The Census Bureau estimates that the number of adult Americans aged 65 and over will hit 77 million by the year 2034. These numbers will grow to a further 94.7 million by the year 2060. According to the statistics, this is the first time in U.S. history that the number of older adults will outnumber that of children.
If you or your loved one can no longer manage self-care, you aren’t alone. The American population is graying, and with it comes the burden of affording care.
Are you wondering what long term care plans are available near you? It’s possible to access elder care plans that can help you or your loved ones live through the sunset years gracefully. Read here for more on long term care planning.
What Is Long Term Care?
Long term care is the non-medical or medical care accorded to individuals who require support to accomplish routine activities. These plans often target older individuals who might have a challenge in managing daily activities such as dressing, bathing, or visiting the bathroom. Long term care may be at home or in a registered facility such as a nursing home.
The main objective of long term care is to ensure that you maintain your lifestyle even as you age. Ultimately, seven out of ten Americans over the age of 65 will require long term support. This is why preparing financially for this critical transition is critical.
Why Is Long Term Care Necessary?
Age is just but a number. However, as you age, it becomes clear that age also comes with other complications that may be impossible to manage on your own. Most people above the age of 65 struggle with either vision, hearing, or mobility concerns, which render them dependent on others.
Beyond the age of 65, cognitive illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease become increasingly common. All these health-related concerns reconcile you to the reality that you might need an extra hand. As such long term care is an important consideration.
Types of Long term Care Plans
The provision of long term care takes unique approaches depending on the different places or the different caregivers tasked with meeting the patient’s needs. The types of long term care may vary contingent on various other factors, such as the elder’s underlying health condition.
1. Home Care
The most common approach to long term care is home-based support. This setting involves long term support from unpaid relatives or close family members who play the caregiver role for as long as the senior is alive.
Most Americans prefer the idea of home-based care, considering that it’s cheaper. Nevertheless, this option has underlying limitations. Key among these limitations is the reality that such caregivers lack the professional capacity to offer quality health care.
Home-based care also faces the unprecedented reality that relatives won’t always be available to offer the needed care. This means that there may be instances where the patient lacks the needed care due to the unavailability of a volunteer.
2. Assisted Living
Assisted living refers to long term care alternatives that combine housing and assistance with routine daily living activities. Such assisted long term care plans provide private or semi-private apartments and amenities, including transportation.
Seniors in these assisted living facilities get to enjoy caregiver support on matters related to housekeeping, meals, and social events. The difference between home-based care and assisted living is the cost implication.
Assisted living can be quite expensive, considering the need to afford basic amenities. Such costs include transportation and caregiver wages or salaries.
3. Memory Care
It’s common to find memory care centers today that offer long term caregiving to individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. These centers provide specific neighborhoods for older residents needing memory care.
Memory care centers have particular wings operated by highly specialized and trained professionals. These centers also have extra security features to enhance the resident’s safety.
Memory care centers operate at full professional capacity to ensure that patients get the best support. Unlike home-based care, this option takes a medical approach to caregiving, which makes them expensive.
4. Skilled Long Term Care Facilities
With age, a wide range of health care concerns emerge. Such issues may affect your normal life and may often require around the clock health care support. Skilled nursing facilities exist to bridge this gap.
Skilled nursing facilities provide comprehensive around-the-clock care options, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy to the aging population. You or your loved one can get the best health care support from skilled nurses in these facilities at a cost.
5. Enriched Housing
Enriched housing is among the most costly types of long term care plans where seniors live in independent housing units. Unlike the regular adult homes where the seniors coexist, these facilities offer an aspect of privacy and all the other necessary amenities.
Enriched living brings an aspect of community-integration where the housing units resemble independent housing units. This option might be expensive compared to other long term care options.
Long Term Care Insurance
Long term care can be an expensive undertaking. Most times, this care plan lasts for the rest of a senior’s life. As such, it’s essential to consider the capacity to provide financial support to afford long term care for the rest of the unforeseeable future.
This reality informs the need for long term care insurance or nursing home insurance. Long term care insurance provides a policy cover that pays for specific long term costs for the senior’s long term care. Depending on the policy, you or your loved one may incur lower charges when seeking long term care if you have insurance coverage.
It will help to consider a long term care plan for you or your loved one if you hope to minimize the financial burden of eldercare. However, you will need to understand how each of the policies available work to ensure that they solve the underlying needs.
Are you looking for information on long term care planning? If so, you should speak to qualified elder law attorneys who can help you create a long term care plan.
Aging Gracefully Is Achievable Through Long Term Care Planning
Many people dread the onset of sunset years. Perhaps this is due to the complications that come with dependence. However, you or your loved one can still approach senior life with your dignity intact due to the full range of long term care planning options available.
All you need is a reliable elder law attorney to help you with everything you need to know about long term care plans. Aging does not have to be miserable with caring people around you.
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