Family, Youth and Community Sciences News

Research-based information, resources, and tips for families, consumers, and educators; provided by the faculty of the University of Florida/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences.

Family Factors Involved in Making Long-Term Care Financing Decisions

Family Album RadioListen to the podcast:Family factors involved in making long term care financing decisions

Written by: Jo Turner and Donna Davis

When visiting friends recently who had purchased a new condominium in a retirement community, they told us that when they made the move, their kids thought they were nuts. The children continued to fight the decision until they discovered that mom and dad were actually quite happy in their new home. This scenario is not uncommon among families who are dealing with changing life stages.

Multiple factors are known to influence family decisions related to financing long-term care.

Marlene Stum, Ph.D. Family Social Scientist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service suggests families consider the following: take time to identify and clarify individual and family later life financial goals. It’s also important that families are realistic about what resources are available to achieve those goals.

Families should also be aware of competing life demands. At the same time that someone needs long-term care, other family members may be facing their own life events such as a divorce, job layoffs, or the birth of another child.

Additionally, when it comes to financing long-term care individual family members may have very different interpretations regarding the costs of long-term care, who should be making the decisions, who can be trusted with the family’s resources and what are appropriate financing options. The more family members involved, the greater the potential for conflict within the family. Finding a trusted professional to help navigate the process may help some families make decisions with less conflict and greater confidence.

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Wilken, Carolyn, "Housing As We Grow Older: Taking Stock," EDIS, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

"Aging in the 21st Century," coordinated by Carolyn Wilken, PhD, MPH,. EDIS, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First published: May 2003.