Those preparing for retirement in Georgia, as well as anyone putting together a comprehensive estate plan, may benefit from addressing the possibility of long-term care needs. No one wants to imagine themselves becoming dependent on others again, but that is reality for many older adults as their health declines.
Many people eventually need to move into nursing homes or require extensive support to remain in their own homes, and they aren’t necessarily be able to count on Medicare to cover those costs. Long-term care planning is, therefore, as important as estate planning for many older adults. These are some of the considerations that someone likely needs to address during the long-term care planning process.
Covering nursing home costs
Even a shared room in a nursing home will cost more than $6,000 every month on average as of 2023 in Georgia. Although some older adults may only require a year or two of nursing home support, it can be very difficult to cover those costs with personal resources. Planning to qualify for Medicaid is often an important part of the long-term care planning process.
Contemplating future incapacity
The idea that one would require not just medical support but also assistance with the management of their daily life is hard to accept. However, the consequences of aging often include health issues like dementia that will diminish someone’s ability to provide for their own needs in their golden years. Durable powers of attorney can help ensure that an older adult has control over who handles their financial and medical matters.
Clarifying preferences concerning medical care
Every individual has their own personal sense of ethics and preferences related to what kind of medical treatment they would receive. Putting together an advance directive that outlines one’s preferences in detail is an important step for those who feel strongly about issues like pain management or life support.
Those who take the time to address long-term care needs while they still have the legal capacity to do so can then approach their golden years with the peace of mind that comes from knowing they already have taken the necessary steps to protect themselves. As a result, having a plan for long-term care needs can be as valuable as having a plan for one’s finances and legacy.