Elder Care Planning Can Secure Happiness in Old Age

Financial prudence is the most common reason that area residents visit a New York elder law estate planning attorney. Avoiding probate costs, saving assets from taxes, and protecting property from Medicaid rules can all be accomplished with proper preparation. However, as geriatric care experts around the world explain, these planning steps can also have a dramatic impact on a senior’s quality of life.

Last Friday, a day before President Obama’s headline grabbing meeting with the Dalai Lama, eastern and western eldercare advocates met to discuss basic principles for maximizing happiness later in life. The Sacramento Bee reported on the gathering. They explained how participants were surprised by the similar approaches of advocates on both sides of the globe. For example, virtually all agreed that too many seniors try to deny the inescapable reality of aging–coming to terms with the process and embracing it is much more rewarding.

The advocates summarized the keys to “the good life” in the golden years: take care of health, maintain mental equilibrium, and have an independent livelihood. One elder care physician explained that the third prong–maintaining an independent livelihood–was best accomplished by preparing for possible health problems as early as possible. He noted, “we need to plan for the long-term care services we’re likely to need [that allow care] in the home rather than a nursing home, maintaining one’s independence.” Long-term care insurance is often the best way to ensure that extra assistance will be available that keeps a senior in their own home.

The meeting was part of the “3 in 4 Need More” tour sponsored by the 3in4 Association. This organization is committed to sharing information about the need for proper care planning beyond regular health insurance. Nearly 75% of all Americans will eventually need more assistance to cover long-term care costs, long-lasting illnesses, and disabilities. Each situation is different, but residents in our area can visit a New York elder law attorney to learn what options are open to them. Long-term insurance is an ideal choice for many. However, even if insurance is out of reach, other possibilities exist to plan for long-term care and maximize independence later in life.

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