Tuesday, August 27, 2019

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing for Long-Term Care

To many people, arranging for the care that they will need when they are old and weak isn't something that bothers them. The need seems far away and irrelevant. However, research suggests that most older people need long-term care at some point. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, if you're 65 or over, there is a three-quarters chance that you will need long-term care. Long-term care is a term that is used to refer to the assistance that older adults need with basic activities such as cooking, visiting the toilet, mobility, or bathing. Usually, long-term care is provided in the recipient's own home, or at an assisted living facility. Wherever it is provided, care can be costly. Some studies indicate that it can cost as much as $4,000 a month and around $3,500 within San Antonio Texas.

Many seniors do not plan for as much expense. For this reason, often, they need to cut back on the amount of care that they receive and get by with only a little care. If you're over 40, you need to think about how you will take care of yourself when you're old and weak. It can especially help to determine to avoid the top three mistakes that people make regarding long-term care.

The first mistake: Avoiding the subject of long-term care. 

It isn't pleasant to discuss long-term care with your spouse or children. It can be hard to think about moving yourself to an assisted living facility. It’s important to remember, however, that your family is an important part of your long-term care plan. In the early stages of an age-related disability, family members are the ones who help.

Usually, care by family members starts with help with activities such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Over time, seniors can begin to need intimate care with visits to the toilet, the shower, or for following doctor's advice for treatment. In some cases, people are forced to depend on their family members for help with these activities. Many seniors discover that their loved ones are unable to offer as much care as they would like. It's important to talk about how much time they may have and to work out alternatives.

The second mistake: Depending on Medicare or Medicaid for your long-term care

Medicare provides valuable healthcare for the elderly. It can offer health coverage for everything from visits to the doctor to prescription drugs and even hospitalization. Many people believe that Medicare offers coverage for long-term care, but it doesn't. The reason people believe it does is that Medicare often pays for nursing care for a few days after hospitalization. They take this to mean that nursing care is always covered.

When care by nursing staff or other caregivers is needed for frail health, rather than for recovery from an illness, Medicare doesn’t usually help. Medicaid may be able to pay for long-term care, but it doesn't apply to care provided in the home, and recipients need to have nearly no income and no assets to qualify.

For the above reasons, it is wise to choose a residential care home (still known as an assisted living facility in most places) rather than a big commercial nursing home. This reduces the cost to a resident as well as giving them more personalized care. Medicaid will pay for all their medication needs and even trips to the doctors or hospital. Heartwood Seniors (a San Antonio Assisted Living senior care home) claims most of their resident are on Medicaid and that the residents enjoy it.

This is a blog entry by Michelle Gheliuc.

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