October is Long-Term Planning Month

Is your loved one in need of a different level of care? Maybe it is time to look at options for an assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing facility? Or maybe it is just time for some private pay help at home. If you are considering any of the above options, you may be wondering about costs and payments of these resources.

October is National Long-Term Planning Month, so we thought we would do a bit of this homework for you. The first thing to do is to identify the level of care your loved one may need. It is important to understand these levels of care now and in the future as your loved one declines or as you plan for your own future needs. Senior living options range from 55+ active adult communities to those options with higher level of care including assisting living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities.
Independent Living: This is an option for those who can live on their own with very little assistance but seek amenities and service. Continuing Care Retirement Communities often include independent living but also have higher levels of care as people age and decline. Basic living expenses are included as well as a few meals. Care would be outside of the cost. Typically, there is a buy in option in these communities and a monthly responsibility from the resident for the level of care they are receiving. $2500-$6000 per month for stand-alone independent living communities. Buy in’s for CCRC can be upwards of $350,000 with an additional monthly fee.
Assisted Living: This is paid for on a month to month basis and helps with personal care and other activities of daily living and promote a high level of socialization and social engagement. Residents enjoy the amenities of psycho-social, cultural, and educational activities as well as housekeeping and laundry, transportation to medical appointments, wellness and fitness programs, medication management and assistance with daily tasks. Please note that Medicare does not cover assisted living. Starting at $7000 and upwards of $10,000 per month for memory care or for a very high level of care in some places.
Skilled Nursing Facility: A patient may be eligible for days paid for by Medicare after a hospital stay where the patient has been admitted for three days. These are temporary stays where the goal is to get the patient strong enough to send back home. But when a loved one needs total care and cannot manage either at home, or in an assisted living residence, skilled nursing may be the next step. Although these skilled nursing communities take Medicaid, there is strict criteria and many people end up not qualifying for Medicaid when they assume they will qualify, and they would then have to continue to pay the nursing home costs of upwards of $12,000 per month in order for their loved one to remain at the nursing home.
There are many ways to pay for care and you do not have to lose your house to do so. The key is to plan before the crisis hits. Those who plan for their care before the need seem to have an easier transition, more options, and a more positive outcome. At Van Dyck Law Group, Fiona Van Dyck sits down with every family and will find the right strategy to guide her clients in the right direction for their long-term care needs. Not all plans are alike for all families. It is important to recognize that your individual situation needs care and attention and the plan that a friend makes for their family may look very different. October is around the corner and we want to take the time to remind you that it is Long-Term Care Planning Month. Now is the time to plan. Everyone will need some care at some point in their lives. You should plan for this while you are able to speak for yourself, while you have assets to do your planning and before that crisis hits so that you have more options. Those who wait for the crisis, usually have less options due to non-qualifying circumstances that could have been strategized way before the crisis. Dementia long-term care planning is a specialized kind of planning The key with a dementia diagnosis is to plan while you or your loved one can still be a part of the planning process. The alternative to planning with a dementia diagnosis if you are deemed incompetent to make decisions would be a guardianship which is a much more complicated and expensive process.
Reach out today to get on Fiona’s October calendar to start your long term care planning in honor of National Long-Term Care Planning Month. The perfect opportunity to
Plan for Life Ahead.