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Top 5 Considerations when Long-Term Care is on the Horizon

This is a post by Sasha Kahn.

I recently received an invitation to my grandfather’s 96th birthday party. Yes, it’s pretty amazing to consider he’s been around just short of a century. And he’s sharp as nails. The people in my family live long lives. But that doesn’t means that old age is easy. And it doesn’t mean that there aren’t huge considerations to both his and our financial and physical well-being. Without being able to provide the kind of long-term care that he required, the quality of his life would certainly have been lessened.

Here are some of the biggest things to think about when long-term care is on the horizon (and let’s face it, we’re all getting older):

1. Know what kind of car e is out there. If you foresee needing help with household care such as cleaning, cooking, and running errands, then Personal Care Assistants or Companions can come to your home and tailor their services to fit your needs. If you require assistance with daily activities such as mobility within the home, bathing or dressing, then Home Health Aides will be able to provide a more personal role in care. If there are serious health issues, nurses can help with IVs, administer medications, and monitor health status.

Sometimes, an adult day health care center can offer both daytime social interaction as well as therapeutic support. If you prefer on-site support but still want to retain your independence, then you should consider an assisted living facility. A Nursing Home is the best option for skilled supervision, medication administration, therapies, and rehabilitation in the most serious medical situations.

2. Plan in advance I (The emotional part). Have the conversation. It can be an incredibly emotional topic, weighing down all parties involved. But it doesn’t have to be. Remember that sensitivity, understanding and a little bit of humor go a long way. If you allow yourself the time to talk about it before it’s too late, then you can avoid even more anxiety and hardship down the road. According to Genworth Financial, 59% of Americans are uncomfortable discussing their needs with their family while 49% of individuals believe their family would be uncomfortable.

3. Plan in advance II (The financial part). Long-term care can eat away at you or your family’s hard-earned nest egg, especially since the cost of care is rising beyond the rate of inflation. Consider long-term care insurance. Know what policies are available. Know what they include and what the limitations of each policy are. If extended home care, an assisted living facility or nursing home is going to be necessary, then long-term care insurance can help ensure you have the means to cover what can be a considerable cost. For a free resource in calculating cost of care by state and type of facility, check out Genworth’s Cost of Care Map.

4. Know what Long-Term Care Insurance Covers. Policies vary, but generally, insurance will cover all needs, from home to assisted living facilities including home health aides, skilled nursing and nursing homes. There are a lot of different options; some facilities now provide continual care or supervision to residents, while still offering a lower level of care to healthier individuals. However, it’s important to remember that as services offered become broader, so do the range of monthly costs. It’s vital to know what you’re getting into.

5. Know that you’re not alone. It bears repeating that ageing is a fact of life. But long-term care is not limited to the elderly. 40% of people using long-term care are actually 18-65 years old. However it also is worth remembering that the costs of long-term care are rising. And so are the costs of buying long-term care insurance. Don’t back yourself into a corner. Do what you need to do now to ensure that you continue to live life on your terms.

Can you think of other great tips and ideas for planning for long-term care?



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