Have you thought about talking to your loved ones about long-term care? While it can be a difficult subject to raise with your loved ones, having a conversation about long-term care planning can be extremely important. It may not seem urgent if your loved ones are aging in good health, but more than half of American adults will require long term care at some point in their lives. There can be many different factors that could contribute to your loved one being part of this group. So, take the time this holiday season to talk about the possibility. Here are five ideas to keep in mind when you do.

1. Start the conversation before time is of the essence. It can actually be better to start talking about long term care planning before your loved ones are in critical need of immediate care. Knowing your options well ahead of time can give everyone the ability to consider each possibility carefully and make a thoughtful, informed decision about contingency plans for if and when long term care is actually needed.

2. Know the rules. Understand the financial aspect of long-term care and how Medicare may contribute to costs for your loved ones. In addition, check into whether they could qualify for additional assistance from Medicaid.

3. Get a clear financial picture. Do your loved ones have the ability to cover their own long-term care costs if it becomes necessary? Could they benefit from purchasing a long-term care insurance policy? If so, now may be a good time to look into the options.

4. Listen to concerns. You may come into the conversation with an agenda in mind and lots of important issues to cover. Your intentions are good! If your loved one has already had a chance to think things over, however, sit back and listen to what he or she has to say before getting too bogged down into your own checklist. After all, it is his or her life that is the subject of discussion. 

5. Seek support from other relatives. Your siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, or even your own children can be good sources of support and advice. If any of them work in a health-related field, they may be able to offer specific guidance in long-term care planning that is unique to their profession. 

Our office can guide a family through their estate planning options. Please contact our office today to schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum.