During the holidays are you planning to check in and see how your parents have been doing in their day to day lives? Are you planning to discuss long-term care with your parents? Do you know exactly what long-term care planning is? 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.

1. Long-term care planning is impacted by both personal wishes and financial means best suited for a person. The following are some six helpful questions to ask your parents this holiday season to determine what type of long-term care planning may be best for them.

2. 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. Other times, people want to stay in their own home at all costs.

3. If your parents choose to stay in their home, what needs to be done to help them remain in their home as long as possible and remain safe? There may need to be modifications to their home to make it safer and easier to move around. There may also need to be part-time in-home care help or a family caregiver may move in with them or make daily visits.

4. Do your parents still drive? As delicately as possible, ask them about driving. Are they 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.

5. Do your parents have any plans in place for how to pay for a nursing home if the need should arrive? Are you aware that 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 planning may be done to preserve the assets of your parents and may make them eligible for Medicaid to cover the cost.

6. 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 and allow them to make financial decisions. Be sure to 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? It is crucial that 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. We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We can guide you and your family through your Florida long-term care planning options. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today to schedule a meeting with our experienced Florida attorneys.