As we get older, we’ve got to start thinking long-term about the care we will need. It’s a fact of life that each of us at some point will need a bit more help doing things we used to do on our own like cooking and getting from place to place.
Before you reach that phase in your life, it’s essential to start thinking about your long-term care options today and start making plans.
What is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is care provided to people who can no longer perform specific tasks themselves without help. The focus of long-term care is to help those in need maintain their current lifestyle and independence at any age.
The services provided to you will be specifically designed to meet your needs in the long and short term. For example, if you’re rehabbing an injury, you might only need care services for a short period of time.
However, if you’re living with Alzheimer’s or are getting older in age and have health issues, you might consider using long-term care services to help you in your daily life. Long-term care can take place in several settings, including:
- A person’s home
- Nursing home
- Senior community
- Adult day center
Each setting has its own requirements and level of care provided to the residents that live there. For example, an adult day center is where adults who require supervision will stay during the day and return to their homes at night.
A nursing home is where someone needs 24/7 supervision can remain independent and have help from staff with things like remembering to take their medication and getting to and from doctors’ appointments.
With that being said, here’s how to prepare for long-term care.
While it’s never too late to create a long-term care plan for your future, there earlier you start planning, the better off you’ll be. Life changes as you get older; you might have children, grandchildren, or acquire more assets.
It’s essential to consider these factors in your plans for the future. When you fail to plan, it could lead to future issues when you need to maintain a specific standard of living or help provide support to people in your life that need it.
As you begin to plan early, it’s essential to find the right legal team to help you get your affairs in order. An attorney can help you create a will that will detail how your assets will be dispersed upon your passing.
Doing this reduces the chances of problems occurring, and the attorney can enforce the will and your wishes.
Consider How to Pay for Long-Term Care
Long-term care can become expensive, especially if you don’t have the funds needed to cover the services you need. We recommend considering a long-term care insurance policy to cover your living expenses as you get older.
There are some forms of insurance such as Medicare that won’t provide full coverage. If you choose Medicare or Medicaid, your attorney can detail the requirements to apply for coverage.
Keep in mind with this form of coverage, applications are reviewed on a case by case basis, and even if you meet the initial requirements to apply, it doesn’t mean you’ll be approved for the coverage.
It’s essential to contact your insurance provider when you’re applying for your long-term care insurance policy and ask questions about what’s covered.
Doing this reduces the chances of being surprised if there is a portion of your services that aren’t covered by the insurance policy. Keep in mind long-term care will take a mixture of your insurance and out-of-pocket costs.
Again, your attorney can help you decide how much money needs to be set aside for the future by estimating how much your living costs will be.
Keep Your Family in Mind
We’ve mentioned before you need to think about your family as you move forward with long-term care planning. The reason for this is that often the weight of caring for you as you age will fall on the shoulders of your children and grandchildren.
There are several things to think about, including:
How does caring for you impact your family member financially? Will they have to take time off work to care for you?
Are there expenses you have that will be left up to your family member to pay? If the answers to any of these questions are a yes, you need to think about setting aside money to help them take care of you financially.
However, keep in mind your needs may change, increasing or decreasing the amount of money to be used for your long-term care. If things become too much for your family member, it may be time to start looking into some of the different care options we suggested above, such as a senior living community or nursing home.
Long-Term Care Options: Everything You Need to Know
There are several things you need to know when it comes to long-term care options, with the first being that starting to plan early makes a world of difference. It’s essential to work with an attorney to create a plan that will determine what happens to your assets and money when you begin to need a bit more help.
If you’re still seeking an attorney that is an expert in the field of long-term care planning and more, contact Rhodes Law Firm LLC. With our experience, you won’t have to leave anything up to chance.