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Navigating the Emotional Journey
Moving a parent to Senior Living is tough. Saying goodbye to the family house is one of the hardest parts. The family home is a place that holds many memories and a lifetime of family history and shared experiences. In 2021 alone, over 3 million adults aged 65 and above moved into Senior Living, underlining the magnitude of this experience. At Family Shepherd, we’re here to offer compassionate guidance through this emotional journey.
Nostalgia and Sentimentality
The family home is a place where you’ve witnessed the full spectrum of life’s moments, from childhood to adulthood. Selling it can stir up a flood of nostalgia and sentimentality. You may find yourself and your parent reminiscing about the countless milestones, celebrations, and everyday moments that have taken place within those walls. These feelings are valid and should be acknowledged as part of your journey. Take time to celebrate each memory as it arises.
Loss and Transition
Selling the family home signifies a great transition, for both you and your parent. It’s more than just a place; it’s a symbol of family history and shared experiences. The thought of moving to a new home can be unsettling and can intensify the sense of loss and displacement that your parent is feeling. Embrace the idea that it’s natural to feel this way and that it’s all part of the process. Focus on the positive aspects in the transition and acknowledge feelings of uncertainty as you work through this transition. Be encouraging and supportive as you both talk through your feelings.
Fear of the Unknown
Your parent may be apprehensive about moving into a Senior Living community, facing an unfamiliar environment, and leaving behind a place they’ve known for years. Their fears can amplify your own emotions. It’s essential to provide support and reassurance while acknowledging and addressing their concerns with empathy and understanding.
Guilt and Responsibility
As an adult child, you might wrestle with feelings of guilt about making this decision. Questions about whether you’re doing the right thing or if there were alternative options can be emotionally challenging. Remember that this choice is made with your parent’s best interests at heart, and professional guidance is often the key to navigating this complex terrain. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who can reassure you as you work through these feelings.
Oftentimes selling the family home is a financial necessity to provide for your parent’s care in a Senior Living community. This pragmatic aspect can add another layer of complexity to the emotional journey. It’s essential to approach this aspect with compassion, understanding that this is a step taken out of love and responsibility. Let your parent know that the decisions were not taken lightly. Care providers and loved ones made the best decision for your parent’s safety and care.
Prioritizing Your Parent’s Well-Being
Remind yourself that you’re taking this difficult and emotional step out of love and concern for your parent’s best interest. The decision to move your loved one into Senior Living is motivated by a deep-seated desire to ensure their well-being and quality of life.
Even if you have a long-term care insurance policy, you may likely be hoping that you won't ever have reason to use it. Regardless of what the future holds, there's one silver lining of which you may not be aware. That is, premiums on many long-term care insurance policies are in fact tax-deductible. What Is Long-Term Care Insurance? Long-term care insurance, or LTCI, can help you prepare for covering the cost of care in a nursing home facility or other setting when and if you need it. Unfortunately, the likelihood that youll need long-term care services at some point is high. In fact, about 70 percent of older adults find themselves having to rely on at least some long-term care in their later years. When individuals require long-term care, it means that they need assistance when completing activities of daily living (ADLs). These basic daily tasks include dressing oneself, showering, or moving safely from one place to another in one's household, such as from the bed to the bathroom, or in and out of one's chair. In most cases, your LTCI policy will begin covering long-term care services if you cannot perform at least two ADLs on your own. The cost of LTCI policy premiums can be out of reach for many people, and some insurers have been raising premiums over the course of time. According to one 2022 survey by HCG Secure, a mere one in 10 of Americans older than 65 have a long-term care insurance policy. However, if you have purchased a tax-qualified plan, you may be able to deduct the insurance premium as a medical expense. Is My Long-Term Care Insurance Policy Tax-Deductible? You can deduct numerous types of medical and dental expenses from your taxes. In addition to qualified long-term care insurance premiums, other deductible health expenses include the following: prescription medications and insulin substance use disorder inpatient treatment or smoking-cessation programs prescription or reading eyeglasses contact lenses hearing aids X-rays artificial teeth acupuncture treatments the cost of caring for a guide dog for a person with a vision or hearing disability When filing your 2023 federal income taxes, check with your insurance broker or state insurance commission to determine whether your LTCI policy qualifies. Only certain long-term care insurance policies meet the criteria for a tax deduction. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners sets these rules. Typically, many hybrid long-term care policies do not qualify for a premium deduction. (For more information on what defines a qualified LTCI contract, consult the IRS Publication 502 for the current tax year.) If your policy does qualify, you can deduct your LTCI policy premium up to a specified limit. Keep in mind that you will only be eligible for a tax deduction if all of your eligible medical expenses totaled more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income for the year. Select states also offer LTCI tax incentives, so be sure to check with your tax advisor. Note, too, that if you are self-employed, the rules regarding these deductions can differ. How Much Can I Deduct in 2024? If your annual LTCI policy premium is higher than the limit provided in the table below, it will count as a medical expense. The older you are, the higher your deductible limit. For example, if you are a 75-year-old individual at the end of 2023, you may be able to deduct up to $5,880 in LTCI premiums as qualified medical expenses. There are lower deduction limits this year than in previous years. The Internal Revenue Service adjusts these limits each year. The cost of long-term care services can in large part depend on where you live. Check out this online tool to get an estimate based on your ZIP code. The ins and outs of LTCI products can prove to be complicated. Consult with an experienced tax or elder law attorney in your area. An elder law attorney can provide guidance on purchasing an LTCI policy and also assist you in planning for the possibility that you will need long-term care in the future.
