Long Term Care

 

 As people age there is an increasing likelihood that they will need help with their activities of daily living(ADL’s) in fact over 70% of Americans over the age of 65 require help with their ADL’s.  These are non medical needs such bathing, toileting, eating, getting out of bed etc.  This need arises due to disease or illness but most often is more likely due to natural decline.    Unfortunately Medicare does not cover this type of care. Medicare doesn’t cover the care services that most people land up needing as they age.  Medicare does cover certain services but this varies by state and the type of Medicare ones has.  For example, Medicare may cover durable medical equipment (DME), rehab sessions and in some cases home nursing visits.    If the patients’ income is sufficiently low enough with few assets then Medicaid may pay for long term care. For the most part middle class people do not qualify for Medicaid.  The Deportment of Veterans Affairs can also pay for long term care under certain circumstances e.g. service related disabilities. 

 For most people however one should have a strategy to plan for long term care. The best time to create this strategy is before you actually need the care. The better informed ones is, the better off one will be.  Long term care is more expensive than most people think especially since most of the care will need to be paid out of pocket.

This following list is from the LongTermCare.gov website:

Some average costs for long term care in the United States (in 2010) were:

  • $205 per day or $6,235 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home
  • $229 per day or $6,965 per month for a private room in a nursing home
  • $3,293 per month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
  • $21 per hour for a home health aide
  • $19 per hour for homemaker services
  • $67 per day for services in an adult day health care center

For the most part,  families pay for long term care using personal income, investments, annuities or long term care insurance. By far most people prefer to stay in their own homes.  The home has to be made safe for a person with limited mobility.  An agency such as Thrive at Home can be provide a caregiver to supplement existing family or spousal care. Another option is to have a “livin” caregiver that actually live in the home with the client.  Many families use a combination of outside help and close family members to provide the care.  Unpaid family members are the primary source of care but this can create stresses in the family. Sometimes outsiders can help keep everyone form “burning out”.  It is hard to have strange people in the home providing care however if the alternative is being forced to move to a facility then this is usually the best alternative.