“By Failing to Prepare, you Prepare to Fail” - Benjamin Franklin

As a senior, have you thought about what would happen if you were to suddenly become incapacitated? Who would take care of you and where would the care take place, in your home or in a nursing home? With less than half of all Americans today having an estate plan, is it any wonder that even fewer have planned for their long-term care needs. Long-term care planning addresses the need for a possible future where you may need to rely on another person each day due to physical or mental cognitive issues. This means, in simple terms, a time when you cannot safely care for yourself.

We speak with seniors and their loved ones each day on what it means to need long-term care and how to plan successfully to meet those needs.  We want to share some quick planning tips that can make a difference for Florida long-term care that you can use and begin to get the answers that you need.

1. Start planning now, do not put it off! When it comes to long-term care most people either do not plan at all or start planning too late. Of course, no one wants to think about a future that would involve the need for long-term care, but the best gift you can give yourself is to have a plan in place so that should the time come, you are prepared and not at risk.

2. Start researching long-term care, the cost of long-term care and how you can pay for it. Long-term care in any setting is expensive. So begin by looking at your finances. You can learn the cost for the type of care in our state by using this link from the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.  Become familiar with the different types of long-term care. Most people do not want to live in a nursing home, however, there are many steps in between nursing home care and home care. These steps range from homebase care to independent care to assisted-living care and skilled nursing home care, there are many options. You can use this link we want to share with you from the AARP website.

3. Start looking into long-term care insurance, now, before you need it. Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance that can provide financial assistance should you need long-term care. Find out now if long-term care insurance is an option for you.  In addition, if you have a new diagnosis or a chronic condition, speak freely with your doctor about what you should expect in the future. While your long-term care needs are unique to you, your doctor knows you and will be able to give you advice on what to understand and potentially plan for. You should not put off speaking with a long-term care insurance agent to learn more about what your options might be.

4. Speak with an experienced Florida elder law attorney who knows long-term care planning. An experienced elder law attorney will be able to advise you on what your options are for long-term planning in numerous circumstances. He will help you devise a plan to make sure you, your family, and what you care about most, is protected. In addition, your attorney can be sure your estate plan is up-to-date and reflects what you want. While it is not a long-term care plan, through your estate plan you can give legal authority for healthcare and financial decisions to another person that you trust. You can also designate this person or persons the authority to make decisions when you are not able to do so independently. Long-term care, the aging process, and family relationships are all complicated. Your experienced Florida elder law attorney is there to assist you in all your decisions in regard to your Florida long-term care and estate plan.

We know this list may seem daunting. We also know you may have more questions now that you have read it.  Our office is here to help you navigate the legal issues related to seeking and covering the cost of memory care. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

“Sandwich Generation” caregivers are adults who provide care for both their elder parents and their children at the same time. Maintaining close ties with younger and older family members can be immensely rewarding, but it can also take a serious toll. The stress of dedicating one’s time, energy and resources to dual caregiving responsibilities, on top of regular personal and professional priorities, can lead to depression, financial hardship and declining health.

This is a massive issue that continues to be pervasive as we enter into a new year. According to the National Caregiving Alliance, almost thirteen million Americans are currently caring for their children and parents. Sandwich adults are typically between the ages of forty and fifty years old, and work full-time.

In addition to often being unpaid, constant multi-tasking can be exhausting for these caregivers. Unfortunately, it may cause all kinds of negative impacts on multi-generational caregivers’ careers, finances and health, among other areas.

With American adults having children later in life, and life expectancy increasing among the elderly, middle-aged sandwich caregivers are likely to increase in size for years to come. Certain statistics are already staggering:

Members of the Sandwich Generation are more likely to struggle to find a healthy work-life balance than non-sandwich adults, for obvious reasons. Allowing for a flexible schedule and enlisting help from family members can be valuable coping strategies.

Most Sandwich Caregivers also do not anticipate their dual care responsibilities until their parents are in advanced age. While understandable, research shows that early planning, especially financial planning, can help alleviate later sandwich pressures.

We know the challenges that you face and we can offer solutions to help, whether you are an Older American living in Florida or a Sandwich Generation caregiver. Do not wait to talk to us and let us help you design a plan that will protect you in the new year, and in years to come.

We understand that planning for the end of life, a disability or aging can be complicated and emotional. We are here to help you.

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