Fear of aging and its associated problems are clearly obstacles to planning for long-term care. Unfortunately, fear often leads to denial, and denial prevents people from aptly assessing their long term care needs and taking the appropriate action to address those needs. Yet for every reason why people do not plan in advance for long-term care needs, there is a reason why they should. The advantages of planning ahead are many:
Planning ahead for long-term care is important, because there is a good chance an individual will need some level of long-term care if he or she lives beyond the age of 65.
Planning ahead helps one understand the available LTC services, eligibility criteria, cost, and public and private payment options.
Planning ahead forces a person to face the fact that the cost of long-term care services often exceeds what the average person can pay from income and other personal resources. By planning ahead, assets and income can be preserved for uses other than long-term care, including preserving the quality of life for a spouse or other loved ones.
Planning ahead means less emotional and financial stress on family members.
Finally, planning ahead helps ensure greater independence if and when the need occurs.