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What to know about long-term care planning

It is not uncommon for individuals in California and elsewhere to be responsible for finding long-term care for an elderly family member. However, a person will usually have many questions as it relates to finding such care. For instance, there may be questions about how to pay for it or which facility offers the best service. It can also be challenging to tell a parent or grandparent that he or she needs to be in a long-term care facility.

It can be a good idea to bring up the subject of long-term care in broad terms at first. For instance, an individual could tell a parent about an article that he or she read about the topic. From there, that person may talk more about the services provided and how it could be an option if a parent can't take care of their basic needs anymore.

There are many different ways to pay for long-term care. Those who are young enough should look into buying long-term care insurance for themselves. However, this may only cover up to 70 percent of a person's long-term care expenses. Other options include Medicaid or getting a reverse mortgage, which is a type of home equity loan. Those who served in the military could be entitled to additional benefits to help with these expenses.

Ideally, individuals will begin planning for their long-term care needs as soon as possible. This may make it easier to pay for a nursing home or other services that a person may need after age 65. By consulting with an attorney or financial planner, an individual may learn more about different options to cover those expenses. Being proactive might also help a person account for long-term care expenses while developing a comprehensive estate plan.

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