In an effort to quantify the readiness of families to provide care for their senior loved ones, a recent survey conducted by “A Place For Mom” revealed some of the following hightlights:

Steps to Ease the Transition for aging parents.

1. Learn About Family Assets/Affairs. The first step in planning for your long-term care is an open and frank discussion with family about where they can find your parents’ financial assets. Putting one’s affairs in order is as simple as sharing information about legal documents, bank accounts, savings and investment and professional contacts who can help the family gain access to your parents’ financial legacy.

2. Professional Resources. Take the time to speak to a Senior Living Advisor. Whether you are seeking long-term care or not, speaking to a Senior Living Advisor now will help you understand the type of living situation that you want to pursue when your loved one is ready. Do your parents favor remaining in their home? Are they interested in moving to assisted living? A proactive measure here can save a lot of time and energy that you’ll need at a more critical period of decision making.

3. Talk to Your Financial Advisor. Most investment strategies will change after retirement. A financial advisor is a key professional who will help you understand the investment vehicles for generating retirement income, as well as those that will help pay for senior care. By having a healthy relationship with your financial advisor, you can avoid senior scams and feel confident that your financial priorities are being looked after.

4. Budget for Senior Care. Once you understand the type of living situation and care level you’re likely to require, you can set a budget and find sources of income to help pay for your needs. Investments and 401(k) money is one source, but be sure to consider all of the options available to you, including veterans benefits, long-term care insurance and government assistance such as Medicare and Medicaid, if eligible. Many of these resources come with limitations and/or eligibility requirements, but you should be informed as to which may fit for your given situation.
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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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