Part V: Getting ready for the old folks

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This is the fifth article about the Nov. 15 Friends program at the Crosby Memorial Library regarding what we all need to know concerning getting older, a lot older. Today we will look at the need for long-term care planning.  Again, I’m not an attorney so what I say here is my individual understanding and may not be totally correct.  That’s why you need to come to the program on Nov. 15.

Hopefully, you have been paying attention and read the first four articles. If so, you should now have a last will and testament, a power of attorney, a healthcare directive and a pre-paid funeral insurance policy to cover most of your funeral.  If you do, you can and should be proud of yourself.

Unfortunately, you may not be done yet. What is going to happen to you if you live long enough to get really old and feeble?  Who is going to take care of you then and at what level?  Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a large and loving family living close by who can share the task of 24/7 care for you. Maybe you can afford to hire individuals who are bonded and skilled in care of the elderly. But consider that at $10 per hour that’s $240 per day or $7,200 for a month if you can get them that cheap. Now you can cut this cost about in half by going into a private home that has been set up for care of up to four elderly people but there are no guarantees that this type facility will be around as long as you might need it. Of course there are nursing homes (institutions) with certified nurses and perhaps a doctor on staff but they will cost you $70,000 to $90,000 per year.  And, there are facilities (not yet in Picayune) where you buy-in while you are still able to pretty much care for yourself and as you age further you are moved within the facility to greater and greater assisted care until, well, you know when.

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So, what are your options?  There appears to be four. Work smart and become rich before you get old, buy long-term care insurance, hope your family will care enough to figure out how to take care of you, or spend all your money and hope the government will take care of you.

None of these options are easy to achieve, but you should consider each one and try to achieve the one you can best accomplish.

Be sure and come to the program at the Crosby Library on Nov. 15 and ask lots of questions.

By Randy Holland.