Greensboro, NC -- Frances and Jim Ward cared for their parents. They'll tell you, they had no freedom and they didn't want to pass that down to their kids. So the couple made three key decisions.
#1 Where To Live. Jim & Frances picked a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) which allows them to live in their own home now, but with the promise they can move into assisted living for skilled care later on. Whether you pick this option, or to stay at home with caregivers coming in, or living with a family member, you need to plan for how meals, healthcare and transportation will be provided.
#2 How To Pay For It? Retirement pays for some things. But if you need nursing home care, assisted living care or hospice, you'll probably need another income source. Check out Long Term Care Insurance. If you start paying at age 45, the premium is $1,200 for $72,000 worth of coverage a year. If you wait until 60, the premium jumps to $2,300.
#3 Power of Attorney. This document allows the person of your choice to pay bills, take care of your estate and make healthcare choices for you...when you can't. Experts say, this is where many people have issues. But without a POA, if the parent becomes unable to take care of their finances, the family will have to go through a lot of red tape to help them.
Elder Law Issues & Power of Attorney
Elder law attorney A. Frank Johns of Booth Harrington & Johns says, "The Power of Attorney form is so powerful, if you're not sure how it works or who you gave it to, it can ruin your life!"
There are several different kinds of Power Of Attorney. But the two main ones are: financial and healthcare. Johns says while you can a Power Of Attorney document without a lawyer, he strongly recommends a lawyer be present so every family member is held accountable.
Look at Johns' website and blog dealing with Elderly and Aging Issues here.
Elder Law Issues & How To Have "The Talk"
This is one of the hardest things to do, admits A. Frank Johns of Booth Harrington & Johns. But he also says it's one of the most important. Before mom or dad had a health crisis, have "the talk" concerning future care needs, where they want to live, how they want to be taken care of and how they want their assets to be handled.
Johns gives a few tips on how to start "The Talk