Honolulu (KHON2) – As November marks National Long-Term Care (LTC) Awareness Month, the initiative aims to highlight the critical importance of planning for long-term care and starting conversations early rather than waiting until a crisis hits. Roger Higa, of Roger Higa Financial Services LLC, joined Living808 to share his personal experiences that drove his advocacy.
Having become the primary caregiver for a brother with disabilities and assisting in caring for a mother-in-law with health issues, Roger emphasized the emotional, mental, physical, social, and financial impacts of unexpected long-term care events. Stressing the necessity for public education, he urged individuals to contemplate and discuss having a plan in place or revising existing plans before it’s too late.
Addressing common myths, the Roger debunked misconceptions, emphasizing that long-term care doesn’t discriminate based on age, plans vary in quality, and the idealized endings seen in movies don’t often align with reality. He highlighted the importance of reviewing existing policies, seeking guidance from LTC planning professionals, and initiating conversations with loved ones about care preferences.
Roger shared his top 3 important pieces of advise:
“1. Review your policy if you already have a plan. Just because you have a plan in place doesn’t mean you’re set or do what you thought and intended the plan would do for you. 2. Reach out to a professional who specializes in long term care planning. 3. Get Educated! Take time to discuss with your loved ones what their wishes are BEFORE a long-term care event occurs before it’s too late. The best time to have that conversation was yesterday. Also think about what your wishes are if you get to a point in your life when you are no longer able to care for yourself.”
With National LTC Awareness Month in focus, the conversation underscores the urgency of preparedness and informed decision-making in the realm of long-term care, encouraging individuals and families to engage in these discussions and plan proactively.