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Moms: Take Care of Yourself

Make a plan for your long-term care needs

It's May, and my calendar has a special holiday marked on it: Mother's Day. So Happy Mother's Day to all you moms! This is the day you are honored for the joyous and frequently chaotic work of raising kids and being the CEO of your household.

See also: Take Charge of Your Future Now

However, because you're a mom, you are probably also playing a caregiving role for a loved one — most likely your mom. So in this column, I'd like to take time to look at caregiving through a Mother's Day lens. I want to encourage all caregiving moms to think about your future.

This is my Mother's Day gift to you: permission to take time and seriously consider the issue of long-term care. As a caregiver, you know how hard it is to provide support for a loved one — so take that "frame" and turn it on yourself. What will your long-term care needs be? I think you'll find that the "peace of mind" that comes with planning for this complex issue will make you a better mom, spouse, friend, and caregiver.

Your Long-Term Care Needs
I want to introduce you to Alyson Burns, who is overseeing a terrific multiyear campaign that focuses on the long-term care needs of women. She's very knowledgeable, and I know that our conversation will give you some important insights and action steps that you can use to plan for your future.

Elinor: I've used the term "long-term care." Perhaps it makes sense to start by defining exactly what this means.

Alyson: Elinor, our research shows that many American women are confused and misinformed when it comes to understanding long-term care. First of all, it isn't just about insurance or nursing homes. There's so much more to it. It's determining how you want to live the rest of your life and then taking the steps to make that happen. It's about ensuring that you'll be able to:

Stay in your home for as long as possible

Get any help that you may need, such as bathing or dressing, or even grocery shopping and paying the bills

Be certain that your wishes for how you want care delivered are honored.

The campaign focuses on four buckets that we feel are absolutely necessary to plan for your long-term care needs: Health, Legal, Home & Community, and Finances.

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