As a Certified Financial Planner™ specializing in elder care I am asked this question daily. Unfortunately, all too often the family’s immediate reaction is that care is too expensive to even consider. However, given what’s at stake, your life, this is not a question to be taken lightly.

Here’s my advice, before coming to any set conclusions, ask yourself why you answered, “no.” Does it actually have to do with the facts of your financial picture, or is it more related to fear of the unknown? Families inquiring very often have a mixture of investments, income, insurance, and estate plans. So why do they feel insecure about the prospect of elder care? It’s because none of the information has come together in a meaningful way that plainly answers a few key points: What type of care can be afforded, for how long, and where.

To help yourself through this process start by reviewing all your resources. Consider your assets, income, insurance, and the support of loved ones. Second, prioritize what’s most important to you during your elder care years. Third, proactively become educated on your options now that they’ve been narrowed down. Don’t wait for a crisis to push you into deciding on where to receive care. Do it now while you have the time to make a well-informed choice.

Lastly, don’t assume your first year receiving care mirrors your last. As health needs progress, so may your accommodations and costs. As you make your final decisions, be open-minded to issues you may not yet be experiencing. Ask how dementia would be treated or immobility be accommodated. If you’re a couple, ask how care and room arrangements are handled in the event one spouse is significantly more infirmed than the other.

POWWOW, LLC is offering free consultations to families looking to better understand the implications of elder care and transition. Receive a complimentary copy of our Transition Triggers workbook during your visit.