We all age, which means that we may hit a point where we can no longer care for ourselves. When New Yorkers think of long-term care, they often think of the need for medical services, which are often provided by nursing home services. Although many individuals do wind up needing to reside in a nursing home so that they can receive the care that they need, it is not the only possibility, as one’s needs may be different. However, because many people don’t believe that they will need the services offered by a nursing home, they fail to adequately plan for the possibility of needing long-term care. This is a mistake.
One reason this is a mistake is because care planning involves addressing many more issues than just medical care. For example, one may need assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing and dressing. Eating can also be difficult to accomplish on one’s own. Even going to the bathroom can become challenging without assistance. Although a nursing home may be able to help an individual address these matters, an elderly individual may be able to receive this care at home.
Long-term care also includes assistance with everyday activities. Housekeeping, for example, may be important for those who remain at home but are unable to maintain the residence due to their limitations. Shopping for groceries can also become difficult or impossible, thereby requiring the assistance of another. Caring for pets, taking medication and managing one’s finances may all require the help of another individual when an elderly individual is unable to handle these matters on his or her own.
While family members and friends may be able to assist with this issues, it is best to plan as if one will not receive assistance. That way, in the event that loved one’s are no longer able to assist, an elderly individual will be able to pay for the services he or she wants and needs to maintain an acceptable standard of living. This takes diligent planning, though, which means that New Yorkers should discuss the matter with their estate planning attorney.