Avoiding the Caregiving Crisis
The numbers are daunting. Eighty percent of seniors are unprepared for their long-term care needs. With 70 million baby boomers aging and half of the population being unmarried, the looming question is: Who is going to take care of them? Jonathan Miller of Longevity Solutions Inc. addressed this pressing concern and the significance of early planning in a recent episode of Call For Caring on Purpose, a podcast hosted by Michelle Bolden. Bolden is the founder of Call For Caring, an Atlanta nonprofit that supports caregivers.
Bolden called this episode “A call to action for ourselves and our families.” For those who missed it, here are the highlights.
Facing the stats
Miller paints a startling picture, noting that when it comes to long-term care needs, 80% of people haven’t planned and don’t know where to start. Compounding the challenge: 70 million baby boomers, many of whom will need care in their retirement years.
When to begin planning?
For too many seniors and their families, a sudden health problem puts everyone into crisis mode. But Miller strongly recommends starting early, ideally when you’re young and in good health, but “Any planning is good planning,” he says, acknowledging that the topic of long-term care needs can seem immense and stressful for the family. “Why not just start with the basics: creating power of attorney, a living will. Let’s just have a conversation about the basics. We want to help you make an educated decision.”
Essential steps for caregivers
During the podcast, the interviewer asked Miller for three pivotal steps caregivers should prioritize. Here’s a quick summary:
- Understand family dynamics: Aim for clarity on goals and needs. It’s essential to “get everybody to the table,” says Miller. Address any tricky family dynamics where money is involved, emphasizing that care management is the goal.
- Legal readiness: Ensure legal documents like power of attorney and living will are settled, so there’s a clear directive during emergencies.
- Evaluate care costs and sustainability: It’s crucial to understand the cost of care and whether the person and/or the family can sustain it.
Guiding families through the maze of what’s possible
For those already amidst the caregiving journey, Miller offers hope. “There are always options,” he assures listeners. It’s just knowing where to find those options. He notes that creating a plan is not just about one’s assets, but understanding how to make the most of them and remembering to use available resources such as VA benefits. In addition, he has found that many people that purchased long-term care policies “don’t understand their long-term care insurance policies.” LSI helps clients understand their coverage and how to get the benefits started once they’re needed.
Listen for more insights
Navigating the maze of long-term care can be overwhelming. But as Miller stresses, proactive planning, even basic measures, can make a significant difference. We recommend giving the podcast a listen. The wisdom Miller shares might just change how you approach long-term care for yourself or loved ones.
Podcast: The Empowerment Hour
Hosted by Michelle Bolden