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Residential planning: a long-term care concern for many families

The concerns that aging parents have with growing older, as well as the concerns harbored by younger family members who want the very best for their parents as they advance in years, are singular and age-specific. Moreover, they often tend to center on a few discrete issues.

In many instances, of course, health care is at the very top of issues that family members address, given the obvious fact that most persons have a progressively diminished capacity to care for themselves entirely as they approach or enter into their end-of-life years. We alluded to such health care considerations in our immediately preceding blog post (please see our November 21, 2013, entry).

We also touched on a few other elder law concerns in that post that predominate in most families. One of those is obviously finances, which can lead to wide-ranging family discussions regarding asset identification, protection and management.

Another is residential planning, which comes into play for millions of American families. As noted in a recent media article, a holiday such as Thanksgiving -- when widely dispersed family members often come together -- can be the optimal time for parents, their children and other loved ones to convene and candidly discuss the hopes and needs of mom and dad going forward.

Can they continue to live in their home? Do they want to? Will making a few home modifications make it simpler to do so? Might they consider another form of housing, such as a residential community or assisted-living facility? What about a nursing home?

Such matters can sometimes be difficult to candidly address, but doing so in a timely, comprehensive and loving way, and then preparing for the future, simply makes sense. There are many things to consider and plan for in this elder law realm, including long-term care financial planning as it relates to residential costs.

An estate planning attorney with experience in elder law can help a family identify and effectively implement strategies that optimally advance long-term health care goals.

Source: Marshfield News-Herald, "Start conversation about elder care," Nov. 20, 2013

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