Requiring long-term care is one of the largest financial risks for seniors, y To maintain the financial security and lifestyle you have worked so hard for and protect your assets from nursing homes, it is important to incorporate asset preservation and long-term care in your retirement plan as early as possible. CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND ALL OF YOUR MONEY OR LOSE YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE!!
Long-term care is a range of supportive services one may need in order to meet personal care and medical needs due to chronic illness, injury, disability, or advanced age. This includes Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)—bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, and taking medicine. Long-term care services are provided by caregivers (family member or friend), health care aides, adult day services, and long-term care facilities (nursing homes, assisted living). Spouses and adult children often provide the majority of long-term care assistance, but over time it becomes emotionally and physically taxing as well as equally expensive as a nursing facility. In fact, many families dip into their own retirement savings to financially support a loved one in need of long-term care. According to Genworth’s 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the national median annual cost rises every year; currently ranging from $44,000 to $91,250 depending on the type of care needed. In North Carolina, the median annual rate for nursing home care is $82,125; with the average nursing home stay at three years, costs easily surpass $250,000 for a long-term care event.
The financial costs of a long-term care crisis can be devastating, but programs are available to help pay for long-term care costs–such as in-home care, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. In order for assistance programs to play a useful role in your plan, it is important to understand the programs and how each works. For example, most families are not aware that Medicare and health insurance policies do not include coverage for nursing homes. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Medicaid, and Special Assistance offer financial assistance for long-term care but must be navigated properly. Each program has qualification requirements based on need, income, and assets. WITH THE HELP OF AN EXPERIENCED CERTIFIED ELDER LAW ATTORNEY, MOST FAMILIES CAN QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE FROM ONE OR MORE OF THESE PROGRAMS WITHOUT DEPLETING THEIR LIFE SAVINGS.
We all remain optimistic about aging at home, but without proper planning, the need for long-term care takes this goal out of reach. Sixty-six percent of Americans will need long-term care services; less than half will be prepared when that time comes. Whether you are planning in advance or currently facing a long-term care crisis, the Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC is here to help.