Articles Posted in Long Term Care Plan

When we speak to clients who have elderly parents, grandparents, or friends, one of their biggest concerns is that their loved ones will be taken advantage of through financial abuse. Financial abuse is incredibly common among elder individuals, and the most important thing that others can do is closely monitor how and when their loved ones’ money is being spent. If friends and family keep a watchful eye, this can greatly reduce the odds that their loved ones will be subject to financial abuse from other less trusted individuals in their lives.

It is important to know what to look for when monitoring for possible financial elder abuse. An obvious red flag is a large or unexplained withdrawal or, even worse, a pattern of large or unexplained withdrawals. If your loved one’s bank account is fluctuating in a way that you know is not in alignment with their spending patterns, it is always better to investigate instead of leaving things to chance.

A rapid loss of money can also indicate possible financial elder abuse. Sometimes, we see elderly individuals who face unexplained taxes during tax season or a large number of complaints on FINRA’s broker check site. If your loved one has a broker who is difficult to contact or who has been exhibiting evasive behavior, this is also a sign to look into how that person’s money is being handled.

With more Americans than ever reaching retirement age, the number of people requiring long-term care will only intensify too. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 7 in 10 seniors are now expected to need long-term care before they pass away. However, the price of long-term care has only been increasing, making it more difficult for seniors to pay for this necessary service. Elder law attorneys can advise seniors and their loved ones on how to save for future long-term care expenses, along with potential senior housing options.

Are Long-Term Care Costs Increasing?

With more seniors requiring long-term care, the prices for these services have similarly increased. Recent data has shown that prices for nursing home care increased an average of 2.4 percent annually in the past ten years. In the same time period, home health care prices rose 11.1 percent. And these costs are only going to escalate further: per the National Health Expenditure, spending on home health care will climb 83 percent in the next ten years.
Additionally, these figures do not account for the unpaid care loved ones provide to seniors every year. Millions of individuals take care of their senior loved ones and are not paid for these services.

Paying for long-term care services is difficult enough for many families. In 2019, the average cost of a home health aide was over $45,000 per year, while placing a loved one in an assisted living facility costs a similar sum. On the other hand, nursing home care is, on average, double this price.

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Thinking about long-term care—especially as a person ages—can be an overwhelming and scary process. However, as time goes on, it can be more difficult for seniors to obtain proper long-term care. This is why planning ahead is essential. Elder law attorneys will discuss financing for long-term care, which includes often applying for Medicare and Texas Medicaid. Although these are difficult conversations to have, starting the process as soon as possible can ensure a smooth transition when the time does come for new housing or medical care.

Plan Now, Avoid Care Issues Later

The Massachusetts Attorney General recently announced a settlement with a nursing home to resolve allegations that they failed to meet the needs of their residents. The Attorney General’s investigation found that within the time span of a year, the nursing home admitted residents that they did not have trained staff members to properly care for them or the necessary equipment. This also included the staff failing to properly prevent the development of ulcers on residents. The case is an example of a nursing home failing to properly care for its residents.

Planning a person’s future—especially as they are aging and struggling to take care of daily tasks—is both daunting and stressful for the individual and their loved ones. Long-term care is a type of service that individuals often need if they cannot care for themselves, either due to illness, disability, or diseases like Alzheimer’s. Long-term care often includes care in a Houston nursing home, supervision at an adult day care facility, and health services provided at home. However, these services are often extremely costly, so loved ones worry about paying for such care. Below we discuss a few options for paying for long-term care, along with explaining long-term care insurance.

How Can I Pay for Long-Term Care?

The cost of the services is based on numerous factors, including the type of care needed, how long the care is required, where the care is given, and what type of medical professional provides it. Because of this, there are a variety of ways to pay for long-term care. These options are personal savings, Medicaid; Medicare; benefits from a life insurance policy; or long-term care insurance.

10.25.19A generation seems to be waking up to the concept that they are likely to need to care for a spouse or a family member, and they’re taking it seriously.

A study from Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement reported that 90% of baby boomers surveyed understand that they will need to make significant lifestyle changes as part of caring for a loved one. Not only are they aware of this as a new role, but according to Think Advisor’s article, “Long-Term Caregiving Realities Hit Home for Boomers” they are willing to take a number of steps, including:

  • Cut spending: 66%

7.1.19When one spouse needs nursing home care and the other is healthy, there are several approaches that can be taken to securing Medicaid coverage. An elder law estate planning attorney should be contacted, since every situation is different. For some couples, a Medicaid-compliant annuity may be a solution.

What happens when one person needs long-term nursing home care, but does not have long-term care insurance and the family cannot afford to pay out of pocket? Applying for Medicaid is difficult if you have too much money to qualify, but not enough to allow the healthy spouse to afford to pay their bills.

Doing a “Medicaid spend down” requires the person to become broke, before they are eligible. What happens to the spouse’s lifestyle? One solution is a Medicaid Annuity, as described in U.S. News and World Report’s recent article, “What Is a Medicaid Annuity?”

6.17.19If a couple is thinking that they can sell the long-term care portion of a policy, because their HMO will cover the cost of long-term or skilled nursing care, they need to think again.

All too often, people think that they have found a simple solution to a complicated problem, and then it turns out that it doesn’t work the way they thought it would. To prevent an expensive mistake, speak with an experienced estate planning attorney, before making an expensive mistake.

While there is a market to sell life insurance through what is known as a life settlement, there’s no market for long-term care policies.

4.27.19Boomers are more willing to plan their own funerals, than to prepare for an extended stay in a nursing home. Both are inevitable events for most of us.

With more than 10,000 people celebrating their 65th birthday every day in America, and the startling statistic that 70% of us will need long-term care at some point during our lifetimes, it would make sense that more of us would be planning for long-term care. And yet…boomers seem to be more comfortable making plans for a memorial service, than they do for a nursing home visit. The cost of long-term care is big, and it’s not covered by Medicare. Surprised? So are families, when the bill comes.

The Motley Fool’s recent article, “Baby Boomers Are More Prepared for Death Than Life,” says most baby boomers are either unprepared or haven't planned for a long-term care expense, according to a Bankers Life survey of 1,500 middle-income Americans aged 54 to 72. The results show that baby boomers were more likely to plan for their own death, than to have a long-term care plan. About 81% made some kind of funeral arrangements for when they pass away, but just 32% have a plan for how they’ll get care in retirement. The lack of long-term care planning is a significant issue, when you compound this with the harm that such a huge unexpected expense has on a person’s retirement savings, especially in cases where a nest egg is small to begin with.

5.23.18People moving into an assisted living facility, should do a lot of research to make sure they get the quality care and the services they need. Their lives may depend on it.

Life in an assisted living facility is a welcome alternative to aging seniors who are no longer able to remain in their own homes, but don’t want or need to live in a nursing home, which often feels like living in a hospital. They can receive the services they need, while enjoying a full roster of activities and the companionship of their peers. It sounds like a good plan, and in many cases, it is.

However, Consumer Reports’ recent article, “5 Steps for Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community” says that finding the right residence can be a huge challenge.

The cost of long-term care insurance may not be cheap, but the cost of long-term care is extremely expensive, and is only moving higher.

Long-term care insurance is costly, but health care costs for seniors who need long-term care could easily undo decades of retirement planning. Here’s what you need to know about the costs and benefits of long-term care insurance.

The Chicago Tribune’s recent article, “Thinking of buying long-term care insurance? Consider these costs,” reports that a 2015 cost of care survey from insurance company Genworth Financial estimated the national median cost of care for a home health aide to be almost $46,000 annually, while the national median cost for a private nursing room home is more than $91,000 annually.

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