When it comes to long term care planning, people often assume that married couples have it easier because they have each to turn to for support. When the situation gets tough, it surely helps to have another person present. On top of that, married couples can look to each other to act as caregivers, should the need arise. However, it is not all flowers and rainbows for them. Planning for two also means double the expenses. It can mean trying to reconcile two different needs and opposing preferences.

Single individuals do not have it easy as well. According to the US Census Bureau, 19 million unmarried individuals age 65 and older are residing in the States in 2015. Their take on long term care is quite different than that of married couples.

There are definitely perks to long term care planning when you are single. First of all, you get to decide for yourself and do everything at your own pace. Unlike most couples who need to consider both persons with unique needs and preferences, singles only need to plan for one. However, singles often do not have the safety net that adult children or spouses provide when it comes to long term care. This is why you must take extra care in making decisions.

So how can single individuals effectively plan for long term care? Let’s start with the basics.

Build a Good Network of Friends in Your Community
Families and relatives will always be ready to help. However, many of them have their own families to worry about. When this happens, single individuals often turn to their close set of friends for support. After all, some friendships are strong and stable enough to be considered as family. If your family members are not within reach, then the network of friends within your community can help.

You can urge your group to develop a system where you all check on each other regularly. Remember, any person is one bad fall away from needing long term care. By having a system within your group, accidents and falls may be detected and addressed immediately.

Consider Long Term Care Insurance
The increase in long term care costs is a big concern among older age group. Rightfully so, more people are beginning to doubt whether their savings are enough to cover for any of care services out of pocket.

Many have turned to long term care insurance to provide the coverage that they need. In fact, studies have shown that 90% of people with this type of insurance are satisfied with their policies.

However, it is not for everyone because this type of insurance also requires money. You can answer this quiz to know if this matches your future care needs.

Sort Out Important Documents Early
Be sure to have all the necessary documents, such as wills, trusts, and advanced directives, prepared early. These will help ensure that all your wishes when it comes to the care that you receive will be met, especially when you can no longer relay them. Have one person from close circle know about the location of these papers.

Final Notes to Remember
Planning for long term care today is not as easy as it seems. There are too many considerations to think about, and the wrong move can cause the blocks you have built to tumble down. However, keep in mind that it is doable. Many people before and around you have succeeded in planning for their own long term care. You just have to take it one step at a time.

Author's Bio: 

Samantha Stein is an online content manager for ALTCP.org. Her works focus on key information on long term care insurance, finance, elder care, and retirement. In line with the organization’s goal, Samantha creates content that helps raise awareness on the importance of having a comprehensive long term care plan not just for the good of the individual but for the safety of the entire family.