The National Institute on Aging (NIA) gives several reasons why you should plan for long-term care before you need it. Even if you are in good health and follow a healthy lifestyle, an unexpected accident, injury or illness can strike without any warning. While most people prefer to remain at home – aging-in-place, there are illnesses and chronic conditions that can only be treated in a long-term skilled nursing care facility.
Benefits of Planning Ahead While you are Still in Good Health
Some of the benefits of planning ahead while you are still in good health are:
You can check out what kinds of services are in your community and whether or not they are affordable.
You can make important decisions regarding possible future scenarios while you are still able to.
Alzheimer’s or other Dementias
If you have been diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia, you should begin planning for long-term care as soon as possible.
Advanced Care Financial Planning
Most people pay out of their pocket for long-term care. However, if the need for long-term care arises, you may exhaust your various savings and investments rather quickly if you have not planned ahead.
Government Health Insurance Programs
Medicare does not Pay for Long-term Care
There is no doubt about it. Long-term care can be expensive. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, but may cover cost of short-term care following a stay in the hospital. Medicare A pays for hospice care for the last six months of life. To learn more about Medicare Call 1-800-633-4227, TTY: 1-877-486-2048 to find out what costs Medicare will cover for your situation, or visit www.medicare.gov for more information.
Medicaid Pays for Long-term Care
Medicaid pays for long-term care, but you may not qualify for it, especially if your income and assets are higher than the levels needed to be eligible. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, your home can affect whether Medicaid will pay for your long-term care services, including nursing home care and home and community-based waiver services.
To learn more about Medicaid, call 1-877-267-2323, TTY: 1-866-226-1819, or visit www.medicaid.gov. Or, contact your State health department. For a State-by-State list, visit www.medicaid.gov/state-overviews.
If you are a veteran you may qualify for some benefits.
Department of Veterans Affairs
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may provide long-term care or at-home care for some veterans. If your family member or relative is eligible for veterans’ benefits, check with the VA or get in touch with the VA medical center nearest you. There could be a waiting list for VA nursing homes.
To learn more about VA healthcare benefits, call 1-877-222-8387, or visit www.va.gov/health or www.caregiver.va.gov. You can also find more information at Geriatrics and Extended Care: Paying for Long-Term Care.
Private Long-term Care Insurance
The AARP recommends that people between the ages of 55-60 should begin to invest in private long-term care insurance. For people aged 50-55 the AARP recommends investing in disability insurance. The most important thing is to begin to do this before you hit age 60. Most insurance companies will no longer cover seniors once they hit age 60. The NIA recommends shopping around to try to find a long-term care insurance plan that you can afford. The price depends on the kinds of services they cover. You can purchase coverage only for a nursing home or buy coverage that provides for home care or a nursing home. Make sure that it also covers palliative and hospice care.
Long-term Care at Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey
Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey offers long-term 24-hour skilled nursing care at its best. The staff is warm and friendly and your loved one will be in good hands. Also, there is a wide array of recreational activities and fine dining with healthy and delicious meals.
Plan ahead while you are still in good health for the possibility that one day you may need long-term care.