The answer is: Now! It is never too early to start planning for nursing home care. Even young married couples or individuals should start planning. Accidents or the sudden onset of serious incapacitating health problems afflict even the young and may require nursing home care. For the young, married, or single, it is important to plan for possible nursing home stays by having in place proper powers of attorney for financial matters and health care, and perhaps, by also investing in long-term care insurance. With seniors, long-term care insurance may not be an option either due to its cost or the senior’s current health problems. Therefore, for seniors, it is even more critical that they have proper financial and health care powers of attorney and other planning documents in place that will facilitate financial protection if placed in a nursing home. There is a common misconception that it is too late to plan for financial protection from the costs of long term nursing home care once a single person or one’s spouse is in a nursing home. Not true. In most cases, there is still a great opportunity for financial protection planning even after a loved one is in a nursing home. Thus, whether old or young, in a nursing home or not, it is wise to consult with an elder law attorney to make sure that you have a proper plan in place for the eventuality of long-term nursing home care.
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