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First steps in planning


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The first step is to ask questions, educate yourself about local resources and take stock of your personal situation. Do not make any hard decisions until you have done this.

Here are a few things you should do to get started:
  • Assess your possible need for long-term services and supports.
  • Maintain your health and independence.
  • Talk with your family about caregiving.
  • Get familiar with local resources.
Connect with a local ADRC options counselor if you need help with this.

How likely are you to need long-term services and supports?

Ask your doctor if you may be more likely to need long-term services and supports. This may depend on your medical and family history or lifestyle choices. You may have an accident, injury or unexpected change in health. This can happen even if you are otherwise at low risk.

The following key factors can help you think about your risk:
  • Your age and gender — The chance of needing long-term services and supports increases as you get older. Women live longer and are more likely to need long-term services and supports.
  • Your family history — Have other family members needed long-term services and supports? If so, what type and for how long?
  • Your current health — Are you in good general health? Do you have any health conditions that may increase your need for long-term services and supports?
  • The national average — The AARP reports the average nursing home stay is approximately two-and-a-half years.
  • Changing needs — The amount and type of long-term services and supports you need often increase over time.
  • Your family situation — Are your family members or loved ones willing to provide any home-based care? If so, you may need fewer long-term services and supports. You may need more care from a paid provider if you are single.

Maintain your health and independence

Many people fail to make the connection between healthy behaviors today and their health as they age. Healthy eating, physical activity, mental stimulation and regular health care are key to staying healthy and independent. Learn more

Talk with your family about caregiving

It’s estimated that individuals turning 65 today will need up to three years of long-term services and supports. Almost two years of care will be at home. Examples of at-home support include giving medicines, providing transportation, helping with bathing and other personal care, and performing simple nursing tasks.

Ask your family or friends if they could care for you if you became ill or disabled for a long time. Here are some tips for talking to your family about long-term services and supports. You may also want to review the Caregiver supports section of our website.

Get familiar with local resources

Talk to a local ADRC information and referral specialist or options counselor about your community’s resources, services and costs. You can also learn more about long-term services and supports in the Explore your options section of the ADRC of Oregon website. You can also search for resources in your community.

Connect with your local ADRC.

ADRC of Oregon staff are available to help you explore your options to meet your current needs or create a plan for the future.

Connect now

Planning Toolkit

Find information, resources and tools to help you start planning.

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