Livens & Reed, PLLC

Boomers consider long-term care for themselves, loved ones

Many Texas residents and others around the nation are part of the so-called sandwich generation. That is, they not only have the responsibility of raising their children, they have also assumed responsibility of caring for their aging parents. Statistics show that over half of the people in the baby boomer generation are in this situation. While some of those individuals may have considered the costs of long-term care for themselves, most have not thought about the financial impact of providing this care for others.

As the average age of life expectancy increases, consumers have to take this into consideration as they plan for their retirement years -- for themselves as well as loved ones. It is impossible to know with certainty what one's condition will be in the future. Many senior citizens live active lives, with few physical or cognitive limitations. However, at some point, many others require some level of assistance to provide routine care.

There are a variety of options for elder care available. Many prefer to remain in their homes as long as possible and rely on caregiving and nursing services for help if family members are not able to provide all the necessary care. Adult day cares, assisted living facilities and nursing homes are other possibilities, depending on the type of care required.

If someone anticipates shouldering part of the financial responsibility of a loved one's long-term care, it is important to consider the implication on his or her retirement planning. Discuss the various options for obtaining care with the family members involved to determine what plans they have in place and who can make medical or financial decisions for them before they may become incapacitated. Also, determine if there are others who can assist with providing care.

A Texas attorney familiar with elder law can help those considering long-term care needs. It is critical to develop a plan while one is still able to make those decisions. Having a plan in place will assure that care will be provided as specified and that end-of-life wishes are carried out as desired.

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