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Need for Massachusetts long-term health care planning on the rise

A recent study indicates that nearly 70 percent of all Americans age 65 will need some sort of long-term care. The level of care needed depends on many factors, but once that level is determined, finances often dictate from where that care will come. Long-term health care planning can give Massachusetts residents more options when the time arrives.

Taking care of an aging family member used to typically mean a nursing home. Now, options such as in-home care and assisted living are available and growing in popularity. These options allow for a greater amount of independence, which is important to the quality of life a senior has as he or she ages. Home health care offers the greatest amount of independence. Wide varieties of services are available depending on the individual's needs at reasonable prices.

Of course, it is possible that the level of service needed will increase over time, but maintaining independence for as long as possible could enhance an individual's enjoyment of life. In the past, family members ended up making decisions on behalf of an aging parent or grandparent without much input from the person that has to live with the decisions. Therefore, if possible, the more input a senior has is his or her fate, the better any transition will be.

Long-term health care planning can give aging Massachusetts residents the ability to maintain more control over their fate. Sometimes, financial considerations limit what family members can do. Having a plan in place to provide for long-term care can open up options that would not otherwise be available. Knowing what options are available for this type of planning and determining which option will work best for an individual could help ensure that as many options as possible can be considered when long-term care is needed.

Source: rapidcityjournal.com, FORUM: Choosing long-term care a difficult decision, Leslie Snoozy-Kaitfors, Feb. 15, 2014

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