October is National Long Term Care Planning Month
by Patti Urban, Aging Life Care Professional, Aging Care Planning Solutions
It's Time to Get Prepared for the Future!!!
Long-Term Care Planning Month in October encourages seniors to take a look at their potential need for these services in the future. While no one can predict the future, Long Term Care Planning explores the options available should the time arise when the services would be needed.
Long-term care incorporates services outside of medical care such as support for every day living and basic personal care. Medical insurance does NOT usually cover these services, so advanced planning to cover the services is needed. Advance planning offers seniors more choices and decision-making opportunities. When seniors plan ahead, they have more time to save for long-term care, too.
This is a time when senior and their loved ones should take the time to understand the costs of long-term care and how to best prepare for them. Even though statistics state that the cost of long-term care in America is currently $225 a day (or $6,844 per month), in reality it's a lot more!
Long Term Care Calculator
If you really want to blow your mind, use the following long term care calculator to figure out costs in your area.
Long-Term Care Planning: Why It’s So Important
As we age, our needs change. And while many of us would like to think that we can rely on our family members to take care of us as we get older, the truth is that they may not be able to do so. That’s why long-term care planning is so important. By putting a plan in place now, you can ensure that you’ll have the care you need—and the peace of mind that comes with it—in the years to come.
What Is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is a range of services and support for your medical and non-medical needs. It can include everything from assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing, to more intensive medical care. Depending on your needs, long-term care can be provided in your home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home.
In addition to traditional long-term care services, many providers now offer specialized programs for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These programs can help to reduce the risk of wanderlust, provide structure and routine, and promote socialization and engagement. With the right level of care, people with dementia can maintain their quality of life for a longer period of time.
Why Do I Need Long-Term Care Planning?
There are a number of reasons why long-term care planning is so important. For one thing, it can help you ensure that you have the resources in place to cover the costs of long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average cost of a nursing home stay is $82,128 per year (for a semi-private room). The average cost of an assisted living facility is $43,536 per year (for a one-bedroom unit). And if you need in-home care, the costs can range from $20 per hour for basic services to $100 per hour or more for skilled nursing care. As you can see, these costs can add up quickly—and they’re only going to increase as time goes on.
In addition to financial considerations, there are also emotional reasons why long-term care planning is so important. No one likes to think about getting old and needing assistance with everyday tasks. But by putting a plan in place now, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ve taken steps to prepare for whatever the future may hold.
What Are Some Long-Term Care Planning Options?
There are a number of different ways to finance long-term care, including private insurance policies, government programs like Medicaid, and personal savings. Working with a geriatric care manager can help you determine which option makes the most sense for your individual needs and circumstances. While private insurance policies can be expensive, they may be the best option for individuals who have the resources to pay for them.
For individuals who do not have the resources to pay for private insurance, Medicaid may be an option. Medicaid is a government program that provides financial assistance for individuals who cannot afford to pay for long-term care. Finally, personal savings can be used to finance long-term care, but this should only be done as a last resort. Using personal savings to pay for long-term care can deplete an individual’s nest egg and leave them without the resources they need in retirement.
No one knows what the future holds, but by putting a long-term care plan into place now, you can ensure that you’ll have the financial and emotional resources you need to weather whatever storms come your way down the road. Don’t wait until it’s too late; start planning today!
Patti Urban, CDP,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.
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