Having the Courageous Conversation About Long-Term CareWe all know baby boomers are aging. Every day 3,000 boomers in Canada and 10,000 boomers in the US turn 65. While medical science has made major advancements that are continuing to prolong people’s lives there are some people who are not going to be in a position to take care of themselves at home in the years to come. According to statistical data, one out of two Canadians is likely going to need long-term care after they reach the age of 75.
No one likes to have to have the ‘courageous conversation’ with their parents about the possibility of needing long-term care, especially when they are healthy, but have them we must. And it’s not just the boomers who will require the long-term care who are affected; it is also the boomers who will become the caregivers.
Caring for a senior? You aren't alone. Learn more about the resources available to caregivers of the aging in Caregivers of Aging Parents and Family Members.
About 2.7 million Canadians provided unpaid care to people 65 and over with some form of long-term health problem in 2007, an increase of over 670,000 in 2002, the study says. Projections show that by 2056, the proportion of Canadians age 65 or older will more than double, to over one in four; similarly, the proportion of people 80 and over will triple to about one in 10 (2007 General Social Survey (GSS) on Family, Social Support and retirement).
In the US according to an AARP survey, some 35% of boomers have been responsible for the care of their elderly parents, up from 26% in 1998. Meanwhile, half of boomers are still raising a young child, in some cases their grandchildren as well, or providing financial assistance to an adult child, according to Pew Research Centre. So go ahead, just try to retire!
Learn more about long-term care communities and ensuring your loved one gets the care they deserve in Long Term Care Retirement Homes.
Here are the Top 5 ‘courageous conversations’ you need to have with your family, and yourself:
- What plans do you currently have in place if you were to become critically ill or require long term care?
- Have recently reviewed your wills and pre-estate documents for financial and health matters to make sure they are up-to-date?
- Do you know what your employers policy is in relation to the care giving demands you might potentially face?
- Do you know where to get help for yourself if you become overwhelmed by the support that you might be required to provide to your parents?
- If you are responsible for looking after your elderly parents, have you made sure there is sufficient life insurance in place (in addition to what you have provided for your family) to care for them after you are gone?
When was the last time you had this type of discussion with your family? Have you put any of those decisions on paper? What did you find helpful? What would you suggest to others? Share your tips with me on twitter @janeblaufus.
To find out more personal and financial planning tips about this subject and other issues, you can order my book WITH THE [STROKE] OF A PEN™, Claim you life at janeblaufus.com. Follow me on Twitter and please visit my Facebook page.
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Jane Blaufus is an Author, Professional Speaker and Catalyst for ‘Courageous Conversations’. Her book, WITH THE [STROKE] OF A PEN™, Claim your life shares her personal story, struggles and lessons learned following the unexpected death of her first husband. She has been featured on the CTV National News Channel, CBC’s Lang and O’Leary Exchange, CHCH Morning Live, CFRB NewsTalk 1010 and CTV News at Noon. Feel free to visit her blog.
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