“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Those wise words from Alexander Graham Bell are as meaningful today as they were when he said them more than 100 years ago.

photo-1415226581130-91cb7f52f078Preparation and planning helps people succeed in many phases of life—as children we prepared for school projects, as adults we planned and prepared for careers and raising families, and as seniors healthcare needs become something to plan and prepare for.

You might wonder where to start or how one actually plans for future healthcare needs—the good news is that you’re not re-inventing the wheel and that experts have assembled information that can help you and your loved ones make decisions.

AARP for example provides a free guide to long-term care planning called “Planning for Long-Term Care, Your Resource Guide”. The 50+ page guidebook offers information and education…and it also serves as a workbook that can be filled in and saved for future use.

“When it comes to your home, your health, and your finances, you want to be in the driver’s seat. That’s why it’s so important to plan now for retirement — and any future care you may need. Planning for long-term care is one of the smartest decisions you can make, and it’s a gift for your family too.”

In the guide you’ll learn important information about long-term care, like did you know more than 2/3 of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care? Did you know that women are most likely to need care during the aging process because they traditionally live parish nurse with resident resized for weblonger than men? Interesting, right?

The guidebook will also get you thinking about how to manage finances as you age, whether you’ll be able to live safely in your home, what roles family members may play in providing care and what you can do now to improve your health and wellness so long-term care can potentially be delayed.

Download and print this long-term care planning guide

AARP’s guide to long-term care is an in-depth review of how to plan for long-term care. It is recommended that older adults take time to educate themselves before LTC is needed, and that they make decisions, create plans and share information with their loved ones.

Older adults and their families in Bellingham, Lynden, Everson, Sumas, Nooksack and Birch Bay/Blaine can contact Christian Health Care Center to learn more about long-term care. Our Whatcom County skilled nursing facility helps with therapeutic rehabilitation (rest and recover after surgery, then return home) as well as long-term care living.

Our staff social worker helps patients and residents assess the level of care needed as well as identify funding sources. We are here to help you plan and prepare for healthcare during the aging process.