, eggs, and fortified milk. Stock your older loved one’s kitchen  with milk, eggs, canned herring and sardines, and browse our healthy recipe board on Pinterest for recipes featuring these foods rich in vitamin D. Read more

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