- January 19, 2022
- Posted by: Curated Contributors
- Category: Blog
Planning for the Future: How to Pay for Long-Term Care
Many people over the age of 65 will wind up needing custodial and medical care. But not all of these people have considered the future. Keep reading for information on how to plan for yourself, or an aging loved one, facing this situation.
Planning a challenge
Numerous challenges come along with planning ahead for long-term care. First, there’s the uncertainty that it will even be needed in the first place. While not everyone will become disabled in old age, it remains a possibility that shouldn’t be ignored.
Many lifestyle choices dramatically affect your chances of needing care later down the road. One of these is how much you use your brain. According to an article published in Today’s
Geriatric Medicine, focusing on a brain-healthy lifestyle can actually lower the probability of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This includes eating healthy foods, remaining socially active, and continuing a physical activity regimen. If seniors aren’t getting enough exercise, they should consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan since many Advantage plans include membership to the SilverSneakers program, which allows seniors to join fitness facilities around the country.
Other factors that affect health are found in the environment and even in your genes. Working in an industrial facility, for example, increases your chances of breathing in harmful toxins that could trigger lung disease or COPD. Genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and autoimmune disorders, can’t be avoided but they can be detected. Virtual Medical Centre discusses genetic testing as it relates to hereditary diseases and touches on the disadvantages and limitations of such in this post.
Even when you or your loved one lead a reasonably healthy lifestyle and have no family history of genetic issues, age takes a toll on the immune system. This is, in part, why the elderly get sick so easily.
Preventing financial ruin
Nursing homes are not budget-friendly accommodations. Most estimates put a single year in a skilled nursing care facility at the $100,000 mark. When coupled with end-of-life expenses, it’s easy to see how failure to prepare can result in financial ruin.
When you care for one or more aging parents, the possibility for financial detriment could be even higher. One option to cover their final expenses is to purchase life insurance for your parent or parents. Acquiring life insurance for an aging parent is a smart move if you will be financially impacted by their death. You can also ask your insurance agent about long-term care policies that can offset some of the costs, but keep in mind that the older your parent is, the higher the premiums will be.
Paying for funeral expenses is just one piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately, Medicare, which adults over the age of 65 are eligible for, doesn’t provide much in the way of financial assistance for those with intense needs, such as patients with Alzheimer’s disease or another cognitive or physical decline. If care cannot be handled by the family, it may be necessary to turn to Medicaid, charities, or the VA for assistance. Veteran long-term care benefits are substantial and are not limited to the patient but are provided to their spouse, as well.
One way to afford long-term care is to look for ways to cut costs. This may include keeping your loved one home and using an independent caregiver or home care aide instead of a registered nurse. Certain home modifications, such as a gentle incline ramp, can reduce the need for
If your loved one is staying home, you’ll also need to budget for routine maintenance and home repair costs. For example, if you have a clogged drain or leaky faucet, you may need to call on a plumber. To find a reputable professional, search “local plumber near me” and look over customer reviews and special offers. Plumbers typically charge between $45 and $150 an hour.
Even if you buy long-term care and life insurance for yourself or your parents, there will still be out-of-pocket expenses to manage. Get ahead of these by anticipating possible needs and making adjustments where necessary. If you don’t, you may be hit with unexpected bills when you need them the least.
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