by Patti Urban
November has been designated Long Term Care Awareness Month to educate Americans on the growing need for long term care (LTC.)
People require long-term healthcare services due to illnesses, accidents, or the effects of longevity. At Aging Care Planning Solutions (ACPS), we highly recommend LTC insurance to our clients for the coverage it offers in case of health-related emergencies or the everyday consequences of living longer lives. The value of LTC insurance is enormous but a common denominator of the impact of long-term care is it will adversely affect one’s family and finances.
Being prepared starts with being aware.
Some facts and figures:
· 70% of men and women over the age of 65 will need some kind of long-term care services.
· 14 million Americans currently require LTC support services.
· 27 million Americans will require these same support services by 2050.
-American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI)
And being prepared continues with understanding there are many insurance options available. Families turn to financial advisors and insurance agents to help with long term care’s financial impact and to recommend appropriate choices, based on need and what can be afforded.
An appreciation of the importance of long-term care planning comes with awareness and understanding of the many available solutions to reduce the financial and physical burdens places on families. Without advance planning, the family faces a crisis. A family member – often a daughter or daughter-in-law – takes on the responsibility of caregiving and / or managing paid care services. These family caregivers can be unprepared for the physical, emotional, and financial challenges that come with the role.
“Caregivers experience higher rates of depression, more health issues and social isolation. Having a plan for long term care will provide loved ones with resources to make sure the care needs are met without bearing the entire burden themselves.”
Another misconception about who should provide the caregiving is that clients may think that their adult children will easily provide any care they may need in the future. They don’t consider that, in today’s environment, their adult children have careers and other family responsibilities, leaving little or no time for taking on the role of caregiver. Juggling all the responsibilities in addition to the role of ‘caregiver’ becomes part of the problem.
Seniors are living longer which presents another challenge to the adult children caregivers.
“A 90-year-old’s 60-70ish kids don’t usually have the physical ability and stamina to provide care, and they may even need care themselves. Everyone underestimates the toll of caregiver stress.”
ACPS is Your Long-Term Care Partner
ACPS assists clients with LTC insurance in three important ways:
1. Use It. We encourage our clients to use their LTC policy and not have it sit on a shelf.
2. Understand It. Demystify the many levels of confusion and misunderstanding about using the LTC policy; once they understand the intricacies, they want to use it more.
3. Make it Easy to Use. We handle opening up the claims from beginning to end and handle as much of the claims process as the client prefers.
Making LTC Claims Easy to File
Our experience with insurance providers prepares us for most of the situations clients are likely to face. We know the ins and outs of each insurance company, we have electronic claims submissions with many of them, we maintain ongoing relationships with them, and we’re familiar with different processes for assessing and approving claims and invoices.
The optimal path for LTC Insurance is one where awareness leads to investigation which leads to planning. Ultimately, planning allows for maintenance of control and independence. Taking action on the plan safeguards the client’s income and assets. It also reduces the stress, anxiety, and burden that aging places on clients and their families.
ACPS assists people of all ages by customizing home care plans to maintain healthy quality of life and safety at home.
Patti Urban, CSA, is the CEO of Aging Care Planning Solutions, a geriatric care management practice that assists the elderly and their families with advance care planning as well as guidance for patients with life-limiting illnesses. She is also a Certified End of Life Doula, a Certified Senior Advisor, former Executive Director of a memory-care assisted living community, and former owner of a home care agency. She can be reached at www.agingcarePS.com.