REMARRYING SENIORS HAVE BIG ESTATE PLANNING DECISIONS TO MAKE9/5/2022 Second marriages are more common in the lives of seniors these days. Many seniors who remarry have enjoyed a life of love with a previous spouse whom passes away, and later discover love with someone new. Although they often feel like theyve lost the love of their life, remarrying as a senior can be exhilarating for these later years.Caught up among the excitement newfound love can bring are some of lifes most serious decisions, and evermore so for remarrying seniors. Many seniors choose not to plan when remarrying, causing unforeseen challenges for their loved ones. This also has the potential to break close relationships with others and cause infighting among other family members.Longer lifespans are accredited for the increasing numbers in remarrying seniors. And, as the years go on, this will probably have many marrying for the first time later in life, in increasingly blended ways. Questions about what to do with a lifetime of accumulated and still accumulating assets are ones that couples dont have to consider when they're young. However, these are decisions almost all seniors must make when remarrying. With 50% of seniors remarrying, these are questions elder law attorneys are starting to hear more and more, from existing and new clients. Meeting with an elder law attorney, can let you and your new spouse know what your options are.Prenuptial AgreementsThe biggest consideration for seniors remarrying is the prenuptial agreement. Whereas fictional stories in print and Hollywood often outline prenuptial worst-case scenarios and intentions, prenuptial agreements are the norm for seniors remarrying, and they often deliver the best protection for both spouses. Open communication is the most important factor when agreeing to a prenuptial agreement. Typically, each spouse has children or family whom they desire to maintain as beneficiaries on bank accounts, stocks and other assets. This may be important, so the first to pass away doesnt unknowingly and completely disinherit their children.For those with investments and real estate, trusts are important vehicles to keep finances where they are desired to be for seniors and their beneficiaries. If remarrying seniors pool their finances together, they can be even more vital to keeping everyones desires satisfied. Whether it comes down to a prenuptial agreement, a trust, or a combination of the two, it is most important both partners understand the full picture of their plans for one another and those they love.A Lifetime of AssetsPooling assets together and putting another name on a title can seem like intuitive decisions when remarrying. But these decisions often have better alternatives that can prevent the likelihood of disinheriting loved ones and hoping blended families can work it out after you pass away. Assets often have limitations with who and how many beneficiaries can be designated, and titling often has predetermined legalities that differ from state to state. Newlyweds should prepare for protecting their children and their spouse at the same time and, there is really no way of doing so without creating a trust.Taxes, Medicaid & Pension ConsiderationsConsequences of dying intestate or even with a will that assures going through probate and adds to the complexity of decisions to make when remarrying as a senior. Well, you can add taxes, Medicaid and pension considerations to the list, because higher earnings levels may bump a couple up to a higher tax bracket, change Social Security benefits and even disqualify you from a pension and Medicaid. Elder law attorneys with financial planning experience are vital in understanding your full range of options surrounding these scenarios. This will ensure you are best prepared when the IRS wants to collect or another institution is ready to change their terms of service.TrustsTrusts give trustors (thats you and your spouse) the most flexibility and planning options. Amending wills, life insurance, investments and property can be cumbersome and evenly separating them out among beneficiaries is nearly impossible. Creating a trust allows benefactors the ability to distribute exactly how and when they desire. This is important to ensure a new spouse is well cared for even after the other passes.ConclusionThe sum of these relationships is different for everyone. Falling in love with someone new always impacts the others we love. These relationships may grow positively, or they may not. Remaining loyal to a new spouse might mean it is too difficult to maintain all the relationships we once had and enjoyed. While this is not necessarily estate planning legalese, its often a new reality after remarrying later in life. It is important to plan for these changes, and not to let them keep you from making the important estate planning decisions necessary when remarrying as a senior. Planning ahead can also keep you from making knee jerk decisions with your planning during emotional times. The benefits of finding love as a senior can bring an exuberance of excitement and joy into or lives. Dont let this decision result in unintended consequences for yourself and others. Make sure your most heartfelt desires are carried out for you and those you love for the rest of their lives. If you want to ensure that you make the right decisions for your own family when considering life and estate planning decisions, feel free to sit down and talk with us for a free consultation by calling (913) 491-6332, visit our website berger-lawfirm.com or stop by our conveniently located office at 11233 Nall, Suite 140 Leawood, KS 66211 for more information. Berger Estate & Elder Law P.A. has been providing our clients with Trusted Counsel and Proactive Solutions for over 30 years, and we look forward to many more!
