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Why long-term care planning can be crucial right now

Planning ahead is something that nearly everyone knows they should do, but it can be one of the most difficult things to actually do. A lot of times, a person simply gets so focused on the present that they do not feel like they have time to sit back and plan ahead. Other times, people avoid thinking about the certain events in the future because it is unpleasant or uncomfortable.

These are frequently the reasons that people in Massachusetts and nationwide have for not putting together a long-term care plan. However, the benefits of having a care plan in place may certainly outweigh the perceived challenges. With this kind of plan in place, families can make calm and proactive choices rather than waiting until care decisions need to be made quickly and reactively. 

For example, a person who has a care plan in place may be more financially prepared for the high costs of ongoing medical and health needs. Nursing homes and private home care services can be quite expensive. There are many different options that people can explore in terms of financial planning, but the number of options can decrease dramatically in a crisis situation.

A long-term care plan may also make it easier for family members to interpret a loved one's wishes if he or she cannot express them. Those who have a plan in place and have discussed it with family make it easier for family members to be confident about making certain choices on behalf of their loved one. 

The fact is that about 70 percent of people 65 or older in this country will require long-term care at some point. While it can be a confusing and emotionally challenging process, developing a plan for long-term care can end up being extremely valuable in the long run. An attorney can help folks get a plan in place sooner rather than later. 

Source: USA Today, "Long-term care: Investigate your options early," Christine Dugas, May 28, 2013

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