Planning ahead is always a good idea, especially when it comes to long-term care. With advanced aging and declining health, a person might become dependant on others to help them with personal grooming, cooking, and other daily tasks. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care sometime in their life.
Understanding Long-Term Care
As we age, there may come a time when we can no longer take complete care of ourselves. It may be due to a disability, chronic illness, or dementia. Long-term care assists with daily living, such as bathing, eating, dressing, homemaking, managing medicines, and other tasks that can no longer be handled. Long-term care can be an essential part of retaining a good quality of life. Click To Tweet This being said, it is important to plan ahead and prepare years ahead.
Who Needs Long-Term Care?
It is difficult to determine who might need long-term care, so it is good to plan ahead just in case. It is estimated that by 2020, more than 12 million senior Americans will be receiving long-term care. There are several factors which increase the risk of needing long-term care. Some of them are:
Age: The older a person is, the more likely they will need long-term care at some point.
Gender: Women seem to be at a higher risk than men for long-term care, mostly because they live on average 5 years longer than men.
Marital Status: Single people tend to need long-term assistance more often than married people.
Family Health History: Family health history and genetics do play a role in whether someone might need long-term care help.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle choices absolutely make a difference in your wellbeing during your later years. Poor diet and lack of exercise can increase risk.
Long-Term Planning Documents
It is important to create and share with family and health professionals your long-term care plan. Create a document with all the information on it, including what future needs you might have, your end-of-life wishes, medical treatment expectations, legal documents and arrangements, financial information, and anything else you want to be known.
Care Setting Options
There are a number of long-term care setting options available. It is important to research and see which one will best fit your needs. There are in-home long-term care services, adult day cares, assisted living communities, and even memory care centers, which is a specialized long-term care for people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Make sure to choose the right option where you will be taken care of and treated like family.
Long-Term Care Costs
FIguring out how to pay for long-term care needs to be included in your planning documents. Again, there are different options available from self-pay (which can get pricey), government programs, or even long-term insurance. Keep in mind that most Medicare and Medicaid programs do not typically cover long-term care, and usually only pay for limited visits to nursing homes due to medical situations.
Planning Ahead for Long Term Care
One thing is for sure, it is imperative to plan in advance for long-term care. In many cases, issues and health declines can happen abruptly and you don’t want to be left without any plans or ways to get assistance. Start planning early and then hope you don’t need it…it’s better to be prepared!
To learn more about how to prepare for the future and possibility of needing long-term care, Contact Us.