Planning for the second half of life is important for seniors and baby boomers. Attorney Dennis Toman explains why people should plan while they are healthy, and to make sure that they don’t delay if they experience health problems especially Alzheimer’s and dementia.
My advice to families considering when to start the elder care planning is start early. Start while you’re healthy and be able to make decisions on your own without any real health concerns even on the horizon. As I say, a healthy vigorous senior or a leading edge boomer is a great time to get started.
Now the other times that many families decide that they need to do some planning is in a crisis situation, where a parent or a spouse is already in a nursing home. So certainly at that point, we would do our very best to the crisis situation, but there’s so much more we can do if we can start earlier.
The third time that people really need to make sure that they update their elder care planning or get started if they have it already is if they get a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s. In a situation where we have someone who has memory or mobility issues for that matter, it’s important to make sure that we get the right elder care plan in place because at that time, it’s really not so much a question of might the person need additional long term care; the question is really going to be when we have those health issues, how soon are we going to need that care? And what types of care we’re going to need? How are we going to pay for that?
So start your elder care planning early and make sure that you get it updated if you start having health issues.