How to Get the Long-Term Care Talk Started

There are nearly 67 million Americans providing assistance to their spouse, relative, parent, or close relation. With this in mind, it is important to remember that both aging and the potential for specialized long-term care solutions are two topics that shouldn’t be put off for too long. However, before discussions begin, family members should gather all of the information needed to have an understanding, yet productive, conversation with aging loved ones.

The Long-Term Care Conversation Starts With Asking The Right Questions

Beginning the long-term care conversation is an important step that should be taken to protect loved ones as they enter the later stages of their lives. It starts with making sure that all of the people who need to be involved in the conversation are gathered together, that everyone is prepared to discuss things calmly, and most importantly that the loved one in question is ready to hear what the family has to say. To help have a productive conversation, the following types of questions could be asked.

What type of lifestyle changes and choices should be made now and in the future?

The long-term care conversation should include a discussion about any lifestyle changes or upcoming choices that the aging loved one will need to make going forward. Often times it is helpful for a medical provider to be present as the lifestyle changes are being discussed.

Remember to always be mindful of their needs and wishes. For example, if someone is speaking to their parents, then they will need to consider what kind of life they have lived up to this point. If they have lived an active lifestyle, but their health is starting to wane, then the conversation will need to be approached carefully.

Letting their doctor or a professional take the lead is often helpful. They will be able to use their medical history to show why certain changes need to be made. Whether it is their doctor delivering the news or a loved one taking the helm, remember that it is far less jarring to suggest small or gradual changes, than it is to encourage drastic or immediate changes.

What are the optimal long-term care solutions?

By planning ahead, the optimal long-term care plan for a loved one can be discovered. With this in mind, many families find it helpful to have a financial advisor or planner present as they discuss care options with their loved ones. Below are some of the high costs that will have to be carefully weighed as long-term care solutions are discussed.

  • The average cost or a part-time in-home aide is approximately $21,840 per year.
  • The average cost of a semi-private nursing home in the United States is approximately $78,110 per year.
  • The costs of medical devices that might be needed as a loved one ages must also be considered.

Are legal documents and insurance coverage up to date?

When offering the loved one help to plan for their future, one must make sure that all of the necessary insurance paperwork and legal documents are up to date. This means that the status of the following items needs to be determined:

  1. Is their will up to date? Additionally, is there a living will?
  2. Has the power of attorney already been filed? If applicable, is there a secondary or joint medical power of attorney?
  3. Are there any medical wishes or beliefs that the loved ones have, which might impact their future medical treatment(s)?
  4. Does the loved one have Medicare? Do they have additional insurance coverage? Keep in mind that most Medicare plans only pay for short-term rehabilitative care rather than long-term care solutions.
  5. Are the insurances on the loved one’s car(s) and home(s) up to date?

Atkinson’s Pharmacy Can Help With Long-Term Care

As people age, their medication and prescription needs might change. Atkinson’s Pharmacy has a long history of providing Jacksonville area assisted living communities, hospice care centers, and residents of skilled nursing with the valuable medication services that they require. To learn more about how Atkinson’s Pharmacy can help those that require long-term care, contact a team member today.