It is a myth that most people won’t need long-term care at some point in their lives. In fact, 70 percent of people turning 65 can expect to need long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Long-term care is most often needed by those who are older, women (who typically live longer than men), those who have a disability, those who have a chronic condition, and those who live alone.
Long-term care can be very expensive, quickly eating up savings, retirement accounts, and other assets. The current average cost of a semi-private room in the Dayton area is roughly $7500 per month, with the cost of a private room even more. Care in an assisted living facility can cost more than $3,000 per month. A home health aide, on average, can cost $21 per hour. And an adult day care center may cost $67 on average.
This is why it is essential to plan ahead.
Planning ahead for the possibility of long-term care involves first thinking about the type of care that you would prefer (there are many different options for care in Dayton, Ohio), then putting your wishes into a realistic plan. Long-term care planning includes the following:
- Preparing a living will, which outlines the medical treatments you do and do not want if you aren’t able to make the decisions yourself
- Preparing health care and financial power of attorney documents, which state the person (or people) who you trust to make decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself
- Estate planning, which includes preparing a will and trusts, if necessary, to determine where your assets will go after your death
- Arranging to pay for care
- Many persons also make gifts (more on this below)
There are various options for paying for long-term care. Most persons choose to utilize Medicaid, which is a governmental program that will pay for the costs if one is eligible. The options also include health insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, combination life and long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages, annuities, and trusts. The option (or options) that you choose should take into account your unique personal and financial situation.
Medicaid planning is repositioning your assets to get on Medicaid quicker. This is the route most people follow. It calls on making gifts. This can be quite risky, but in the right circumstances, if done correctly, it can present more options to provide better care to take care of the elderly person. It also makes it more likely the family will inherit instead of seeing all of the funds spent on assisted living or the nursing home.
Our web site has many articles that explain how this process works.
Planning for long-term care can seem overwhelming. But you can get help. An elder lawyer can guide you through the long-term care planning process.
At Lovett & House Co., LPA, our estate planning and elder law attorneys are experienced in helping older Americans and their families make sure they get the care they need. With our help, you can make informed decisions and feel secure in your future. Call us today if you have questions about long-term care in Dayton, Ohio.