As we get older, it’s normal to see our health decline. That said, it’s important to plan for long-term health problems as we age. Not only can you come down with a condition that requires around-the-clock care, but you may also have to deal with an emergency. While these situations are traumatic, paying high medical bills can worsen matters.
Due to these possibilities, it’s crucial to start planning early on. But when is a good time to start?
In this post, we’ll talk about when’s the right time to start long-term care planning for your senior loved one.
What’s Long-Term Care?
Long-term care involves professional care services for an extended period. This can be due to a chronic illness, injury, or old age. Long-term care helps individuals with their physical, mental, and emotional needs. This may include the following assistance:
- Help getting dressed
- Cooking meals
- Managing medications
- Using the restroom
- Managing money
- Paying bills
- Getting in and out of bed
Long-term care could provide several benefits if you or your loved one struggles with any of the tasks listed above.
What’s Long-Term Care Planning?
Long-term care planning involves discussing and planning for this type of care in the future. You should consider the money needed for long-term care, including other resources to help throughout the process. Most people also discuss how the family will assist if long-term care insurance is necessary and what to do in an emergency.
When is the right time to start long-term care for your loved one?
There are some early indicators that care may be needed. One of which involves increasing problems with handling instrumental activities of daily living, or IADLs. These include tasks necessary for everyday life, such as managing money, taking medications, caring for pets, and more. While these issues aren’t life-threatening, they can worsen over time. If your loved one struggles with any of these activities, make a plan for long-term care as soon as possible.
Relying on Family
The truth is that family members are typically the ones who provide long-term care for their loved ones. In fact, according to the insurance and financial advising company Genworth Financial, 40% of caregivers are adult children providing care for their parents. However, relying on family can place a considerable burden on loved ones, both financially and emotionally. Aside from the time and added stress, these family caretakers typically spend $7,000 a year of their own money on caretaking responsibilities.
Early Planning Is Crucial
Unfortunately, many people are left with high medical bills when it's time to join a long-term care facility. This is sometimes due to a lack of planning. So when’s the right age to start planning for this later-in-life care? Some experts say adults should begin planning as early as their 20s. As care costs continue to rise, we have no idea how the industry will look in 30, 40, or 50 years. It’s also important to understand the likelihood of needing this care. While it doesn’t happen to everyone, long-term care is extremely common, especially as we age.
Don’t Rely on Medicare
Another tip is to not plan on receiving Medicare benefits for long-term care. According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, more than 50% of people think Medicare will cover the cost of a nursing home or in-home medical services. However, only skilled nursing home care is provided, including a maximum of 100 days in the hospital, which is only covered with a qualified hospital stay.
Can Charitable Services Help?
Charitable services may also help to pay for long-term care, but these options are limited. Veterans’ benefits, for example, are used to cover adult daycare. Nonprofits like Volunteers of America and Catholic Charities can assist for a few hours daily in some areas. Be sure to do some research on the charitable services in your community.
Couples Pose Challenges
Planning long-term care for couples sounds simple, but it’s more complex. That’s because many assume that one partner will care for the other person. However, both of these individuals could need care at the same time, or one person may be unable to provide adequate care for their spouse. These are important considerations to make during the planning process.
Early Signs Care Is Needed
When is the right time to start long-term care for your loved one? Luckily, there are some early indicators that care may be needed. One of which involves increasing problems with handling instrumental activities of daily living, or IADLs. These include tasks necessary for everyday life, such as managing money, taking medications, caring for pets, and more. While these issues aren’t life-threatening, they can worsen over time. If your loved one struggles with any of these activities, make a plan for long-term care as soon as possible.
Is Assisted Living the Best Option?
For aging adults, joining an assisted living community can be a wise decision. Not only can these facilities provide around-the-clock care, but they also focus on independence. Assisted living caters to the needs of the individual, providing personalized care services only when needed. Call Vista Springs today if you’re interested in learning more about assisted living. We’re happy to have 12 thriving communities throughout Ohio and Michigan, all providing professional, compassionate care solutions.