Families Urged To Discuss Long Term Care Planning Over Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the few times during the year when several generations of family members gather and is the ideal time to discuss important topics.

“As Americans live longer lives, it is more vital than ever for families to address vital issues including long term care planning,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance http://www.aaltci.org.  The national trade group established November as Long Term Care Awareness Month in 2001 with the goal of encouraging discussions between generations.  “Even a few minutes to cover some key issues can avoid years of family stress and angst,” Slome notes.

The Association’s studies have found that too few families discuss the issue prior to the time when an actual need for care arises.  “There are a multitude of topics such as making an elderly family member’s home safer to avoid falls,” Slome notes.  “An elderly person’s preference for location of care is also essential as some wish to remain at home while others might prefer to move in with an adult child.”

Some eight million American seniors now own long term care insurance according to the Association.  “I often refer to it as the ‘silent purchase’ because few aging parents tell their adult child they have this protection in place.”

Should an aging parent need long-term care, they might not be in the physical or mental condition to tell their family member about the insurance policy which would provide benefits.  “We do get calls from family members who find policies years after their parent has passed away and wonder if they can collect any benefits,” Slome adds.  “Regrettably, at that point it’s too late.”

Slome urges families who have purchased LTC insurance to discuss where they keep such records with their adult children.  “Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy being with family,” Slome adds.  “But a few minutes of serious conversation will not interfere with the celebration and can avoid so many costly and emotionally devastating problems down the road.”

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