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Financial Planning for Future Care

Fixed Incomes and Family Finances

Financial planning seems to be an endless process. Your parents planned for your future; as you grew up, you planned for your spouse and children; as the nest emptied out, you planned for your retirement. And now, the cycle takes a turn: you may be planning for your parents’ future, especially if dementia or other senior-care needs are thrown into the mix. If that is the case, the time to start planning is now.

The costs for senior care can take you by surprise, and may change as the senior's needs change. You can explore your options with insurance and other benefits, but don’t expect outside assistance to cover all the costs. The following are some common costs to keep in mind, as well as the fact that costs may vary according to your location and providers.


  • Ongoing medical treatment for dementia symptoms, and diagnosis and follow-up visits
  • Treatment or medical equipment for various, perhaps hidden, medical conditions
  • Safety-related expenses, such as home safety modifications or safety services for a person who wanders
  • Prescription drugs
  • Personal care supplies
  • Adult daycare services
  • In-home care services
  • Full-time residential care services

The best route for planning would be to have a family meeting, including the care recipient if possible. If the patient is involved, they can express their wishes and feel more at ease with the plans for their future. Discussions may include not only financial plans, but agreements on whom the caregivers will be and how to share duties, where the loved one will be located, the distribution of his or her property, etc. Involve legal and financial experts for guidance and mediation, if necessary.

Gathering documents ahead of time will help paint a picture of your loved one’s financial situation. (Hint: Make a list of important documents and materials before the need arises if possible, while your loved one can recall their location.) Look for:

  • bank and brokerage account information.
  • deeds, mortgage papers or ownership statements.
  • insurance policies.
  • medical and durable powers of attorney.
  • monthly or outstanding bills.
  • pension, railroad, and other retirement benefit summaries (including VA benefits, if applicable).
  • rental income paperwork.
  • Social Security payment information.
  • stock and bond certificates.
  • wills.

Remember, paying for your loved one’s care is just part of the picture — depending on his or her situation, there may still be “normal” ongoing expenses. There may still be utility, insurance, and other bills to pay; the taxman will surely come calling every year; and there may be investments to handle and benefit claims to process.

Genworth Financial, Inc, has an easy-to-use cost-of-care calculator that allows you to calculate estimated costs in various locations for now and the future for various scenarios. It can help you get a handle on what to expect. Of course, the best course is to contact providers and perform some internet research on your own.

There are several government, community, and private services available, as well as support groups that are just an internet search away. You are not alone! 

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.  The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety, and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public. 

Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit or visit us at