In my last column, I explained that long term care is not really about recovering from health challenges. It is about dealing with health challenges which will not improve, and which leave you or your loved one unable to take care of his/her personal needs.
Still, the costs of long term care can be very high. For residential long term care, the monthly costs can range from $3500 to $10,000 or even more.
Unfortunately, for whatever the reason, there are very limited options to pay for the costs of long term care. The typical health insurance policy will not pay for the costs of long term care. Nor will the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). One study found that half of Idaho seniors assume Medicare will pay for long term care. Unfortunately, as I will address next week, this is not true.
According to AARP, an average of 8000 baby boomers a day are turning age 65, a rate which will continue for the next 15 years. Statistically, 70% of these people will need long term care. In fact, 40% of those seniors will need assistance in a nursing home. As I explained in my last column, this is the most expensive of the types of long term care assistance. Finally, about 10% of the people who enter a nursing home will stay there five years or more (www.longtermcare.gov).
Seniors in need of long term care are among society’s most vulnerable. It is extremely disconcerting that so few resources exist to assist those in need.
Starting with my next column, we will discuss the options available to seniors in need of assistance. The good news is that there are options available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
But preparation is crucial. Without it, your only option may be to rely on family to provide care they are simply not equipped to deal with. As I discussed back in Article 19, this approach can be the most expensive choice of all.
© 2015 Steven J Wright