Our goal at Cardinal is to convince you to get a plan in place for long term care. We want to leave the numbers, prices, and statics out of it, today we just want to talk about the basic core need of planning in this area
If you end up needing long term care, the emotional, physical, and financial consequences to your family are devastating.
Long Term Care: Emotional, Physical, and Financial Consequences of Care
Questions to ask about your long term care plan:
Before you start coming up with a plan for long term care, you need to ask yourself, your spouse, or your parents (if you are doing the long term care planning for them) a few questions.
- Might you, or your spouse, live a long time in retirement?
- If you live a long time, is it possible you might need care over a number of years?
The answers to questions are the same for almost everyone, even if you don’t want to admit it.
- It is very possible, even if you have health conditions, that you, and/or your spouse, are going to live a long time. We have clients come to us all the time saying everyone in their family died young, or that they won’t live past 70, and the fact of the matter is we just don’t know. You don’t know when you’re going to die, so there is a very large possibility that you will live a long time in retirement.
- If you live a long time, it is absolutely possible that you are going to need some type of care. The older you live, the more likely you are to need care. The most common rebuttal we get to this question is something along the lines of they would rather die than need care, or they will never go to a nursing home and their kids will just take care of them. The problem is that there is no guarantee that you will die before needing care, or that your children will be in a position to take care of you.
Long term care is too uncertain to not have a plan for.
Emotional consequences of long term care on your family
If you do live a long time, and you might, and you end up needing care, and you might, not having a plan really puts the bulk of the stress on your loved ones.
When long term care is needed, typically it happens all of a sudden, it is not slowly happening over time. People do not know what to do when their spouse, or mom, or dad end up in this situation.
The reality of the situation is that if you end up needing care, you are not really going to be the one making decisions about the care if you don’t have a plan in place. Your spouse or your children will be making these decisions, which means they will also carry the stress of having to make these decisions.
They will also have the huge responsibility of figuring out how to pay for this care. Having some type of plan in place saves your loved ones from the stress and burden of having to make decisions about your care in the middle of a crisis. It gives them a roadmap to follow so that your wishes are carried out.
Listen to learn more about our long term care planning process:
Physical consequences of long term care on your family
When a long term care crisis occurs, and there is no plan in place, there are also physical consequences to your family.
As we mentioned above, the stress that comes from making these decisions can be highly detrimental to their physical health.
Not only that, but time and time again it is shown that when you start taking care of someone else, you start neglecting yourself. We have clients come in all the time where one spouse really needed professional home healthcare but did not want to hire anyone for whatever reason. Their spouse started providing this care instead.
In the end, the spouse doing the caregiving ends up getting sick themselves. They either get hurt trying to physically lift their partner, or they get sick from a lack of sleep, or lack of eating, or just not having enough time to take care of their physical health.
Having a plan in place, where you get the professional help you need right when you need it, can save your family members from the physical consequences of long term care.
Financial consequences of long term care on your family
Too often we just talk about the financial part of long term care because it’s safe, but a lot of the emotional and physical are driven by the financial – if you have a plan in place to hire professionals it saves your family from the pain that comes with no plan. (If you do want to learn more about long term care insurance and what that costs, we would be happy to get that information over to you.)
There are times when it doesn’t even just affect your financials. Many times we see families where an adult child had to quit their job to care for a parent. They lose a huge amount of income and are sometimes unable to get back into the job market when the time comes.
A long term care plan, even one limited to 1 to 2 years, turns a crisis into a manageable event. If you do not have personal experience with this, ask a friend who has been through it with a spouse or parent. Even a plan for how to pay for this care for 1 year makes a world of difference.
A long term care plan is not having insurance, a long term care plan is having everyone on the same page, making sure all the legal documents are in place, and the right person or child is made to be the decision maker. Cardinal can help you do this, this is our speciality, helping you realistically figure out how long term care fits into your larger retirement picture.