Beginning the journey of long-term care planning

cheerful-multi-generation-family-at-beachOctober marks Long-Term Care Planning Month, something we celebrate here at SeaCare. 

Why is this holiday observance a reason to celebrate? 

Well, because when seniors and their families have discussions about their loved ones health, safety and happiness down the road, everyone benefits

Read on to find out where to get started and who to involve in the conversation. 

It doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems! 


Getting started 

Every senior is different, and every family has unique caregiving needs.  

The goal of in-home care is to keep your loved one happy and healthy at home. How can we achieve this? By providing care that benefits everyone involved

-As a family, you want to feel at ease knowing that your loved one is being taken care of.

-As a senior, you want to maintain your independence as long as possible in the comfort of your own home. And you want to stay active, engaged and as healthy as possible. 

-Caregivers want to be treated with the respect they deserve from an in-home care company, which leads to healthy caregiving relationships and a low turnover rate. 

You might be worried about finding the best possible care for your loved one. As you consider or start the search for in-home care, you might be feeling: 

  • Overwhelmed with your options
  • Uncertain about where to start in the process
  • Guilt about passing off care
  • Anxious to get the process started

Whatever your situation, take a deep breath and know that there are plenty of options out there that will meet your caregiving needs. 




Have the discussion about long-term care planning

First off, what is long-term care?

The type of long-term care depends on a senior's needs. It could be needing assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), or involve more of a focus on healthcare needs. 

The most common type of care is personal care, which covers ADLs. 

Adult children might feel more at ease knowing that there’s a plan, and relief knowing what’s expected of them if one or both of their parents has greater needs in the future. 

And can seniors feel more calm and confident heading into the future. 

Both parties can better plan financially so that when it comes to the time of needing care, no one is caught too off guard or takes on the added stress of a financial surprise. 

Reaching the stage of realizing you need care and assessing your options can come as a shock to some. The reality of aging can really sink in for everyone involved. The point of hiring a caregiver or acting as your family’s caregiver is to give your loved one the best quality of life possible. 

When you remember that, making those decisions becomes easier

Most families we talk to and take on as clients say that they wish they would’ve started the process of searching for a caregiver 6-12 months earlier than they did. 

That’s why we recommend starting the search for a caregiver and/or in-home care company as soon as the thought comes to mind. 


Do your research 

According to the National Institute on Aging, there are some factors that go into who most often needs long-term care. 

Women, single people, older people and those with poor health will most likely need care sooner and also are more likely to need medical care. 





Considering the cost of care will likely be a major talking point in your family, which is why it’s important to ask questions, and not assume your parent or family's financial situation. 

-Does your parent have a savings set aside for when/if they can’t take care of themselves?

-If your parent needs long-term care, who will assume financial responsibility? You, or your parent? 

-Is paying for in-home care an option, or will someone in the family need to assume caregiving responsibility? Or will caring for your parent be more of a joint effort? 


Long-term care insurance 

Unfortunately, regular insurance doesn’t cover the cost of long-term care. 

According to NerdWallet, most long-term care insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost of care in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and your own home. 

Keep in mind, you might not qualify for long-term care insurance if you already have a serious condition. That’s why, similar to most types of insurance, it’s best to buy into it when you’re healthier and younger. 

Most people buy long-term care insurance in their ‘50s and ‘60s. 

Interesting fact: Starting in 2025, Washington state will be providing long-term care insurance to “eligible residents.” Find out more in this article


Find a caregiving set-up that works for you 

With 70% of seniors needing some sort of long-term care in their lifetime, you would think there would be a plethora of care options out there, and thankfully there are. 

From home health aides, to nursing homes to paid caregivers who come to your home, there are options for every situation. 

If you’re debating on whether or not a nursing home set-up would work for the senior in your life, check out a past blog on the difference between home care and nursing homes. If you’re set on hiring an in-home care company for your caregiving needs, check out what to look for in the Seattle area. 

We also wrote about knowing when to hire a caregiver, which could happen more suddenly than you think. 

Our tip to you? We can never say this enough

Start the research process now. Now while you’re family is calm, cool and collected and while the senior in your life is in good health. 

The more decisions you can make with a clear head and without the pressure of time, the happier you will likely feel about your options and choices. 

Long-term care with SeaCare 

What makes SeaCare In-Home Care Services different? 

  • We’re a small, family-owned company
  • We provide personalized and empathetic care
  • Our care teams are consistent
  • Our caregivers and our clients are the priority 
  • We create community in the caregiving space

We realize how important of a role a caregiver plays in your loved ones wellbeing, and it’s our top priority to foster healthy caregiving relationships.  

Find out more about Our Story, and give us a call to see if we’re a good fit for your family. 

Megan Marolf writes about senior topics and outdoor recreation from her home base in Seattle. You can read more about her here












If you or a loved one you know are looking for additional support during this time and are interested in scheduling a free in-home assessment, please contact SeaCare In-Home Care Services today! A SeaCare family member is standing by. 425-559-4339.