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Are you fluent in long-term care?

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The idea of sitting down to plan for long-term care is not appealing to many individuals. The reluctance often stems from worries about shortages ofmoney or the thought of dying. Some people are unwilling to address a possible issue when it seems to be in the distant future.

People need to realize that long-term care planning is an essential component of retirement planning. Failure to act soon can mean major expenses for loved-ones in the years ahead.

Long-term care planning can seem intimidating at the outset, primarily due to the complexity of the language. For example, do you know the difference between an "assisted living facility" and a "residential care facility for the elderly"?

Fortunately, the process becomes easier once you understand the following terms:

  • Nursing homes: Institutions providing focused medical care 24-7 for ailing patients.
  • Assisted-living facilities: Institutions providing assistance with daily living activities and medical care, but not on a 24/7 basis.
  • Adult day care centers: Institutions providing comprehensive care for elderly persons during the day only.
  • Residential care facility for the elderly: Institutions (typically residential homes) at which a limited number of elderly persons live and are cared for by a small staff.

Many facilities offer multiple living options. For example, one establishment may have wings that function as both nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Having learned some of the basic terminology, we'll focus on some viable alternatives to long-term care planning in our next blog post.

Have you undertaken long-term care planning? What was your experience like? Did you find the terminology confusing at times?

Source: CBS News, "How to shop for long-term care services," Steve Vernon, July 7, 2017

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