Simplified Guide to Long-Term Care

man researching

It’s never too early to start thinking about the future. When you’re young and just setting out on your own, it’s not uncommon to set goals for your home, your career, your family, etc. Planning for a future following retirement is just as important.

While you may have mapped out your travels after retirement, have you considered your long-term plans, or what you may want when you need a little extra help? While it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of all possible outcomes as you age, start your planning by outlining your main goals post-employment without having to worry about immediate choices.

What are your long term care options?

Various living options are available within long term care: home care, supportive housing programs, assisted living, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), memory care and skilled nursing, also known as a nursing home.  A common misconception is that senior or assisted living equals nursing home. Skilled nursing centers provide round-the-clock nursing care by licensed and trained nursing professionals for residents who have higher care needs and more complex medical conditions. Assisted living communities offer 24/7 care, and aim to keep residents as independent as possible for as long as possible, and encourage socialization through activities, meals and shared spaces. If you experience cognitive decline, memory care communities provide more care and security to ensure you are living the fullest life you can.

If you desire to stay in your house, home care providers assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) in the senior’s own home. Home care can present challenges if you require extensive assistance.

Financial Planning

Taking a realistic look at your finances is an important step in planning your retirement. Whether it’s in-home or in assisted living, there are many costs associated with care. As a reminder, Medicare does not cover long-term care needs. However, Medicaid does cover some care options. Long-term care insurance plans can be pricey, but they can be beneficial if you have a family history of diseases that require care assistance in the future.

Premiums for long-term care policies may increase with age, so investing sooner rather than later is imperative if you have the means. A traditional insurance premium for a 55-year-old couple can cost about $2,100 annually. The cost rises to $3,700 annually if a couple waits ten years to invest. There are also hybrid policies that will return the money to your heirs if you don’t end up requiring long term care. Those policies are the most expensive, but because you lock in your premium upfront, might be the best option for those who are older or have known health problems.

Know What You Want for the Future

As you research options for your parent or loved one, take note of what you want for yourself. Do you want to stay in a bustling city environment, or would you like to be in a quiet area? Would you prefer a one-bedroom over a studio? Right now, you’re young and can make decisions for yourself. Do you dream of staying in your home forever? Maybe you imagine downsizing to a smaller home to avoid having to do home tasks like yard work. Put your long term care desires in writing so that your decision makers know what you want. Don’t forget, assisted living is not a nursing home. If you haven’t toured any communities, and the antiquated ideas of senior living deter you, get out there and check a few out. You’ll be surprised by how active and lively these communities are.

Not sure what to expect from senior living? Aegis Living communities are always open for tours! Come by, check out some activities, grab a snack and cup of coffee, and chat with some residents who are defying the stereotypes of assisted living.