Transitioning into senior living can be a significant life change for seniors, and adjusting to a new routine in this environment is crucial for their overall well-being and happiness. This blog article will provide valuable tips and guidance on helping seniors adapt to their new routine in senior living, emphasizing the importance of participation in activities, socialization, and staying engaged.Promote a Familiar Daily Schedule:Encourage seniors to maintain some elements of their familiar daily routine. This might include keeping a regular wake-up time, mealtimes, and bedtime, which can provide a sense of stability and comfort in a new environment.Explore Available Activities:Senior living communities offer a wide range of activities and programs. Help seniors explore the options available, such as fitness classes, arts and crafts, book clubs, or gardening. Encourage them to participate in activities that align with their interests and hobbies.Participate Together:Offer to accompany your loved one to activities, especially during the initial adjustment period. This can make the transition less intimidating and help build a sense of community.Connect with Peers:Encourage socialization by fostering connections with fellow residents. Suggest attending group activities, such as bingo nights, game afternoons, or communal meals, where seniors can meet and interact with their peers.Stay Informed:Keep up-to-date with the senior living communitys event calendar and programs. Share this information with your loved one and help them plan which activities theyd like to attend.Create a Personal Calendar:Assist in creating a personalized calendar that outlines daily and weekly activities. This can help seniors feel more organized and in control of their time.Embrace Technology:If your loved one is tech-savvy, introduce them to virtual events, online communities, and video calls with family and friends. Technology can be a valuable tool for staying connected and engaged.Encourage Hobbies and Interests:Support seniors in pursuing their hobbies and interests within the senior living community. Whether its playing a musical instrument, painting, or gardening, these activities can provide a sense of purpose.Stay Active and Healthy:Promote physical activity and wellness. Encouraging regular activity promotes mental health and physical health. Physical activity is also important in pain management, maintaining strength and balance. Senior living communities often offer a range of exercise options, from low-impact classes to more vigorous activities, catering to a variety of fitness levels and preferences.Helping seniors adapt to their new routine in senior living is a collaborative effort that involves family members, caregivers, and the senior living community itself. By emphasizing the importance of participation in activities, socialization, and staying engaged, we can ensure that our senior loved ones have a fulfilling and enriching experience in their new environment. Remember that patience and understanding play a crucial role in making this transition a positive and successful one.
If you are preparing to transition a loved one from their home to a care community, Family Shepherd is here to help. Our dedicated team of experts focuses on providing assistance and guidance to seniors and their families in the Kansas City area, with the aim to alleviate stress. We know that the house is often the familys largest asset, and we are here to help free up that equity in the house quickly. We work with families to buy the house and share all our trusted local senior living resources to make the transition easier. Know that we are here to guide, protect, and serve your family. Best of all, we dont charge any fees for our services.Transitioning a loved one to a care community is an overwhelming journey. Its a path many families tread with uncertainty, unsure of where to begin. Questions like How can we afford the care Mom deserves? often weigh heavily. With each passing day, the health and well-being of Mom grows more concerning. The sooner you can afford to get her transferred, the safer she will be.This is where Family Shepherd comes in. For us, foundationally, it starts with the house. The house is generally the largest asset and resource for affording long-term care. We assist seniors, and their families, by buying the homes, freeing up immediate funding for the next stage of care. But it doesnt stop there. Ben Rao, Founder and Lead ShepherdBen Rao is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, Paying for Long-Term Care, a life-long entrepreneur, philanthropist and senior care advocate with over 20 years of experience in real estate.Ben was raised in Louisville, Kentucky by his stepfather Tom and his mother Peela, who devoted 40 years to not-for-profit senior services. Ben experienced first-hand the emotional and financial struggle that families face when he was unexpectedly confronted with the reality of transitioning Tom into senior care. He was challenged by the lack of direction and resources available for a process that nearly all of us will eventually need to go through. That experience inspired Ben to use his personal and professional experience in the long-term care industry to help families transition their loved ones into senior care. His entrepreneurial background has helped him become an excellent problem solver which has been a skill he enjoys using to help seniors and their families. After selling a nationally recognized business in Senior Living industry in June 2023, Ben has turned his energy and senior living expertise to help families in Kansas City. Ben enjoys helping other people.Ben lives with his wife, Rhonda, and their two children, Maddy and Charlie, in a renovated historic building that was once the Lees Summit Hospital and the Dayton Hotel in Downtown Lees Summit. He developed Lees Summits first entrepreneurial incubator and office space in a formerly vacant post office. He works there alongside his trusty sidekick, Charlie dog, a border collie who has gone to the office with him every day for the last 13 years.