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The Elder-Care Triumvirate

Advisors can serve an important role in helping clients and their families narrow the choices for appropriate care and cost effective solutions.

Helen Modly and Tommie Monez, 11/08/2012

Several years ago, we had very limited resources to find elder-care services. Now there is such a proliferation of services that it's hard to know where to start. Advisors can serve an important role in helping clients and their families narrow the choices for appropriate care and cost-effective solutions.

The Advisor's Role When a Client Needs Help
Aging, either in one's home or in a retirement community, is a significant financial event and costs can range widely. Unfortunately, clients often avoid advance planning when it comes to finding an assisted-living facility or moving to a home that is suited to aging in place. Quite often it takes a crisis to prompt the decision to move, and action becomes reaction. Making the wrong choices can make a big difference in quality of life and preservation of assets.

Clients may not plan ahead but the advisor can, so get to know the best provider services in your area. Not only will you be expanding the level and quality of client service, but elder-care providers can be great centers of influence to help build your practice.

The Big Three
Aging clients face three main questions, and there is a specialist to help in each area:

How will I manage when I can't live independently anymore, and where will I live? Solution: geriatric care manager

If I have to move, who will help me sell the house and downsize, and if I need to adapt my home, where will I find contractors? Solution: senior move manager

What if I can't keep up with paying my bills anymore? Solution: daily money manager

Finding the Right Geriatric Care
In-home or assisted-living care can run the gamut from very basic to comprehensive and may involve several providers. Geriatric care managers can help to streamline the process, assess the level of support that is needed, identify problems, and develop care plans. A geriatric care manager or care coordinator can be invaluable to families who are not local, are unable to help, or in the event there is no immediate family.

The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.

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