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   holistic planning
  facilities last spring, shone a light on the system’s pre-existing vulnerabilities. Further, the need for LTC spaces will grow as boomers age. (See “Aging boom- ers,” right.)
Not surprisingly, the pandemic has radically shifted clients’ perceptions of long-term care. In a July 2020 survey conducted by Ryerson Univer- sity’s National Institute on Ageing (NIA), 60% of respondents — and 70% of those over age 65 — reported that Covid-19 had changed their opinion
on whether they would choose for themselves or
a loved one to live in a nursing or retirement home. Nearly all respondents said they planned to live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
Faisal Khorshid, a certified financial planner and senior executive consultant at Khorshid Nieth & Associates Private Wealth Management in Saska- toon, has noticed the shift. His clients, he said, “are more open to talking about their mortality and long- term care.”
“People are more interested in knowing about what kind of LTC benefits are available from the government, what kind of tax breaks they can get,” Khorshid said. “People need a clearer understanding of what type of long-term care they will need, what every province covers and what they don’t, and what the typical costs are. People shouldn’t have to dig to find these numbers.”
Advisors can help by providing roadmaps, refer- rals and resources that help clients navigate the system and understand what’s available. “Advisors don’t need to be geriatricians,” Henderson said, “but they do need to build their circles of care and expertise so that they know who to call when a client has questions about aging.”
Advisors can become more conversant in aging-related services like Meals on Wheels, for example, or programs such as 55-plus centres or Men’s Sheds groups for social connection or exer- cise. Advisors can also learn about experts available in their regions and their associated fees.
Advisors may also want to consider partnering with — and referring to — insurance specialists who are well-versed in underwriting long-term care or critical illness policies, for example. (See “Long-term care insurance,” p. 18.)
For all its heartbreak, said Henderson, who
is founder and CEO of the Long Term Care Planning Network in Toronto, the pandemic has also presented advisors with “a wonderful oppor- tunity to pick up the phone and say to their clients, ‘You know what? We need to talk about what you want and need as you age. And we’re going to have that conversation every year as part of our annual meeting.’”
Aging boomers
According to the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), based at Ryerson University in Toronto, the num- ber of Canadians over age 85 is expected to triple in the next 30 years — and the cost of caring for seniors in both nursing and private homes will also more than triple.
A November report from the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University said 1.3% of GDP is currently spent on traditional long- term care. Unless governments
start investing in alternatives, the cost is expected to increase to 4.2% of GDP by 2041.

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