People are living longer, and having children later – and that’s pushing a lot of family caregivers right to the brink of their endurance. It’s estimated that about 2.5 million people in this country are struggling to simultaneously take care of an elderly loved one (or several) while still raising children of their own.
This balancing act is made even more difficult simply because many long-term care facilities are hard to get into or are dangerously understaffed. That leaves members of the sandwich generation struggling to foot private care bills they can ill afford because they don’t realize that most of the long-term services they need aren’t covered by Medicare.
Medi-Cal planning can help, but you have to think ahead
If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, you have to be proactive about planning ahead, because it’s already problematic if you wait until your parent shows signs of needing long-term care to start thinking about it.
Some effective strategies to assist your senior loved ones include getting documents and permissions in place that will help you better direct your aging loved ones’ care. Powers of attorney, for example, can allow you to complete benefit applications on your loved ones’ behalf and allow you to communicate with their medical providers freely. Medical directives can help you make sure that your loved ones’ end-of-life wishes are followed.
It’s also important to Investigate the proper way to reallocate your loved one’s assets so they don’t fall afoul of the Medi-Cal “lookback” period, which takes into account anything they’ve transferred out of their name or sold at less than fair market value for the last 30 months before eligibility is granted. This could involve the use of Medi-Cal asset protection trusts to make sure that your senior loved ones have everything they need.
Planning ahead for end-of-life issues involves much more than just creating a will. It means preparing for all potential futures, including one that involves nursing home care. Find out more about what it takes to get your loved ones’ affairs in order.