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April: Message from the President – Stephen B. McPherson

April 1, 2012

This month I would like to follow up more specifically on my message of last month to “plan, plan, plan” for your later years.

Things to ask ourselves are: Where will I be in 10 years? Where will my children be in 10 years? And, how will my world change?

As you and your parents or grown children talk about the future, financial concerns will loom large. The median U.S. annual “private pay” costs for long-term care in 2010 ranged from $15,600 for adult day care to $75,000 for a private room in a nursing home – and in Connecticut they are even higher.

In addition to financial considerations, there are other factors that should be looked at. I’m impressed with what AARP, in conjunction with The Commonwealth Fund and the Sean Foundation, has developed to help us plan ahead. They’ve created a “scorecard” for long-term healthcare services and support. It consists of 5 factors:

- Affordability and access
- Choice (of setting and provider)
- Quality (of life and of care)
- Support for family caregivers
- Effective transitions across levels of care

All of these should be considered when looking into your long-term care strategy. At Masonicare, despite financial pressure and other unknowns, we are way ahead of the game in terms of pulling together the post-acute care continuum. Here, we “have it all,” as we like to say. So, not to sound like a broken record, but please: plan, plan, plan. Talk with your family. Write down your wishes. You cannot over-communicate on this subject!