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Planning for Long-term Care of an Aging Family Member

Older Person holding a sign that reads "Long-term Care"
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No one wants to envision spending their later years living in a nursing home or being dependent on the help of others to live at home, yet most Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives.

To start the planning process, here are some important steps:

  • Think about your ultimate goals for where you want to live and how you will receive care, should you need it.
  • Consider your unique needs, such as risk factors for long-term care. Risk factors include age, gender, disability, health status and living situation.
  • Understand the range of long-term care services and supports, including home care, adult day care, assisted living and nursing homes.
  • Do the research so you know the costs of long-term care services in your community.
  • Determine what financial resources you have to cover long-term care and address any gaps in financing before you need it.

The best time to plan is when you are healthy and have time to plan. The earlier, the better, just like with financial retirement planning. Planning for long-term care needs is not just about you. It is really a family plan because it impacts the lives of those who care about you, too.

Source: Jane Strommen, NDSU Extension Gerontology Specialist 

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