What Are My Long-Term Care Options?
Many people equate the term ‘long-term care’ with being in a nursing home. However, there are many different forms of long-term care including assisted living, at-home care, and care in the community such as an adult day care center. It’s not unlikely that you will need long-term care at some point during your life. About 52% of people over 65 will require long-term care services.
Long-term care refers to a variety of services that help meet both the medical and non-medical needs of people who cannot care for themselves for long periods. There are several different types of long-term care options available, each of which is best suited for different individuals.
Here are just a few of your options:
Home Health Aides (national median cost – $5,148/per month)
Home health aides are health care professionals. The responsibilities of a health aide include assisting with daily living activities such as cleaning and cooking, monitoring a client’s physical and mental condition, and handling health emergencies.
The biggest benefit of a home health aide is they work in the client’s home. Hiring a home health aide can be a great choice for those who wish to stay in their own home and do not want to be moved elsewhere.
Adult Daycare (national median cost – $1,690/per month)
Adult daycares serve as a place to for older people to spend the day and receive care if needed. They differ from traditional senior community centers. Community centers typically offer social and entertainment services while an adult daycare can offer medical services along with social and entertainment services.
Adult daycares are great options for elders who are feeling lonely. They will have a chance to socialize with their peers and alleviate any isolation and loneliness. An adult daycare will also give the family caretaker a break during the day. Alleviating tension and stress for all parties.
Assisted Living Facilities (national median cost – $4,500/per month)
Assisted living combines the comforts of a residence with personalized assistance. These types of residences provide seniors help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Most assisted living facilities will also include social activities and laundry and cleaning services.
Assisted living is a good solution for elders who want to maintain their independence but need some help with daily activities.
Nursing Homes (national median cost – $9,034/per month)
A nursing home is a facility that provides around-the-clock care for those who are unable to care for themselves. Along with supportive medical services, nursing homes also provide social and recreational activities.
Nursing homes are typically the most expensive long-term care option but they also offer the highest level of care. Nursing homes are best suited for those who need constant medical attention and cannot be cared for at home.
Many seniors who need long-term care services may struggle to keep up with their finances. There are many bill paying services available for them. Pairing these services with a Financial Power of Attorney document can help ensure that bills are paid accurately and on time.
Deciding what type of care is right for you or your loved one can be tricky. Making sure you have the money to fund these services is even trickier. The key to being able to provide for yourself during retirement is by planning ahead. Meet with a financial advisor to discuss how you can plan for your future and the possibility of long-term care. They can help you maximize funds and alleviate the stress of saving for the unknown.
For more information on long-term care options and their financial impact listen to episode 34 of our podcast Your Financial Advocate.