What You Need to Know About Long-Term Care
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), as many as 70 percent of people over age 65 will need some form of long-term care during their lifetime, and 40% will need care in a nursing home. The Huffington Post’s article, “What is Long Term Care?” explains how Long-Term Care (LTC) works and how to plan for it.
LTC is now a very broad term and has evolved into a term for the type of care required instead of the time period. The need for this care can be because of a sudden event like a fall, or it can develop gradually. Before someone reaches the point where total personal care is required for his or her activities of daily living (ADLs), other ancillary services might be necessary. There are adult day care and senior centers to help them socialize and keep active.
Even when elder care doesn’t mean admission to a facility, caregiving demands may make paid LTC with a home health aide a necessity. AARP found that more than 40 million Americans provided unpaid care to adults last year, with an average of 44.6 hours for spouses or partners. And 10 percent of those caregivers were elderly themselves—age 75 years or older.
Beyond an individual’s personal savings, long-term care insurance is available with many options and levels of coverage. It’s more affordable the earlier you sign on. LTC insurance will typically cover care not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. It can guard your savings accounts from becoming depleted by increasing healthcare expenses, and premiums may be tax deductible. LTC insurance can also eliminate the burden on family members who would be providing this care.
Funding for Long-Term Care requires the insights and knowledge of an elder care or estate planning attorney. This is a complex area that must integrate funding from some programs like Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and—if applicable—veteran’s benefits. There are certain steps that must be taken well in advance to protect the family’s assets, and only an experienced estate planning and elder care attorney will have the knowledge and experience to assist the family.
Reference: Huffington Post (June 8, 2016) “What is Long Term Care?”