Long-Term Care Planning Is Still Culturally Significant

Advancements in medicine have made it possible for us to appreciate our family members longer than ever, but not every family has a plan for long-term care. For many families, planning to spend the later years of their lives in assisted living or elder care facilities is the norm. Not only have they built an estate plan that creates the appropriate infrastructure, but it’s also considered socially acceptable and supported by the entire family. There are many cultures, however, that consider the practice completely taboo and prefer to care for the elder or disabled family members at home. We want all families to know there is no shame in seeking outside assistance.

Cultural Effects of Elder-Care

There is a common misconception that families who pay to have their loved ones live in elder-care facilities are simply “dumping” them after they become an inconvenience. This stigma may be amplified by the prevalence of obligations set forth by certain cultures. For example, in many Asian and Latin-American cultures, there is an emphasis on maintaining multi-generational households. This means that there is a cultural expectation for children and families to care for their elders within their own homes, and developing a comprehensive estate plan that outlines long-term care isn’t pushed aside but, in many cases, is completely frowned upon. 

There are so many amazing reasons to continue living with elderly family members. You can maximize your time with them and appreciate their long lives as they’re living them, sharing lasting memories with the whole family. This can be an ideal situation, but unfortunately, not all families and individuals are blessed with good health. When a family member is no longer capable of caring for themselves, this impacts the rest of the family financially, physically, and emotionally. Over time, this impact can ultimately lead to a lower quality of life for everyone involved.

Estate Planning Can Still Respect Cultural Obligations

For many cultures, the worst-case scenario is that families would no longer be able to care for the needs of their elderly family members. However, there are estate planning tools that can be utilized to create a compromise between cultural obligations and everyone’s general quality of life. For example, living wills and Healthcare Directives can help to prevent elder abuse and give families better guidance on exactly what their elder’s expectations are. If an elder has a specific idea of what they want their twilight years to look like and it’s not financially or physically possible for the rest of the family, it allows them to open the discussion to more sustainable planning. 

Another example of essential estate planning includes lessening the financial strain of caring for an elder with many medical needs. Some families cannot afford to have someone quit work to stay home and care for their elderly family members, and even more commonly, that person may not be emotionally or physically equipped to handle the pressure of providing that level of care. There is a common fear that senior communities are lonely and use abusive practices, and although elder abuse can happen, the right planning can improve the lives of your family members in long-term care facilities. Establishing and working toward funding a trust can enable families to possibly pay for medical and living expenses for long-term care both in and outside the family home. 

Creating the right estate plan is not always an easy process. Getting all family members on board for decision-making might not be possible, but managing expectations can start early by working with a legal team that respects and appreciates cultural differences. For compassionate and understanding legal counsel, contact the firm of Zamora Hillman & Villavicencio at (305) 285-0285 for a consultation today.

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Zamora, Hillman & Villavicencio

Our firm deals with legal matters involving your loved ones, and our familial operation is prepared to give you caring and effective counsel during what might be a difficult or emotional time.

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