If you are at the age where it is prudent to begin to plan for your retirement, planning for long-term care should be one component of that planning. What do you understand about long-term care? Be aware that Medicare does not cover the cost of long-term care. Medicaid does cover long-term care, but because it is an income-based program, you would have to dissipate assets to become eligible for Medicaid coverage.
- Long term care – is a variety of services to support the health and personal needs care over a significant period. It concerns activities of daily living, which include bathing, dressing, toileting, dressing, incontinence, and eating. Most long-term care is non-skilled personal assistance.
- Persons with chronic illness such as Alzheimer’s that affect activities of daily living are usually the ones that need long term care. It can also be needed when the person has a sudden illness or injury that requires rehabilitative care.
- The amount of long-term care needed usually progresses over time. A person may begin with needing assistance a couple days a week but need more services as their illness progresses.
- There is no set age at which a person made need long-term care; generally the need for it increases as a person ages. Women are more at risk than men to need long term care because they live longer than men.
- Nine million Americans need long term care at this time; that number is expected to increase to 12 million by 2020. Forty percent of people receiving long-term care currently are between the ages of 18-64.
Most long-term care can be or is provided in the home of the individual needing it. It can also be given through adult daycare services, and transportation services. Residential care centers can also be an option for persons who cannot stay in their home. Placement in a nursing home is usually the last option for person needing long-term care.