It is conceivable that the majority of us will need some type of assisted care during our lifetimes. Of those over the age of 65, it is estimated that 50% of women and 25% of men will need to enter a long-term care facility at some point. Fortunately most of these are short stays for rehabilitation services, but there are still many that will stay longer. Recent surveys indicate that of all of the people that enter long term care facilities; about one third of them will be there longer than a year, and of those people, many will be in the facility longer than three years.
It’s true that most people want to remain at home and not enter a long term care facility, but due to circumstances there are times when this isn’t a practicality. If a person is in bad health and there is no one to care for them and no money to pay for in home care, sometimes the only way for them to receive the care they need is in a nursing home.
The unfortunate fact is that most of the people that are in a long term facility are there because they need 24 hour monitoring, or assistance with their personal needs. Some people are simply not strong enough to live at home, unless they have access to home care or an assisted living facility for seniors.
The Different Types of Long Term Care Facilities
When it comes time for you or your loved one to enter a senior care facility, you will choose the facility according to the level of care needed. Skilled nursing facilities provide more intense medical care; these facilities are appropriate for those that are seriously ill or injured. Most people that enter this type of facility are not usually there too long, as they may be moved after they have recovered.
Another type of facility is the nursing home, with this type of facility seniors will have daily help with their personal needs, as well as health monitoring by nurses and nursing assistants. This type of facility is appropriate for those that have mental or physical limitations that are not expected to improve over time. Many facilities offer both types of care in one location.
Another type of long-term care facility is the custodial care facilities. These facilities provide personal care, but only limited medical care. Due to the fact that the medical care is limited, the cost of this type of facility will be a lot less, though you can still expect it to cost $30,000 a year, and some cost several times this much.
The Cost of Long Term Care
One of the biggest problems people face with long-term care is the expense. If you need to enter a skilled nursing facility, you can expect the cost to be $300 to $500 a day. Fortunately, most people are not in this type of facility long and insurance companies as well as Medicare, will usually cover most of the cost.
For custodial care facilities however, the cost can be from $3,000 to $10,000 a month and this type of facility does not normally qualify for assistance from insurance companies, or Medicare. If you have a very low income, Medicaid may cover the expense but otherwise, it is left up to the estate or family to pay the cost.
Obviously, planning for the possibility of long-term care is an important part of creating your estate plan and the sooner you can start planning, the better off you’ll be. To learn more about long-term care and creating your own estate plan, contact our office today.