Rethinking Long Term Care Options

Rethinking Long Term Care Options

This morning I read about Genworth’s recent study on long term care costs in this country. They have been providing very helpful information, geographic specific as well as national trends, since 2004. The findings for 2017: the second highest increase in long term care costs since they began their reporting. An average 4.5% increase; including nursing home care, adult day care, and assisted living communities. Private nursing home room: plan on $100,000 annually. The cost of a home health aide rose 6%: to $21.50 an hour as a  national average.

Expect a good portion of this expense to be out of pocket.  It is currently being recommended that retirement planning include $275,000 just for medical expenses for a couple.

The Preferred Choice vs the realities

AARP reports that most individuals choose to live at home or with a relative for as long as possible. That is not always possible, depending upon the illnesses or disabilities which we develop. We will then require some type of institutional care: assisted living or nursing home, or home care, which might include private duty nursing care.  Long term care insurance can assist in covering some of these costs, with variances depending upon the specific policy.

Home care continues to be a less expensive care choice: averaging about $128 per day for intermittent care (usually 4-hour increments) compared with $230 per day nationally for  nursing home care.

Long Term care options vary by region

Where you live in the United States will determine your options for care of all kinds. Because of these increasing costs for medical care and the fact that we really don’t want to be in an institutional setting if possible, states are looking at other options for retirement living and long-term care needs. Washington state is the most responsive to residents aging in place.

Are you familiar with the long term care options available in your area, or where you parents or other elderly family members might live?

Discussing your long term care plans

If you haven’t already had a conversation about living options with your parents, your children, or your spouse, I encourage you to do so soon. There are so many considerations to be made, and, if you are considering relocation of any sort, the process can be daunting. Don’t wait until an emergency situation requires some major lifestyle changes in a short period of time.

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