Having the Conversation

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The only thing worse than having a conversation about long-term care is not having a conversation about long-term care. A close friend of mine is currently faced with this issue as he grapples with his mom’s recovery from a recent medical incident. He is fortunate to be working with exceptional professionals who work with clients on these matters. This, combined with his clients Medicare experiences, provides a foundation for knowing what to do or where to go for answers.

Do you know that Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of care, but only after 3 qualifying days of admission in the hospital (20 days at 100% and 80 days at 80%)? It is the responsibility of loved ones to visit and identify where the patient will apply for admission to a rehabilitation (rehab) facility. There is an interview and approval process with rehab facility personnel before admission may be granted. Acceptance is predicated upon space being available. Physical Therapy is required and progress toward a goal must be shown on an ongoing basis. The hospital provides a social worker to help facilitate the process and arrange for transportation to the rehab facility.

Occupational Therapy will make a home visit and determine what changes to living accommodations may be necessary to approve a return to one’s home. In addition, a determination of the capabilities of proposed caregivers is necessary to approve of the living accommodations and ongoing care needs. This may require qualified caregivers, which brings us back to the original statement: The only thing worse than having a conversation about long-term care is not having a conversation about long-term care.

Part of working with a trusted advisor means being able to have a go-to person when it comes to life’s issues and particularly to the unknown. This often occurs at a time of great need when emotions are high and decisions are life-changing. This is where the difficulty begins. Men, in general, have a difficult time asking for help. When was the last time you were with a man who asked for directions? Thank goodness for GPS and smartphones! Worse than a man asking for help is having change thrust upon them, without having a choice in the matter. But if you don’t have the conversation about long-term care, the decisions are vested in loved ones who may or may not know what your wishes are. Here is a chilling statistic from a National Survey by The Conversation Project 2013:

  • More than 90% of the people think it’s important to talk about their loved ones’ and their own wishes for end-of-life care.
  • Less than 30% of people have discussed what they or their family wants when it comes to end-of-life care.

If you are having difficulty starting the conversation, your Wealth Advisor is here to help you with your family financial planning needs. Contact us today to start the process of moving from the 60+% who feel it is important to discuss long-term care, but have not yet started the conversation with their loved ones.

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