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How Can You Plan for the Long-Term Care Needs of a Loved One Diagnosed with Parkinsons?

Has your loved one been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease? What do you do now? Even more importantly, what about the future?  As you walk with your loved one through the beginning stages of understanding and managing the disease, it is necessary to think about the long-term implications, especially in regard to further health care needs and financial planning. Be aware that Parkinson's is a progressive disease and its course can be different for each person, but most individuals will probably require some form of long-term care. 

Planning for long-term care now can make a real difference in the quality of care your loved one receives and in managing the financial impact on their family. We have a few essential steps for you to take in planning for both the estate planning and long-term care needs of your loved one diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

To begin, your loved one’s Florida estate plan is the foundation of any long-term care planning. Be sure that your loved one's estate plan is up to date and reflects their current wishes. Their estate plan should include a last will and testament or trust agreement, or a combination of both, a durable power of attorney for both financial and health care decisions, and a living will. We recommend that you work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney because these estate planning tools will not only secure your loved one's legacy but also provide clear directives for their care preferences and decision-making authority if they become incapacitated.

When planning for the care needs of your loved one it is critical to understand the potential progression of Parkinson's Disease. For example, while in the early stages, your loved one may require only minimal assistance, but as the disease progresses, more comprehensive care in an assisted living facility or nursing home may become necessary.  By assessing these needs early you and your loved one can research suitable care options, including in-home care services, day care programs, and residential care facilities that specialize in Parkinson's care.

Your loved one’s Florida estate and elder law planning working together is very crucial when dealing with a Parkinson's diagnosis. An attorney experienced in both fields can offer excellent guidance on protecting assets while ensuring eligibility for public benefits such as Medicaid, which may play a crucial role in financing long-term care. Your attorney can also advise on legal strategies to manage the costs of long-term care, including the use of trusts, life insurance policies, and other financial planning tools.

Be aware that the costs associated with long-term care, especially in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, can be overwhelming. That is why early financial planning is essential to identify viable funding sources. These funding sources may include long-term care insurance, veteran's benefits, reverse mortgages, or leveraging existing assets. There is also Medicaid planning, but it requires strategic asset management to ensure eligibility without depleting all of your loved one's resources. Be mindful that a Florida elder law attorney can help navigate these complex options and develop a plan that aligns with your loved one’s financial situation and care needs.

Finally, there are many challenges when a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is made. One of the biggest is the planning for long-term care. By you and your loved one taking steps now to update their estate planning documents, assessing their care needs, consulting with an experienced attorney, and exploring funding options, you and your loved one can be prepared for the road ahead. Together your preparation not only provides peace of mind but also ensures that your loved one receives the care and support they deserve. Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Professional legal support is available to help you navigate the complexities of estate planning and elder law, ensuring that your loved one's needs are met now and in the future.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers.  Our office is here to help you navigate the legal issues related to estate planning, probate, and elder law for yourself and your loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.


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