BOOMERS BEWARE: HEALTH ISSUES, LONG TERM CARE, ASSISTED LIVINGApr 27th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Dr Jerry Elrod's Senior Moments Blog
Being Prepared Is Essential
Looming out there ahead of Baby Boomers are several very big issues that will come to occupy your time, attention, resources and patience. If your DNA is similar to many these days, your parents, at least one of them, will live into their 90′s and perhaps beyond. Read the obits and you will find more and more persons whose age is clocked in the 90′s when they die. And, often, it is the upper 90′s.
This is not to decry the joy of having your parents live a long life. It is to say that with their doing so comes demands you may not have expected. Those demands come in the shape of caretaking, costs, and intentional decisions that will enable them and you to be prepared and buttressed with backup plans.
The first of a series of eventual inevitable likelihoods will be health issues. Those will come in various forms, carrying with them numerous needs. Depending on the nature of the health concerns, care taking will likely be called for. Mobility, and a whole variety of attendant needs will emerge. Less and less independence will involve more and more of your time, energy and availability to be on spot for caretaking. Arranging for that, if you live in close proximity, will be one of the issues to be resolved. While you may have thought that this time in retirement was yours to enjoy and revel in, it may come down to sitting at a bedside or caring for a parent or arranging for their needs.
Readiness for The Unexpected
There is one more surprise tucked among these possibilities. What if one of the couple, in retirement, is met with a debilitating health issue? Then the demands of care taking take on an entirely different set of expectations. If, for example, one of the partners is struck with a long term care need, such as Alzheimer’s, the challenges escalate and the costs may become prohibitive.
Long Term Care can be anticipated and arrangements made for wise and prudent choices to prevail. Upon or long before your own retirement, having reviewed and identified Long Term Care Insurance for both spouses will be a very wise and appropriate move. While your health is good enough to be approved is the time to look seriously at the prospect of making this decision. Include the inflationary rider. Costs will escalate. Be ready.
Assisted Living may be another of those issues you will have wanted to study and determine their appropriateness for your situation. This, again, calls for the prudent consideration of long term care.
Retirement brings with it not only issues likely to affect your own day to day living needs, but that of someone else in your family.
Anticipating those needs will be an important part of managing your portfolio and your expectations for responsibility as you and others in your family age and potentially face vulnerabilities.