Understanding Long-Term Care

Posted on August 27, 2013 by ecrBayArea in Assisted Living, Long Term Care Information, Long-Term Care Insurance

The reality is long-term care will effect 70 percent of people age 65 and over According to US Department of Health and Human Services data. Also, the fact that costs related to that care are increasing every day, brings to light the importance of being prepared to deal with a long-term care situation, whether for yourself, a parent or other loved one. Proper planning for long-term care can help relieve some of the emotional and financial burden at the time care services are required. Following are some answers to some key questions regarding long-term care.

What is long-term care?

Long-term care provides for a wide range of medical, personal and social services for an extended period of time. For example, if your health care professional determines that you have a chronic problem that will last for 90 days or more, and you will need substantial assistance. Care levels include assistance with daily activities (transferring, bathing, dressing, grooming), home health care, adult daycare, care in an assisted living community, residential care or nursing home. Long-term care includes supervision of someone with severe cognitive impairment – memory or reasoning loss. Long-term care is intended to maintain and support an individual’s existing level of health and to preserve their health from further decline.

Who needs long-term care?

The general population is living longer due to healthier lifestyles and advances in medical technology and treatment. The longer that people live, the more likely they will need long-term care services. A significant number of working-age adults are also in need of long-term care. Of the people needing long-term care, 40% of them are ages 18 to 64 years old and the need for long-term care arises from catastrophic disability caused by a severe illness or accident.

How do you know you are ready for long-term care?

A health care provider or other geriatric-related professional can help someone determine if they are in need of long-term care services.

Who provides long-term care services?

It is typical for family members, primarily spouses and adult children, to provide initially for care needs. The extent of care and the time period over which it is given will depend on the availability, capability and willingness of those family members. Keep in mind that according to the Alzheimer’s Association, “an older adult that is caring for another with Alzheimer’s has a 60 percent change of dying before the person they’re taking care of because of the stress.”

Custodial long-term care is provided through a home health agency, registry service or may be independent contractors.

In what settings are the long-term care services received?

Depending on the level of care needed, long-term care is performed in a variety of settings including a person’s home, adult day care programs, assisted living facilities, residential care homes, specialized dementia facilities, hospice facilities for the terminally ill and skilled nursing facilities.

What does long-term care cost?

Costs for long-term care vary depending on where you live and what type of care services are required. According to the Genworth Financial 2011 Report of the Cost of Long-Term Care, the range in California ranges from $45,000 – $91,000 per year.

Who pays for long-term care?

Public and private payment options for long-term care are available. It is a common misconception that Medicare and health insurance pay or long-term care. Most often, an individual is responsible for covering the cost of long-term care. This can be done through private pay or through long-term care insurance. Also, the Veteran’s Administration offers assistance through their Aid and Attendance program.

Frank M. Samson, CSA is a Certified Senior Advisor and Founder of Senior Care Authority based in Sonoma. He also hosts “The Aging Boomers” on KSVY 91.3FM or <a href=”http://www.sunfmtv.com” target=”_blank”>www.sunfmtv.com</a>.  The company provides support to families throughout California in helping them locate the best In-Home Care, Dementia Care, Independent and Assisted Living for their loved ones.  He can be reached at 707.939.8744 or e-mailed at frank@seniorcareauthority.com.  The company website is <a href=”http://www.seniorcareauthority.com” target=”_blank”>www.seniorcareauthority.com</a>.