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We're All Getting Older - Planning for a Potential Long-Term Care Need

December 11, 2023

WHY do we plan for anything? We plan in advance to create a well thought out process to achieve a goal that may require several steps. Intuitively, it seems that it would be difficult to construct a plan to achieve that goal at the same time as trying to proceed toward that goal.

Specifically, the need for caregiving frequently occurs without warning and at a time fraught with emotion and chaos. Sometimes we can see the need for care coming from a mile away. Sometimes the need for care is due to an unexpected injury or illness. Planning in advance for a caregiving need can reduce stress during a potentially confusing period and prevent some important actions that are needed from becoming overlooked.


From a big picture perspective, there are some basic issues facing a loved one needing care that a caregiving plan should focus on1.

  • Where are they going to live?
  • How are they going to pay for care?
  • How will they get around and socialize?
  • Who will their support team be?

The goal of a caregiving plan is to address these issues efficiently and effectively.  To do so, the plan should be comprehensive and multi-disciplinary including consideration of applicable budgeting, insurance, estate planning and investment strategies2.

Caregivers can be consumed with the tasks need to care for an infirm loved one.  Therefore, another sometimes overlooked area in a caregiving plan may be consideration of the workload, health and finances of the family caregiver. Consider the following data from the CDC3:

  • Almost one-third of caregivers provide care for at least 20 hours a week.
  • 79% of the caregivers are 50 or older and 76% of the recipients are 65 or older.
  • Many caregivers may neglect their own health with nearly 40% of them reporting at least two chronic conditions.
  • Nearly 20% of family caregivers had to stop working, about 40% had to reduce their hours, and almost 80% had to pay out of pocket for routine expenses for care recipients.


Construction of a caregiving plan should follow a logical process to avoid it from becoming overwhelming and to avoid unintentionally disregarding important considerations. 

  • Select a “point person” to make decisions on caregiving. This person need not actually be the caregiver or be a power of attorney agent but should be someone well-positioned to understand the care recipient’s needs4.
  • All of a care recipient’s current condition data should be assembled, including:
  • Description of all current medical conditions and medications;
  • Description of the current assistance needed by the recipient;
  • Copies of all the care recipient’s legal documents;
  • Information about the care recipient’s investment, retirement, real estate and business assets;
  • Information about the care recipient’s current income, expenses, taxes and debt;
  • List of all life, health, long term care and property and casualty insurance policies;
  • List of all living options available including living at home, with family or in a facility;
  • List of members of the care recipient’s team including family, retained caregivers and advisors.
  • Get help in analyzing the current legal, financial, tax and medical condition of the care recipient and in determining where modification of these conditions might be beneficial.

Everyone gets a chance to be young. Not everyone has the privilege to grow old.  The flip side of that privilege is the increasing need for assistance with increasing age and frailty.

If you are a current family caregiver or believe you likely will become one, the Family Wealth Decisions Group, would like to help you get started with a caregiving plan and a complimentary one hour consultation. This consultation may help you to identify where you are in regard to the key elements of a caregiving plan and what your next steps might be.