The 2-2-2 Planning Strategy for Seniors & Caregivers

March 22, 2021

Planning for Seniors and Caregivers, both short and long-term, is overwhelming. Where do you start? What information and resources are needed? What are your options? What we’ve found is that a majority of our clients wait for a crisis to occur before they have the conversations needed or start the process of exploring what is available and at that point, they’re hitting the panic button.

It’s easy to feel like one question or decision quickly leads to another and a “spiral” occurs. We want to stop that cycle. Current needs and priorities very rarely are the same as potential long term ones, so it’s important to compartmentalize. This allows you to research, plan, and have necessary conversations with your loved ones, without the pressure of immediate action.

The 2-2-2 Planning Strategy stands for 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years. In other words: immediate needs, short-term goals, and long-term planning. It’s important to note that those aren’t the timelines to HAVE these discussions, but more of a way to visualize what stage you are planning for.

We’ve found that Caregivers who use this approach with their loved ones are less overwhelmed by ALL the decisions, and their loved ones feel less anxiety by taking things at their own pace. Use the prompts and ideas below to help lead the conversation and planning for all 3 stages. 

2 Weeks: What are the immediate resources, information, and/or care that is needed for your loved one?

  • Are all healthcare, legal and financial documents updated? Do you have access to them or know where to find the information? (Bank accounts, Power of Attorney documentation, living will, healthcare directives, etc.)
  • Getting an updated medication list & information.
  • Is there a need for Medicare home health (PT/OT) or private-duty caregiver services at home?
  • How recent were doctor & specialist appointments? Do you have their contact info?
  • Food delivery service needed such as Meals on Wheels?
  • Support groups or resources needed?

2 Months: What are the short-term goals for care or resources?

  • Understanding your loved one’s monthly income & expenses
  • Exploring financial snapshots of savings, investments, long-term care insurance etc. to understand long-term care budget.
  • Is there a need for Medicare home health or private duty home care services to allow them to age at home? 
  • Is a Care Manager needed to help coordinate doctor appointments, care, etc.?
  • Compare the pros/cons of living at home vs. a senior living community.
  • Researching Senior living community options
  • Is your loved one still driving? Should they be? Transportation services needed?
  • Are modifications in the home needed to be able to stay there safely?
  • Are respite services needed for you/the Caregiver?

2 years: Down the road, what is Plan A, B and C for housing, care and resources? 

  • As your loved one ages, what does the ideal situation look like?
  • What is Plan B if a health crisis occurs or an unexpected diagnosis?
  • Include other family members on discussions to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Is your loved one eligible for a Veteran benefit called Aid and Attendance (for Veterans or their spouses) or Medicaid to go towards long term care?
  • Compare budgets of what a daily Caregiver would be vs. living in a Senior Living Community to see what is doable for the future.
  • Research local Private Duty Caregiver services so you know who you will be using when the time comes.
  • Proactively research local Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care options so you know what the game plan will be if it’s needed.

If you are looking for recommendations and information on specific resources, information or care options, go to our website to schedule a discovery call with us. We’re a FREE concierge service to Seniors and their Caregivers and will help you compare in-home services as well as senior living communities and everything in between. 

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