How Early is Too Early to Look for a Senior Nursing Facility?

As individuals in Texas get older, there are new issues they must face like obtaining long-term care and applying for benefits. All of these issues fall under the category of elder law. Elder law is an aspect of estate planning that focuses on the needs of individuals as they age. However, with many nursing homes closing, it has become even more imperative to plan ahead for long-term care. While this may be an overwhelming and scary concept, elder law attorneys are skilled at navigating these issues and ensure elders can obtain the care they deserve.

Big Shifts in Senior Living Care to Come

Five Star Senior Living—a major senior living business with over 1,500 retirement communities—has announced they will exit the skilled nursing business by the end of 2021. Instead, the business is shifting to smaller senior living communities that do not require the same elder care and skilled nursing capabilities. As more businesses like Five Star get out of the senior nursing facility business, it will become harder for elders to obtain long-term care.

With news of senior nursing facilities closing—and the elder population only growing—people are concerned there will not be nursing homes available for them when they need them. However, the decision to move into senior housing is a long and difficult process that is not made quickly. According to the 2020 Genworth’s Cost of Care survey analysis, a senior skilled nursing facility in Houston can cost from about $60,000 to over $100,000 a year. Because of this, the first step in this process is to create a plan for asset protection. This may include setting up a trust on the individual’s behalf or figuring out how much money should be saved per year. It is important to note that many individuals will pay for senior nursing facilities with their personal funds, and then will rely on Medicaid to cover the remaining cost.

It becomes harder and harder to plan for long-term care as time goes on—both saving the assets and finding senior nursing home options—so Texans should begin this process as soon as possible. This is where an elder law attorney can help. Elder law attorneys will provide a full assessment of the situation, which involves evaluating the costs of residential care and advising the client on how much they should continue saving until transferring to a senior nursing facility is necessary. For individuals who follow this process, the transition to a senior nursing facility years later will be a much smoother—and less stressful—process.

Planning ahead for long-term care is essential, so individuals should look for an experienced elder law attorney as soon as possible.

Contact a Houston Elder Law Attorney

If you or a loved one needs to plan for long-term care, contact the Houston elder law attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. We assist seniors and their families in making long-term care decisions and ensure their best interests are being taken into account. With years of experience handling elder care and estate planning needs, we work with you to guarantee your needs are met now and in the future. To learn how we can help you and your elderly loved ones prepare for long-term care, give us a call today at 713-333-8900 and schedule a consultation.

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