Statistically one in four people will need care in a care setting at some point in the future, but the opinion of many regarding planning for care is to bury their heads in the sand until the need, often urgent, actually arises. As an ageing population we need to stop being afraid of the need for care and treat it just like any other aspect of life and face into it, head on.
Considering your own needs and wants in later life is something much easier to tackle while you are still in good health, and a good way to do so is to create a blueprint or ‘Care Destiny Plan’. If you have parents and/or grandparents who are already struggling with independent living, you can help them create a plan as well.
Having a clear and documented plan for a brighter and more secure future, that you have designed and can control, can be very reassuring and even inspiring.
The care journey can be broken down into seven steps:
- Meet with a specialist care planning adviser to discuss your hopes and dreams for the future
- Visit care homes in a locality that interests you, and be prepared for your current perceptions to be blown out of the water. Today many homes are more like luxury hotel chains than the out dated, shabby and unhygienic places you may imagine. Yes they are expensive, and nobody would pretend otherwise, but with the right forward planning and bespoke advice you may find that this type of care home is well within reach.
- Consider care at home, you can invite local agencies to come and see you for an informal interview to see if their services would be preferable to being in a residential home setting
Talk to your adviser again, this time factoring in specific care costs and how they can be funded. At this time you may wish to consider other financial planning objectives, such as if you are hoping to be able to leave some of your money to your family as an inheritance and how this may be achieved alongside planning for care
- Make sure that you have valid Wills in place and that they reflect your current wishes
- Consider getting both Health & Welfare and Property & Finance Lasting Powers of Attorney drawn up if you have not already done so. These will ensure that the people you want to have acting on your behalf should you lose capacity will have the necessary legal authority to do so, and will save the significant expense of them potentially having to get involved with the Court of Protection further down the line
- The final step is to formalise your Care Destiny Plan, which acts as a blueprint for the future, and more importantly takes the guesswork out of the mix for family members.
Families who have gone through this process have said that they experience genuine relief and a sense of well being, and if the plan is never needed, it doesn’t matter.
To help you take the first steps in your planning you can request a free copy of The Ultimate Care Fees Planning Handbook. These are produced by Symponia, the national organisation for care fees and later life planning advisers, of which Louise Taylor at Pilot Financial Planning is the member covering the South Devon area.
If you would like to receive a copy of the handbook please contact Louise directly.