Are you financially ready?
One of the most overlooked parts of end of life planning is the financial side. Everyone does their best to plan for retirement, but often they do not think about how they will be able to afford caregiving later in life. Some studies show that 1 in 3 American's have absolutely nothing saved for retirement! With he average social security check around $1300 a month, that means that if you don't find ways to pay for your own care you can easily find yourself not in an ideal situation.
One solution is to look into insurance options such as long term care plans. These plans allow you to pay reasonable premiums for insurance policies that help you pay for care later in life. One important thing to look for is if the plan will pay for a caregiver in the home or if it only covers moving into a facility. If your plan is to age in place, it is very important to make sure your financial plan allows you to do so. And like most insurance policies, the earlier you buy the policy the lower your premiums will be. Make sure you connect with an insurance professional that can help you review the possible plans available to you.
Can you stay in your home?
Most people desire to stay in their home as long as possible. Aging in place is a lifestyle choice that most Americans try their best to plan for. But in order to do so, you must look at what it really takes to stay in your home. Sometimes that means home modifications, but often it's all about the level of care.
Very often we hear people tell us that their daughter or family member will be caring for them when they are older, but the reality is that isn't always an option. Many families live across the country or have work obligations that won't allow you to get the level of care needed to age in place.
Connecting with a reputable home care agency can open up a whole new host of services. Working with professionals not only means that you have a pool of reputable caregivers at your disposal, but they can also connect you with social workers, home modification specialists, elder care attorneys, and other services such as Meals on Wheels that allow you to stay in your home! Having a professional company helping you navigate all the available resources can be invaluable.
What can you do now?
As you can see, end of life planning can be very overwhelming. There are so many options and unknown scenarios that it may seem like it's impossible to plan for. Start the conversation as early as possible. You would rather make these decisions while you are healthy, than be unprepared when the time comes. Even if you have no need for caregiving, reach out to a local home care agency and ask them for resources and tips. They can connect you with the people you need to take the first steps.