Long-term care: What are the Options?

Guest Post by Sasha

In my last post I noted some startling statistics about the number of Americans who will require long-term care at some point in their lives. Common medical crisis such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and arthritis can certainly affect your quality of life in profound ways. Something as unpredictable as a car accident can turn life as you knew it upside down. Injury or disease can hamper your ability to perform daily activities that we often take for granted such as eating, dressing ourselves, or getting in and out of bed and can necessitate some form of long-term care.

None of this is to say that we should maintain a bleak outlook for the future – it just means that we should think early on about the kind of life we’d like the future to hold. If any kind of support is going to be necessary on a long-term basis, then it behooves us all to consider our options.

There are generally two kinds of care to look for: in-home and in a facility, and there are various options within each.

In-Home Long Term Care Options

Personal Care Assistants or Companions can aid with household care like cleaning and cooking, as well as provide a conduit to the outside world by running errands. Home Health Aides have a more personal role in care and are able to provide bathing and dressing assistance. For those people with serious physical conditions, nurses can help with IVs, administer medications, and provide solutions to more complex health issues.

Facility Care Options

If home care isn’t an option, there are a range of assisted care facilities, and it’s vital to choose the one that best suits your or your loved one’s needs. For some people who are in fact able to live at home but still require some sort of support, an adult day health care center will be able to provide daytime social and therapeutic activities. Some individuals prefer to live independently with on-site support for daily activities in an assisted living facility.  If skilled and intense care is needed, then a Nursing Home is the best option for skilled supervision, medication administration, therapies, and rehabilitation.

Long-term care is obviously a private matter. Perhaps there are loved ones available to help make decisions. It makes sense to gather enough information on your own so that you can view the long-term care landscape with an educated eye. Once you’ve surveyed your options, look to speak with an agent who will work with you to design the kind of plan you need.

11 Responses to Long-term care: What are the Options?

  1. The in-home approach is becoming more cost effective. It makes me wonder about other cultures that are more committed to the multi-generational support… There’s something to be said for that system.

    • Now that I am in the time in my life where people are having kids (myself included) it is interesting to see which couples use the multi-generational support and which ones use 3rd party day care.

  2. Even more of a reason to do everything you can to stay healthy (both mentally and physically) when your younger. I definitely want to avoid long term care options as long as possible (or all together).

  3. I bought LTC insurance a few years ago because I saw what happened to my Mom. She needed assisted living in her nineties and it was very expensive. I never want to go to an assisted living facility so I made sure I can have help at home.

  4. I agree that it is important to consider and all the more important to do everything to save and stay healthy. You never know what could happen. I don’t think I would want to purchase LTC insurance, but may change my mind years down the road.

    • I am with you about purchasing LTCi, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of guarantees. Some companies are creating this cool hybrid product which mixes a whole life product with LTCi.

      Watch for it, it will be huge

  5. This is a difficult subject to think about. I hope I can care for my parents when they need some help, but I’ve seen some cases where the elderly needs special care. I’ll need to look into LTC more.

  6. Is there insurance for this? I actually should ask my father because I think he set something up for he and my mom. It leads to less stress for the rest of the family but it’s just so difficult to think about my parents being stuck in long term care. I pray it doesn’t happen.

    • Did you just ask if there was insurance for this? Are you serious or just trying to be cute?

      Your link is to an insurance company LOL if you are going to comment please be real.

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