Without a doubt, 2020 has been an unprecendented year. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the economy, family life, and, well, just about everything else into disarray.
Yet, one aspect of American life has definitely not changed — and that’s the need to prepare for one’s senior years.
As the Baby Boom generation continues to march into their retirement years — at the rate of 10,000 per day — Americans are living longer than ever. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2030, more than 20% of U.S. residents will have passed their 65th birthdays.
But what that life will entail, post-65, can wildly vary depending on lifestyle preferences, health status, finances, and more. That’s why preparation is so important — the sooner, the better. And that’s what this special section of HCN is all about.
For the second straight year, we take a hard look at myriad questions: what levels of care are available, and what do they include? What are some strategies for approaching mom or dad with concerns they might not be able to live alone anymore? How can families pay for all this? What’s an estate plan, and what documents are most important?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2030, more than 20% of U.S. residents will have passed their 65th birthdays.
As noted, 2020 is already a year fraught with anxiety, and no one wants to add more. But the truth is, even if you don’t expect to be thinking about long-term care for yourself or a loved one, an unexpected accident, illness, or injury can change one’s health needs, sometimes suddenly — or the need might emerge gradually, due to declining health.
It’s a lot to think about, and no single guide can answer all those questions. But hopefully, the following pages will help you approach those decisions with a little more understanding and a little less worry.