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Our Parents’ Future Care Needs Require Us to Plan Better!

A couple of weeks ago it was Groundhog Day! Word has it that our beloved groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring. That prediction sounds good until you understand that Phil is supposedly right only about 39% of the time. Apparently even Punxsutawney Phil can’t get it right even half of the time! Granted, we may plan better if we are not basing our plans on superstitions. People are not much better in our predictions as to whether our beloved, declining Seniors will need care before they die. 

We try to plan better, but since we are dealing with the unknown, it’s hard to develop a plan.  We can’t see the future. However, we can plan better as to what needs to be done if health does decline.  If your Mom is declining but still has capacity, it’s important to discuss certain things with her so as to be able to develop the best plan possible should her health decline to the point where she needs substantial assistance and care before she dies.  

Questions to Discuss with Mom & Family

  1. Does Mom want to stay at home even if she needs outside help?
  2. Are there any local family members who can provide help?
  3. Does Mom have the financial resources to pay for her own care?
  4. How much will that care cost?
  5. Will the money that she saved be enough?
  6. If her health declines even more, is she willing to go to a facility? 
  7. If she needs facility care, how will Dad be able to continue to support himself at home?

Communication is the key when you are trying to plan better. It’s also important to have conversations with local family members to see whether they are able and willing to provide assistance should it be needed. If Mom’s health is OK now local family members may agree to help if “ever needed” but be too busy to provide much assistance when the time comes. It’s true – people are busy with their families, their jobs and other activities. Even though they mean well, many have little time to devote substantial time to helping with Mom’s care. That’s why it’s important to have a Plan B in place. Plan B may involve outside caregivers or facility care in an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.

There are many factors to consider when making the determination as to which level of care is most feasible considering the circumstances at hand.

In our next blog, we will look at a Sustainability Chart to see how long the money will actually last under various circumstances.

Next Steps

Who can help you plan better than a professional? If you are in Arkansas, give us a call so we can help you create the best plan for your family. We will even give you a FREE 10-minute phone consultation, just click the button below. For our non-Arkansas readers, please reach out to a local Elder Law Attorney so they may help you plan better for the future.

We wish you luck in your planning journey and eagerly await your call. For those out-of-state, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. We will respond as soon as possible.