What Long-Term Care Options Are Available for Seniors?

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Published by Christina Hester Snyder, Partner and Wealth Advisor

 

Most people cannot fathom reaching an age where they can no longer care for themselves, but according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, two-thirds of people turning 65 will need some type of long-term care as they age.[1] Not everyone will need around-the-clock care, but most people will at least need help doing chores or driving around. Familiarizing yourself with the various long-term care options available can help you prepare for when the time comes.

Home-Based Long-Term Care Options

Many seniors want to stay in place and are happy living in their homes; they’ve worked too hard to make it their own and feel there are too many memories to just leave. Staying in their home also means there’s yard work to be done and floors to be mopped. After a certain age, taking care of a home can become an impossible burden, especially if the person has difficulty taking care of themselves. Luckily there are several options available to those who wish to stay in their home:

Homemaker services: A non-medical professional assists with home management and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLS) such as grocery shopping, laundry, meal prep, and light cleaning.

Personal care: When extra help is needed, a non-medical professional can help with IADLs as well as more personal tasks like bathing and hygiene.

Home health care: A trained medical professional may be needed along with assisting IADLs. This could range from a trained home health aide administering IV treatments to skilled nursing care.

Accessory dwelling unit (ADU): For the more independent seniors who want to stay close to family, having a separate living and sleeping area in a loved one’s home can strike the perfect balance between having consistent care and independence. Spaces like an upper floor, basement, or guest house can be turned into an ADU.

Long-Term Care Facilities or Residential Communities

There are certainly some stigma behind living in long-term care facilities or residential communities, but these services can provide the care and attention many seniors need. They can provide 24/7 medical and personal care, participation in social activities, and save them from doing housework and meal prep. Some options to consider include:

Assisted living communities: Allows seniors to remain as independent as possible, living in their own room or home, while still having access to facilities and 24/7 supervision and assistance.

Nursing homes: A step up from assisted living communities, nursing homes can provide 24/7 medical monitoring and rehabilitation services as well as help with IADLs.

Community-Based Long-Term Care Options

Taking advantage of long-term care services doesn’t mean upending your life. Sometimes care can be less invasive but still provide the needed support.

Adult day care: Enrolling into a day care program can provide seniors with the supervision, health services, and stimulation they need to continue living fulfilling lives.

Transportation services: Providing transportation services to seniors can give them the opportunity to maintain their daily routine of running errands and attending appointments without jeopardizing their safety or the safety of other people on the road.

How Much Do Long-Term Care Services Cost?

Long-term care costs in the United States are so high, they can deplete your retirement savings if needed for more time than expected. In 2022, the national average is $306 per day or $9,305 per month for a private room in a nursing home.[2] Women usually require long-term care for 3.7 years (or around 44 months) versus 2.2 years (or around 26 months) for men.[3] When these costs are added up, women will spend $409,420 and men will spend $241,930 on long-term care alone.

These numbers are only projected to increase. By 2032, the daily cost for a private room in a nursing home is expected to jump to $411 or $12,505 per month.[4] Also, these costs can vary dramatically based on the level of care and amenities required, as well as your geographic location.

Whether you’re worried about potential health concerns or want to protect your wealth, it’s important to understand what kinds of long-term care are available and how you will finance those services. Consulting a financial professional can bring more clarity to your long-term care plans. We’re here to help. To get started planning, contact our office by calling 410-821-6724 or emailing info@jacobwilliam.com or schedule an appointment at https://www.jacobwilliam.com/insights/#contact.

 

About Christina Hester Snyder

Christina is a Partner and Wealth Advisor at Jacob William Advisory with a storied 20-plus year career in financial services. Christina is known for her commitment to her clients and is dedicated to helping them alleviate their financial fears through education and planning that goes far beyond investments. She believes in a comprehensive approach that addresses all facets of planning, including wealth transfer, insurance, taxes, investments, estate and trust planning, retirement, risk management, and business planning. Christina graduated from the University of Baltimore with a Bachelor of Science in Business with an emphasis in international business. She also holds many professional designations, including CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RIPC®), and Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP). She is an active member of her community and is involved in many professional and nonprofit groups, including acting as the president of the Maryland chapter of Women in Insurance & Financial Services and serving on the board of a nonprofit that helps Maryland families with financial hardships. To learn more about Christina, please click here.

 

[1]https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need

[2]https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html

[3]https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/how-much-care-will-you-need.html

[4]https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html

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