Long-term care planning after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2023 | Nursing Home Planning

Watching the onset of Alzheimer’s can be overwhelmingly sad and worrisome. However, the disease’s progression gives you and your loved ones the opportunity to effectively plan for the future. This includes crafting a strong estate plan that addresses asset distribution and incapacitation as well as focusing on long-term care planning.

The latter is significant, too, especially given that the long-term care needs of an Alzheimer’s sufferer can be extraordinarily expensive, costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. This can quickly deplete your savings and thus your loved ones will be without the financial support that you hoped they’d inherit. All of this can be incredibly stressful, which is why you might be looking for what you can do to effectively plan for Alzheimer’s.

Long-term care planning tips for Alzheimer’s sufferers

When you or a loved one are dealing with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, there’s a lot to think about, even when you’re just looking at the single issue of long-term care. To help you focus on the issues that matter to you, we encourage you to consider each of the following while you’re addressing your or your loved one’s long-term care needs:

  • The kind of care that’s needed: Before agreeing to any sort of long-term care contract, you’ll want to ensure that the care provided will suit your or your loved one’s needs. Therefore, assess whether only basic care is needed, such as assistance with bathing, eating, and dressing, or if skilled care is necessary, which would include the assistance of a skilled medical professional. Once you’ve identified needs, you can focus on finding the long-term care plan that meets them.
  • Nursing home staff: If a nursing home stay is in the future, you’ll want to carefully scrutinize the facility’s staff. This includes staff to resident ratio as well as staff training and their experience dealing with residents who exhibit symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The facility: If you or a loved one are considering moving into a long-term care facility, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the facility so that you have a better feel for what it has to offer and where it falls short. This includes assessing the facility’s security, accessibility, atmosphere and access to lines of communication like a telephone.
  • How to pay: As mentioned above, long-term care is incredibly expensive. While the facility or staff that you rely on for assistance might have financing options, you might be better off planning in a way that secures your access to MassHealth. You can do this in many ways, but it often requires you to give up assets until you reach a point where your income and wealth fall below a certain threshold. Fortunately, there are estate planning strategies that you can use to reduce your assets and your income. You simply have to know how to effectively do so in light of the lookback period that will likely come into play in your case.

Are you ready to start planning for your or your loved one’s long-term care needs?

There’s a lot that goes into the long-term care planning process. That’s why you don’t want to wait until it’s too late to start thinking about your or your loved one’s long-term care planning needs.

We know the intricacies of the process can be confusing and overwhelming, especially when you and your family are dealing with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there to get you started, and you can always choose to seek out the support that’s right for you if and when needed.