You don’t know for sure if you’ll need long-term care. Perhaps you’ll never need it. However, an unexpected injury or illness can occur suddenly and change your needs. In fact, research suggests that about half of Americans aged 65 and above will, at some point in their lives, develop a disability severe enough to necessitate long term care and support.

If these statistics are anything to go by, it goes without saying that the best time to plan for long-term care is now. The following are the 5 crucial steps for long-term care planning:

  1. Evaluate your future health
    Whether you’ll need long-term care or not will largely depend on your future health. Therefore, it’s important that you assess your probability of contracting certain health conditions. There are several things that will have an impact on your future health, including:

    • Your gender: Studies indicate that women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease compared to men.
    • Family history: If your parents or grandparents had chronic conditions, you may have a genetic risk to get them.
    • Lifestyle choices: If you are obese, have a poor diet, abuse substances or smoke, your odds of a healthy future are greatly reduced.
    • Current health problems: If you have health problems or have had an accident resulting in bodily injuries, your health and mobility in future is likely to be impacted.

    It’s not too soon to evaluate your future health and to plan for long-term care needs. So, do it now.

  2. Take actions to improve your health
    While some things (such as gender and family history) cannot be changed, there are certain things (such as lifestyle choices) that you can change in order to prevent or delay future health problems. The actions that you should take to improve your current and future health include regular exercising, healthy eating, improving your sleep hygiene, and avoiding bad eating, drinking and smoking habits. If you have a medical or family history, be sure to talk to your doctor so he can advise you on the actions to take to improve your health. It’s also important to visit your doctor as soon as any health problem emerges.
  3. Learn about long-term care options
    You’ll also need to consider where you’ll live as you age. If you prefer in-home long-term care, you should search for the best agency that provides long-term care in Palos Verdes Peninsula. There are various other long-term care options for seniors that you can explore. They include assisted living, adult day care, and skilled nursing. You should learn about each of these options so that you can determine which one is more ideal for your situation.
  4. Plan for long-term costs
    Long-term care can be costly. So, you have to decide early enough how you’ll pay for long-term care. You have to decide whether you’ll pay with:

    • Personal funds, including savings or retirement benefits
    • Grants from family members and friends
    • Long-term care insurance
    • Veterans’ benefits
    • Services through the Older Americans Act
    • Deferred lifetime annuity
  5. Be sure to consult a financial adviser so you can be advised on how you can plan to pay for long-term care costs.

While majority of individuals who need long-term are above 65, it doesn’t necessarily mean that long-term care is limited to seniors. Reports reveal that about 40% of people requiring long-term care are younger than the age of 65. So, it’s best to plan for long-term care now so that you can have peace of mind and a much more secure future.