The vast majority of people do not seek professional advice regarding their own senior care, and nor do they discuss it in advance with their family. It is partly understandable that people do not want to think about a time in their lives when they may no longer be able to look after themselves. However, if you do not make plans regarding elderly care then family members may not know your wishes and illness could occur where you are no longer able to choose for yourself or make your wishes known.
When it comes to finances, a lack of financial planning regarding senior care might mean your choices are limited.
Neither of these situations is desirable – in later life wouldn’t we all want to choose our own type of care and where we are cared for?
The best way to ensure this happens is to start planning your later life care as soon as possible. That means considering 3 most important questions:
What Types of Senior Care Are Available?
Many people assume elderly care automatically means a residential care home, but there are other options, some of which enable you to stay in your own home. The main senior care options are:
- Residential care home
- Nursing home
- Home care
- Live-in care
Care homes and nursing homes require people to move out of their own home and into what is usually a private en-suite room in a home with communal living and dining facilities where all your meals, laundry, cleaning etc are provided in addition to the care you need.
Home care and live-in care provides care in your own home by a professional carer who either lives with you if you need round-the-clock care or comes to your home at certain times of the day to provide care as needed. When you have home care services they can be tailored to your particular needs.
What Type of Care Would You Prefer?
It is not always easy to decide which type of care you would prefer because there are advantages and disadvantages to all types. So research your options fully so you understand the differences and can make an informed decision. Also speak to your family so they can help you with this important decision. The benefit of planning in advance means you won’t be rushed into making a decision in a crisis situation.
If you have good neighbours, a lovely garden or a beloved pet you may wish to stay in your own home and have homecare or live in care. Alternatively, a care home may be appealing because there will be other people around to socialise with.
In addition to knowing which type of care you would prefer, you need to also know which is most appropriate for different needs. According to The Live-in Care Hub, a non-profit organisation, a live-in carer can provide all of the same services as a care home for a similar cost with the added benefit of much more one-to-one time so even people with acute care needs can remain in their own home.
How Will You Pay?
In the UK anyone with assets over a certain threshold will have to pay for their own care, although people with certain medical needs will have their costs covered regardless of their savings or other assets.
If you already know you will have to pay for your own care it makes sense to speak to an independent financial advisor who can help you create a savings plan to cover potential future care costs. The more planning you do now, the better chance you have of a secure and contented later life.