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How should you plan for long-term care?

If you are an older Wisconsin resident, you may be thinking about health care options for yourself and/or your partner. If you sustain an injury from an accident or end up with a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's disease, you may end up needing long-term care. Even if you never end up requiring this type of health care, planning for it may provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

The National Institute on Aging estimates that approximately 70% of people over 65 years old will need a form of long-term care at some point in their lives. The NIA provides essential information on how to effectively plan for long-term care. You may first want to consider ways in which your personal circumstances may affect your health care needs. For example, if you have an existing medical diagnosis or a family history of certain conditions, it may increase your chances of needing long-term care.

There are several aspects to planning for long-term care. Your financial situation may significantly impact the options open to you. Housing and health care are often extremely expensive, so you may want to determine if you have access to financial assistance, such as Medicaid or veterans' benefits. The details of your family situation may also impact your plan for long-term care. For example, if you have family members close by who are willing and able to support you, there is a good chance you may be able to live in your own home instead of an assisted care facility. Once you know what your long-term care plan looks like, you may want to create legal documents such as a living will and durable power of attorney to ensure your caregivers comply with your wishes.

This information on long-term care is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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