Make Room for Long-Term Care in Your Family’s Holiday Plans

The holiday season is always special; it’s a time when we gather with friends and family to celebrate longstanding traditions and find time to make new ones. Holiday visits can also be an excellent opportunity to talk to your aging parents and family members about their potential long-term care needs.

But where do you start? Your overall goal should be to host an honest conversation about their current health situation. Here are a few questions to keep in mind:

Evaluate their ability to live independently

  • Do they struggle to get dressed or use the restroom without help?
  • Are they able to lend a hand in the kitchen or adequately feed themselves during dinner?
  • Can they get around their house safely or does the home present any safety issues?
  • Are they struggling with other everyday tasks?

Consider their overall health

  • How are they feeling?
  • Have they had any recent doctor visits or checkups they are willing to discuss?
  • Have they noticeably lost weight and are they maintaining their personal health?

Observe their emotional and mental state

  • Do they have a positive attitude or do they frequently require encouragement to accomplish ordinary tasks?
  • Are they still participating in their usual activities and hobbies?
  • Are periodic memory lapses, such as forgetting names of relatives or household items, disrupting their lives?
  • Do they repeatedly ask the same questions?

You can also test their memory during holiday visits by asking about notable dates or events, or by giving them a couple key words to remember and asking them to repeat the words throughout your visit.

Phone calls and emails are a great way to regularly check in on aging parents and loved ones, but holiday visits can be a valuable opportunity to get a clear picture of their well-being. As you catch up on the year’s events and relive old memories at your holiday gatherings this year, spend some time considering your family’s future as well. It may turn out to be the right time to take the first step toward long-term care planning and discussing how solutions like long-term care insurance can help preserve their independence and ensure their needs are met.

Sara Hogan

by Sara Hogan

Sara Hogan is Senior Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs for LifeSecure Insurance Co.y, based in Brighton, Mich. LifeSecure is dedicated to its mission of delivering an exceptional insurance experience. The company offers long term care and other supplemental health insurance products. LifeSecure is licensed in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Additional information is available at www.YourLifeSecure.com.

  1. It is important to assess the needs of the family member first to determine the possibility of him requiring LTC. This type of insurance is not for everyone so better make sure that this is what he really needs because you wouldn’t want to pay for something that would not provide the needed coverage. Additionally, there are numerous sources such as news and articles on who should buy long term care insurance . Use these as guidelines to make a wise decision on health care. 

  2. Ask if the parent has prepared advanced health directives and know where they keep copies. If they own long term care insurance protection write down the policy number and claim department contact information. According to an Association study some eight million Americans have long term care insurance coverage and the number of people calling insurers with questions about their policy benefits increases by roughly 15 percent immediately following the holidays.

  3. It is in my opinion that everyone should have a long term care policy in place. We are definitely living longer but not living better. I’ve seen firsthand how my parents savings were depleted when my grandmother had to give up her home and enter into a full care facility which in Canada can cost anywhere from 1700 – 8000 a month. This doesn’t even include the care of a nurse or nanny and in most cases that is necessary. Discuss LTC with your parents and family and if they don’t already have one in place, think about getting one for them since you may be the one to foot the bill at the end of the day!

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