Home Instead Senior Care Survey Reveals Lack of Planning for Final Years
TORONTO, ON – March 20, 2018 – Although the demand for long-term care for Canada’s seniors continues to skyrocket, the number of seniors actually planning for it is not keeping pace. And while many older adults are beginning to make end-of-life plans, they are neglecting the years of life that are part of such arrangements. According to a new survey[i] by Home Instead, Inc., more than three-fourths of seniors feel more comfortable planning for their funeral than their final years. Additionally, while 73 percent of seniors have taken steps toward preparing financially for their final years, only 13 percent have prepared financially for their long-term care.
“Final years planning can be easily misconstrued, and many people think they only need to plan for their final days and after,” said Jeff Huber, president and CEO of Home Instead Senior Care. “Often, we forget about the fact that as we age we might want or need extra care in the final days, months or even years of our lives – care so we can stay in our homes, care so we can remain independent, care so we can be around for our families and more of life’s milestones. The gap we saw from our research shows a critical need for resources to help seniors and their families better plan for their final years.”
The Home Instead survey revealed that seniors and their loved ones overestimate the plans seniors have in place. More than half of seniors who have made plans haven’t made actual arrangements – the main reasons being because they are still in good health (54 percent) and they trust their loved ones to handle their arrangements for them (48 percent).
“It sounds contradictory, but end of life planning is something that can start far in advance of the final years,” said Brian Burlacoff, Financial Advisor at Sun Life Financial Canada. “Having conversations early on and putting a plan in place will relieve stress on both the individual and their family when the final years do arrive.”
To help families plan for the final years, Burlacoff and Home Instead have partnered to develop the following considerations for seniors to consider when planning for their final years:
- Speak with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can act as a quarterback in planning for the final years and can ask the right questions, or refer you to the appropriate specialists.
- Take a holistic approach. Often individuals and their families will focus on one or two elements of end-of-life planning, but it’s essential to think about all the aspects you may not be considering.
- How do you want to live your final years? Do you have a bucket list? Perhaps you’d like to take up downhill skiing or hang gliding. Think of the final years in broader terms than just retirement or end of life planning, and set a plan that will help you support this type of lifestyle.
- Is your plan flexible? Seniors and their families should ensure their plans are adaptable to the changes that may occur as time goes on.
- Does your family know about your plans? Families should have conversations and take the time to share specifics about their plans. This ensures that your wishes are carried out and can prevent disputes between your beneficiaries that can sometimes take years to resolve.
While adults (59 percent) and seniors (76 percent) agree, discussing and making plans for their final years makes them feel more prepared, only 58 percent of adults say they have discussed their parents’ plans for their final years with them.
To help seniors and their families understand the steps they need to take to plan for their final years, Home Instead has developed Compose Your Life SongSM, an education program that offers planning resources and tips for seniors and their loved ones.
Home Instead has developed conversation starters around final years planning and other free resources to encourage seniors and their adult children to talk to one another about plans for their final years, and to help them explore options for care, finances, insurance and funeral planning. The program also features the online Compose Your Life SongSM music generator, where families’ personal accomplishments and planning are layered in musical notes leading to a harmonious grand finale.
“We are committed to helping aging adults take control and decide how their life story ends,” said Huber. “By empowering seniors to make plans, as well as encouraging conversations with adult children, older adults are able to be in charge and have their wishes honoured – something everyone deserves.”
Families can find final years planning resources and information about the Compose Your Life SongSM program at www.ComposeYourLifeSong.ca. For more information about local Home Instead Senior Care offices and to learn how their professional CAREGiversSM may be able to assist, please visit www.homeinstead.ca to find an office near you.
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ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
The Home Instead Senior Care network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today this network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout Canada and more than 10 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGivers worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.
[i] In December 2017, 505 seniors, aged 75 and older, 510 adults, aged 45-69 with a living parent, were surveyed in the United States and Canada by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network.