Long-Term Care: Planning Ahead

Whether you are making a decision for a loved one or yourself, the process is a difficult one for many reasons. Where to go? What is available? What type of help do they provide? Who is going to pay for it? Long term care has changed enormously throughout the years and the variety of options continues to evolve.

Finances. Plan ahead. It is important to think about the future, especially financially. Long term care is like any other service; you pay for the type of community you desire and the type of care you want to receive. There are two terms as we age people become more familiar of: Medicare and Medicaid. According to Medicare.gov – Medicare covers short-term options following a hospitalization as well as limited home and community-based options; Medicaid covers skilled nursing facilities long term as well as some home and community based services such as assisted living. For the large population that is not eligible for Medicaid, private pay long term options are available and are becoming more widespread. Long term care insurance is now a big proponent and will continue to be used more frequently in paying for these private pay services. Again, plan ahead; meet with a financial advisor, and be sure you are ready when the time comes to make these decisions.

Types of care. The care needs you or your loved one have will determine the type of care community or service needed. Independent living is suited for folks who need no assistance at all with daily living tasks, simply looking for the company of those in the same age bracket and a variety of activities and possible transportation. Assisted Living takes care further and provides medication management as well as assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing or dressing. Skilled nursing facilities also known as nursing homes provide full care for those who are unable to care for themselves. All three levels of facility care provide an initial assessment for those wanting information. Always feel free to ask questions and request an assessment to determine whether you or your loved one is appropriate for that specific level of care.

It is best to know the long term care options in your area ahead of time; know what each level of care provide and their financial structure vs. your budget. When the time comes you or your loved ones need assistance, you will be prepared and less overwhelmed. As seniors, you spent a long time aging, spend your years well planned.

Sarah Dixon - Director of Sales and Marketing
Summit Place of Kings Mountain - Assisted Living & Memory Care