During this holiday season, will you be visiting your parents? Are you planning to discuss long-term care with your parents? What exactly is long-term care planning? The National Institute on Aging defines long-term care planning as steps to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a long or short period of time. With the help of these services, people may be able to live as independently and safely as possible even though they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.

The type of estate plan best suited for a person is definitely impacted by his or her wishes and finances. To begin the conversation with your parents, let us share some helpful questions to ask them this holiday season to determine what type of long-term care planning may be best for them.

Do your parents want to live in assisted living or do they want to remain in their home? Assisted living can offer a wide range of amenities that may make it an attractive option to some. Do your parents want to stay in their home at all costs? What needs to be done to help them remain in their home as long as possible and remain safe? Does their home need to be remodeled to make it safer and easier to move around? Should there be a discussion about part-time in-home care help or the need to have a family caregiver move in with them or make daily visits.

Do your parents still drive? As delicately as possible, ask them about driving. Have they been feeling anxious about driving? Have there been any car accidents, even minor ones? These can be signs that it may be time for your parents to stop driving and discuss alternate means of transportation.

Do your parents know how they would pay for a nursing home if the need should arise? Medicare may cover a short stay in a nursing home, but beyond that, your parents will need to cover the cost. Do they have the money or long-term care insurance? Medicaid may be an option. Medicaid planning may preserve the assets of your parents and make them eligible for nursing home coverage.

Who will handle the financial matters of your parents? As people age, they are more prone to a medical event, such as a stroke, which can leave them mentally incapacitated without warning. A durable power of attorney can be an important legal instrument to have executed and will give the designated person access to bank accounts, allow them to make financial decisions and pay bills. Ask your parents about what plans they have in place for the management of their affairs in the future.

Do your parents need assistance locating a qualified elder law attorney? Once you have had the conversation with your parents regarding long-term care planning, they should locate a qualified elder law attorney to help with long-term care planning.

Knowing that there is a long-term care plan in place, your parents will be able to enjoy their golden years. Our office is available to help you and your loved ones navigate these important issues. Call and schedule a meeting anytime so that we may assist you.