The legal specialty of estate planning includes the niche known as elder law planning. Because of the changing demographics of our nation these are interesting times for elder law attorneys. Our nation’s population is aging at a very rapid rate. Now comes the flood of baby boomers approaching retirement age. This means unprecedented numbers of people will face the realities that go along with aging. If you want to be able to address all of the contingencies that may arise you have to recognize the challenges and opportunities that exist and plan appropriately.
Many people are not aware of just how likely it is that they may spend some time in a long-term care facility. The oldest old are the fastest growing group of seniors, and of course when you reach the age of 85 and above there is a very good chance that you will need some assistance with your day-to-day needs. About one fourth of people who are 85 and older are living in nursing homes, and many more are residing in assisted living facilities. So, all of us should take the possibility of a future stint in a long-term care facility very seriously.
As you approach your golden years it may be a good idea to be proactive about identifying a long-term care facility that you would feel comfortable with should the time come when you need to move into one. There are many good resources to tap into online to assist you as you do your research, including a great Nursing Home Compare tool that can be found on the Medicare.gov website. The tried and true old school method of asking your friends, colleagues, and relatives for referrals is also a good way to find your way to a facility that is right for your needs.
You may never need to move from your home, but if you do, it is comforting to know that you are familiar with your destination and that it is a facility that you have personally selected.