Suffering a stroke can be a very terrifying experience for an elderly individual. It is also an experience that can have effects long into the future. Among the things a stroke can impact for a senior is what their care needs are moving forward. A recent study points to stroke survivors tending to have significantly greater care needs than elderly individuals who have not suffered a stroke.
In the study, researchers looked at the average per-person, per-week care needs of a group of elderly individuals who had never suffered a stroke and a group of seniors who had survived a stroke. The average for the non-stroke group was 11.8 hours of care a week. The average for the stroke group was significantly higher, coming in at 22.3 hours a week.
Having increased care needs can affect a senior in numerous ways. It can impact what their everyday life is like. It can also significantly increase the size of the care bills they and their family will be dealing with. So, when a stroke or other event that could increase a person’s care needs happens, it could have some big future financial implications.
How well-suited the long-term care and estate plans an elderly individual has (and the devices in such plans, such as trusts) are to their particular situation and care needs (and the costs related to this situation and these needs) could have significant impacts on their ability to achieve the goals they have for the wealth they built up over the course of their working years. So, following experiencing a stroke or other medical event that could have big care need implications, a senior may benefit from having a skilled elder law attorney look over their estate and long-term care plans to see if any additions or changes should be considered given their new situation regarding care needs.
Source: University of Michigan Health System, “New study: Caring for elderly stroke survivors costs an estimated $40 billion per year,” Aug. 1, 2016