We spend time and money planning for many big events in life: college tuition, weddings, retirement, travel — the list could go on, but one big expense that many people overlook is the possibility of needing long-term care. These costs can really add up, so it’s important to start planning as early as possible to avoid being caught off guard later on.
What Kind of Care Will You Need?
Whether you’re planning for yourself or a loved one, there are a few risk factors to consider, starting with your family. Do you have a family history of illnesses or conditions that would require assistance or medical care? According to Forbes, having a family history of dementia and other neurological problems increases the odds that you will need long-term care.
Besides these genetic factors, it’s also important to look at your lifestyle and changes you could make to reduce the risk of injury or illness. In some instances, applying a more holistic approach can make a huge improvement and lessen your risk of problems down the road.
- Diet – Are you eating a healthy, balanced diet? What you eat can affect your chances of developing heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Make sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Avoid too much dairy as well as processed foods, and be sure to drink plenty of water. Remember, you are what you eat!
- Exercise – Are you keeping your heart and lungs healthy with exercise? Exercise can also strengthen your bones and increase flexibility, reducing your risk of injury. Low-impact exercise can help you make serious strides in your health. Look to activities like walking, yoga and hiking.
- Meditation – Stress can be a huge contributor to poor health. By finding ways to cope with and curb stress, you can make serious inroads in your physical and mental health. If meditation is new to you, look to guided apps to help you get started.
- Unhealthy habits – Unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking can lead to serious illnesses. Make a point to look into smoking cessation, and limit your alcohol intake. As mentioned above, it’s also a good idea to cut out processed foods. By cutting back on sodas, fast food and convenience meals you’re adding to your longevity.