Paying for Care - 11 Tips to Help You Prepare for Aging

Data Can Help You Make Better Decisions

aging in place
Want to enjoy your retirement years? Become educated, save early and follow the tips in this article..

The baby boom retirees have growing needs that expand from living expenses to health care not covered by Medicare. But one essential that most consumers don’t consider is future aging care. These long-term care services range from simple in-home care services like help with cooking, shopping, dressing, and bathing to more extensive assistance in coping with chronic illnesses.    

According to the USA Today (2011), 54% of retirees, report they have less than $25,000 saved.

So how do retirees intend to pay for future care? They can’t rely on government programs like Medicare because it doesn’t pay for long-term care, and most retirees don’t qualify for Medicaid because they have too much in assets.

Paying for aging care is a growing concern of industry experts and professionals. What steps can people do now to save for long-term care?  

Big Data Offers More that Statistics

Research gives us great data to position consumers to make better decisions. For example, The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research considered the attitudes of the 40+ population concerning long-term care. They dug into perceptions regarding the need, the cost, and the behaviors when planning for it. One significant insight found; 41% of this group have discussed their long-term care preferences with family members. Having the talk a simple step but a tremendous victory for planning.

If you work in the industry, what are some ways you can motivate the other 51% to have the talk?

More data from studies like this one can help aging care professionals to guide their clients. The Inquiry discovered that most people underestimate the costs of nursing home care and overestimate the role of Medicare in paying for it.

Professional in health insurance have an opportunity to teach the younger consumer what Medicare is and what it is not. Educating the younger people about long-term care options is important and a good start for their future aging needs.    

According to the AgeWave/Harris Interactive study, the most significant concern for retirees is paying for the medical expenses not picked up by Medicare. They found the following as top of mind goals for retirement: 

  • 79% to have financial peace of mind—save money,
  • 60% want to continue working,
  • 56% will cut expenses to save,
  • 53% choose to reduce their cost of living expenses,

It’s my theory that consumers don’t want to ignore their future needs; they just need help learning how to turn big challenges into small action steps. Long-term care is a huge issue, and people need help converting it to simple pieces.   

How Thought Leaders Turn Big Data to Real Help             

No one wants to depend on family members for long-term care. It’s a solution but not one that most retirees choose.

I read data and research every day and find some statistics very scary. I know there’s a way out of the long-term care dilemma, a path that leads to simple step-by-step guidance. The data won’t give me that, but I knew the industry experts, the professionals who live and breathe this stuff could.  

40+ Industry Experts Offer Simple and Real Guidance to Consumers

You can skip over to the full disclosure of all long-term care experts and read what they say about tackling the long-term care concerns.

In a nutshell, here’s some direction:

  1. Choose adapted housing and get involved in the community. Make sure programs exist for supplies, home-delivered foods, caregiver support, transportation, and personal care.
  2. Assess the situation and have the talk with loved ones. It’s important to get everyone on the same page before the unthinkable happens.
  3. Work with your local and state policymakers to encourage a dialog that addresses older adult needs.  
  4. Pay attention to your family history and health care risks.
  5. Interact with aged people in your community and gain insights what aging is about. Talk with architects and builders and encourage aging-in-place designs.
  6. Gather your legal and advance directive information by completing a health care proxy, and assign a financial power of attorney. Talk to people who’ve walked the aging journey and learn what they did to plan for future care needs. Start with the 5 Wishes document.
  7. Consider the care you want down the road.
  8. Ask your employer to make long-term care planning a priority.
  9. Start conversations early with your family and friends. Discuss your fears, expectations, and preferences. Look at where you live now, and ask what will it take for you to stay there?
  10. Research and do your homework now. Record your answers regarding Power of Attorney, Wills and Trusts, Advance Healthcare Directives, facility options, end-of-life care, etc. Plan for both the best and worst case scenarios.
  11. Find a trustworthy advocate who will support you.

Planning for the future works for your benefit. There are solutions to help you get started and stay on track. Senior care professionals are ready to assist the aging cause, so reach out to one. It can be a scary undertaking but once you take small steps to plan, you’ll enjoy a dignified life.

About Carol Marak

Carol Marak is a senior and family caregiver advocate. She is the editor for and writes for many online publications offering information on current aging trends and help. She helped publish America has a Major Misconception on Aging, a report to help consumers plan for long-term care.

Carol Marak’s background includes caregiving for her parents and has first-hand experience in helping her father who lived with Alzheimer’s disease. She understands the dilemma family members encounter when caring for a relative and working a full-time job.

Ms. Marak has published more than 200 professional articles for health care websites, blogs and newsletters. She became a full-time freelancer in 2006 and has been interviewed by reporters.

Though senior care is her area of expertise and greatest passion, Carol has written and edited branded content, articles, company profiles and product brochures. Carol has a BS in Behavioral Sciences and Criminology from Sam Houston State University in Texas.


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