Creating a Plan for Long-Term Care

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Last week’s article concluded that, while long-term care insurance is unaffordable for most Americans, everyone needs a long-term health care plan.

Knowing how long you may live is one of the first variables to consider in putting together such a plan. A number of online sites can give you a scientific estimate of your life expectancy. I recently retook the evaluation at and was surprised that my life expectancy had increased from 98 to 100 since 2016.

Two major issues to consider in creating your own long-term care plan are where you will live and how you will pay for the care you are likely to need. In part because of cost, most seniors want to stay in their own homes.

To make this more likely, consider in advance issues like the following:

  1. The proximity of grocery stores, medical facilities, and other needed services.
  2. The accessibility of your home. Can you live on one level, remodel for handicapped access, accommodate ramps, have space available for possible live-in help, etc.?
  3. A plan for home maintenance, paying bills, shopping, and transportation.
  4. The availability and estimated cost of in-home support and medical services—and your willingness to use them.
  5. Access to an emotional/social support system of friends and family.

Even with a goal of staying in your home, your plan needs to consider how to determine if and when that is no longer possible. This might be when friends or family feel it’s a safety issue, or when you can no longer perform certain functions.