Long-term care refers to support and services availed by those individuals who cannot perform basic tasks required for daily living without assistance. These include transferring, continence, dressing, bathing, toileting, eating.
Did you know that 70 percent of people turning 65 will need some form of long-term care in their lives? It has become such an essential issue that Congress officially declared November the Long-Term Care Awareness Month. This was done to highlight the growing healthcare costs and the rising care needs for an aging boomer generation.
If you don’t plan out your long-term care services, it can impact your family dynamics and your assets in the future.
Keeping in this mind, no matter what your age, now is the right time to start exploring:
- if there is affordable senior housing in your state
- the likeliness of you requiring long-term care
- a cost-effective option for you to purchase long-term care insurance within your financial plan
Reasons For Planning Ahead
In these uncertain times, it is vital to plan out your life to the best of your ability, especially in retirement. Life spans are slowly, but surely, increasing, with scientists estimating that the average life expectancy can go up to 115 years.
This necessitates the need for long-term care plans that can help sustain people as long as they need. However, no matter which setting you choose, in-home caregivers or senior citizen housing, it can be expensive to acquire long-term care services.
It is also important to realize that you may end up needing long-term care at any given moment, and not just when you are older. Thus, it can get tricky to make decisions about such care services.
Do not hesitate to start conversations with loved ones like your spouse, kids, siblings, friends, etc., so that you can let them know what your preferences are. You will also need to communicate who the decision-maker is if you cannot make any.
Let’s explore some of the most important reasons one should start planning for long-term care services.
Long-term care can get quite pricey, depending on the area you live in, where it is being provided, and the form of care you need. For example, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP for short) reported that the average price of a semi-private nursing home room is about $92,710 annually.
If you are eligible for Medicaid, you will be provided long-term care services. This is why planning can significantly help you decrease the stress and burden of paying for these services. Other ways to afford long-term care are through savings, investments, and retirement income.
There are also specific long-term care insurance companies that help to cover most of the costs. Other options are continuing care retirement communities and life insurance long-term care policies. You can also consider reverse mortgages or search for low-income senior housing nearby.
If you are someone who wants to conserve their independence, then long-term care may be the way to go. Knowing full-well that your care will be accounted for in the future will provide you with ease of mind. This will also keep you from relying on family members if that is not appealing to you.
You can go for private caregivers, look through aging-in-place house plans or look for affordable senior housing if you would rather live on your terms. You will be able to carefully consider all available options and decide based on what you want and what you will be comfortable with.
You have to consider the impact of needing long-term care on family members. They usually are the first to step up in times like these; however, it takes commitment to be a caregiver and can take a toll on your well-being and health. Thus, to save them from trouble, you can rely on professional caregivers who have much experience instead.
You might need long-term care, but you prefer to stay at home rather than shifting to another facility. Well, that is for you to consider! An upside of planning is knowing whether you would like the services of in-home caregivers or not, as that is an important decision.
This also means that you may need to choose aging in-place house plans that include the addition of wheelchair ramps, necessary medical equipment like hospital beds, walkers, multi-level counters, home safety, and installation of emergency medical response systems.
Advised By Professionals
Professionals recommend that those between 40-50 years old should start their long-term care planning. This is because this is the best age to speak with advisors about plans, and it also gives you enough time to assess the options available in your state.
Moreover, it influences whether you should invest in long-term care insurance as professionals advise that the healthier and younger you are at the time of purchase, the lower the cost you have to pay. Aging in place specialists can also help you with your plans as they know exactly what you need to consider.
Also, having a plan helps your transition into the later years of life a lot smoother. Uncertainty will stress you and those around you, whereas planning will take that aspect away as you know the next step.
There are many reasons, some obvious, others not so, to plan your long-term care journey before time. It is a surefire way to get the care you will probably need in the future, without added stress or costs. In addition, with the rise in low-income senior housing, there are more and more options available.
You can also choose to work with private caregivers. Nonetheless, have a chat with those important to you and discuss your requirements for healthcare; it will help you plan accordingly.
If you have doubts and would like more information, reach out to aging-in-place specialists. Ensure a stable future today.