For many of us, thinking about the future can come with a lot of stress and worry. Even if you have savings for retirement, it’s impossible to foresee what issues might arise down the road. Medical bills, home repairs, and changes in Social Security benefits are all possibilities that can eat into your savings. If you or your partner should need long-term care due to an injury or illness, savings can evaporate.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can prepare. Lifestyle changes can maximize the odds of living longer without long-term care, while building up the savings account can make more options available. The key is to think carefully about how you want to proceed and to look for the best ways to make changes that won’t come at the cost of comfort or safety. The following tips can help you get started, courtesy of Aspen Senior Care.
When it comes to planning for your future needs, sometimes it helps to look at your lifestyle. If you have health or mobility issues now, what will the next five or 10 years look like? Long-term care is often necessary for seniors who cannot traverse their home safely on their own, or for those who suffer a fall or injury as a result of their disability.
Make positive lifestyle changes now because it’s important to do so. Diet and exercise can play a pivotal role in staying healthy. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best ways to create healthy habits.
Consider the Cost
Long-term care isn’t just expensive, but many of us dread the idea like it’s some kind of surrender. If independence is important, and the current home can continue to be a safe place to live with minor modifications, then planning on staying in the home for as long as possible can be worth it.
Don’t be afraid to admit what you’ll need help with. A housekeeper coming in once or twice a week to help with the chores that have gotten to be more of a chore can be a godsend.
An in-home senior-care service like Aspen Senior Care in Utah Valley can fill in the gaps and keep you in your home longer than without visits. They can also provide an in-home no-cost no-obligation assessment to help you address problem areas in the home.
Reduce the Risk of Injury
Take a look around the home to see if there are changes that can be made now. Home modifications have become very popular as many more seniors are looking to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
The bathroom and kitchen are often problematic areas. There are easy fixes that can be done, like adding more lighting and removing clutter and items like throw rugs that can lead to a fall. In the bathroom, add a shower seat and grab bars to aid in your balance in both the shower and around the toilet.
Need a new shower stall or need to do something about water pressure or move pipes? For major projects, look for certified plumbers near me to take on the job. Compare rates and look at reviews to get one who’s trustworthy. With the right information, you can confidently make an informed decision.
Look at Finances
Many seniors rely on their retirement fund to pay for long-term care costs, but it’s imperative that you understand what your needs will be when you retire. Look at your income versus expenditures, and come up with a budget. Making a realistic cut in your spending now will help you figure out how much you’ll need in the coming years and what you can and can’t live without.
Even with health insurance and Medicare, long-term care can be costly, as these programs don’t pay for everything. Having a cushion in your savings account will be extremely helpful, and one of the best ways to pad it quickly is by selling your home.
If this is an option, consider downsizing to a smaller place that will save you money and work better for your health and safety needs. If your home is paid off or can list for a higher price, that’s a lot of cushioning for future needs.
Thinking about the future can be stressful, so it’s important to look for ways you can reduce those feelings and stay focused. Careful planning is necessary to ensure that you and your partner will be comfortable for years to come. It’s never too soon to prepare for every eventuality, including the need for long-term care.
About the Author
Annabelle Harris is the creator of Elders.Center. Her goal is to help soon-to-be seniors and already-seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence. The site features a plethora of resources to help answer common and not-so-common questions about aging.