The subject of long-term care is something that families should ideally discuss as a group.
The majority of people in the United States are eventually going to need assistance with their activities of daily living. This is a matter that is relevant to all of us, and it is wise to talk about it openly as you make practical preparations for the future.
Your first thought may be that you will simply have Medicare pay for a stay in an assisted-living community or nursing home if you need help when you are older. Many of us are conditioned to think that Medicare pays for everything once you become eligible for the program so perhaps this is understandable.
However, in truth Medicare does not pay for everything in full. There are out-of-pocket expenses including monthly premiums to pay for the portion of Medicare that assists with visits to doctors and outpatient care. There is also a deductible that is applicable to hospital stays.
In addition, Medicare won’t pay anything at all toward long-term care. The program will assist with convalescent care after surgery for a period not to exceed 100 days, but that’s it.
Because of the extraordinary costs associated with long-term care people look for alternatives. A stay in a nursing home at the end of your life could easily wipe out your savings even if you have been diligent about accumulating a retirement nest egg.
In-Home Care Giving
For many people in-home care can provide a more cost-effective solution. In fact, the majority of the living assistance that is being received by seniors is delivered by family members and other people who are known to the individual in question.
This is where communication comes in. People are sometimes too proud to ask for help when it is needed. If your family members have not been informed of the fact that you’re having difficulty taking care of some of your day-to-day needs they probably aren’t going to volunteer.
It’s up to you to be humble enough to communicate honestly.
Perhaps the best way to go about it would be to have a family meeting before you actually need any help with your day-to-day needs. You can discuss the options and the costs involved and make some informed decisions.
If in-home care winds up being the best choice family members and others who may be willing to assist can work up a schedule to divide the responsibilities.
Some people simply don’t have this type of support. If you are one of them you could engage the services of a professional licensed home health aide. While there are obviously costs involved if you go this route, they don’t come close to rivaling the cost of full-time residence in an assisted-living community.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.