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Seniors Are More Comfortable Planning Their Funeral than Their Care

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Seniors Are More Comfortable Planning Their Funeral than Their CareAlthough the demand for long-term care for America’s seniors continues to skyrocket, the number of seniors actually planning for it is not keeping pace. And while many older adults are beginning to make end-of-life plans, they are neglecting the years of life that are part of such arrangements. According to a new survey  by Home Instead, Inc., more than three-fourths of seniors feel more comfortable planning for their funeral than their final years. Additionally, while 73 percent of seniors have taken steps toward preparing financially for their final years only 13 percent have prepared financially for their long-term care.

“Final years planning can be easily misconstrued, and many people think they only need to plan for their final days and after,” said Jeff Huber, president and CEO of Home Instead, Inc. “Often, we forget about the fact that as we age we might want or need extra care in the final days, months or even years of our lives – care so we can stay in our homes, care so we can remain independent, care so we can be around for our families and more of life’s milestones. The gap we saw from our research shows a critical need for resources to help seniors and their families better plan for their final years.”

The Home Instead, Inc., survey revealed that seniors and their loved ones overestimate the plans seniors have in place. More than half of seniors who have made plans haven’t made actual arrangements – the main reasons being because they are still in good health (54 percent) and they trust their loved ones to handle their arrangements for them (48 percent).

Final years planning can bring families comfort and ease. Home Instead, Inc., along with experts at Genworth Financial, developed the following questions for seniors to consider when planning for their final years:

  • How do you want to live your final years? Seniors should consider what they want to do during their final years.
  • Where do you want to live?  Older adults should consider if they want to spend their final years at home and, if so, what type of assistance might be required to help them do so.
  • What’s your plan if you need help? Many seniors will need long-term care at some point in their lives and they need to consider how they will be able to afford that care.
  • Do you know the cost?  Older adults should consider the cost of care and anything else they would like in their final years.
  • Are products and services in place to support a plan? Seniors and their families should explore the long-term care plans that exist to help them meet their needs.
  • Is your plan flexible? Seniors and their families should ensure their plans are adaptable to the changes that may occur as time goes on.
  • Does your family know about your plans? Families should have conversations and take the time to share specifics about their plans and the types of products and services they have in place.

And just as important as making plans for final years is having conversations with family to make their wishes known. While adults (59 percent) and seniors (76 percent) agree, discussing and making plans for their final years makes them feel more prepared, only 58 percent of adults say they have discussed their parents’ plans for their final years with them.

To help seniors and their families understand the steps they need to take to plan for their final years, Home Instead, Inc. has developed Compose Your Life SongSM, an education program that offers planning resources and tips for seniors and their loved ones.

Home Instead, Inc. has developed conversation starters around final years planning and other free resources to encourage seniors and their adult children to talk to one another about plans for their final years, and to help them explore options for care, finances, insurance and funeral planning. The program also features the online “Compose Your Life SongSM music generator, where families’ personal accomplishments and planning are layered in musical notes leading to a harmonious grand finale.  

“We are committed to helping aging adults take control and decide how their life story ends,” said Huber. “By empowering seniors to make plans, as well as encouraging conversations with adult children, seniors are able to be in charge and have their wishes honored – something everyone deserves.”

Families can find final years planning resources and information about the Compose Your Life SongSM program at For more information about local Home Instead Senior Care® offices and to learn how their professional CAREGiversSM may be able to assist, please visit  to find an office near you.

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Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones. (Privacy Policy)

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