Let’s talk long-term care.
No really. Stop snickering (or groaning). I’ll wait.
If you need a reason to spend the five minutes it will take you to read this, learning something you didn’t know you didn’t know, here’s some sage advice from my dad.
“Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. Deal with it.”
Admit it. You’ve gotten the same advice at some point from someone who’s tried to nudge you in the direction of taking responsibility for your own life. The truth is you will get older. Probably a lot older. If you don’t believe it, let’s have a look at your high school yearbook. (That hair.)
People resist talking about old age, because it’s uncomfortably close to the reality of their mortality. They have a hard time projecting themselves into the last phase of life and imagining what it might be like. Even those in their 50s and 60s face this struggle.
But like Dad said, covering your eyes won’t keep it from happening, along with that other cliché about the only constant being change. Statistically speaking, 70% of people over 65 will need some form of long-term care in their lifetimes. If you’re 64 or younger, there’s a 37% chance you’ll need long-term care before you reach retirement age. So, why not try to understand the challenges you may face, make a plan, and then relax and focus your energies on living a long and vibrant life?
We’ve put together a five-part series about long-term care and how it fits into your life plan. We do a little myth-busting about what long-term care even means, and take a look at who may need it and under what circumstances. We’ll examine long-term care options, including innovative approaches you may not know about. We’ll discuss the impact of long-term care on the entire family, and talk about how to make a plan that feels good to you.
Part I – Defining Long-term Care: It May Not Be What You Think
Knowing the long-term care industry jargon will go a long way to understanding what it’s all about, which is great, but not knowing could hurt you. Getting the words right may mean the difference between getting services you’re entitled to, or not. Here’s where we’ll do some myth-busting, and you’ll discover what long-term care is not, as well as what it is.
Part II – Long-term Care? Pft, Who Needs It?
Part II delves into the factors that determine who may need long-term care and when. From a statistical standpoint, some groups are more likely to need long-term care in the future for a variety of reasons. You’ll learn about who is most likely to need future care and how much care, as well as signs to watch for that indicate the need for long-term care may be imminent.
Part III – If Only the Good Die Young, Where Will I Live Out My Old Age?
Many people think long-term care and nursing care facilities are synonymous. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are countless options to consider, including aging in place (industry code for staying in your own home), themed retirement communities, DIY grassroots villages, granny pods, and intergenerational community living. Innovative ideas are popping up everywhere.
Part IV – My Children Are My Long-term Care Plan: LTC and Families
In this segment, we talk about who pays and who doesn’t pay (you may be surprised) for long-term care. We’ll take a look at the cost of long-term care insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, hybrid LTC insurance, paying out-of-pocket, and other options. You’ll also discover the lengths some families are going to, to pay for long-term care for a family member, and the effects of LTC on the entire family.
Part V – You’ve Planned Your Whole Life, Don’t Stop Now
Remember when your parents planned your life in their minds before you were born? Of course not, but most likely their dream was to set you on course to achieve the American Dream (aka a good job). At some point, you took over the planning and went your own way. Since you were a wee tot, either your parents or you have been planning for your future, and now is not the time to stop. Our final segment explores how to plan for long-term care, how to make sure you get what you want, and how to pay for it.
This series is designed to grow your awareness of issues surrounding long-term care and bring you into the conversation. If you’ve read this far, you may have some questions that you didn’t have five minutes ago. Reading the entire series will undoubtedly answer many of those questions, but for inquiring minds who want answers now, you can always ask. Just leave your question, and we’ll get right back to you, because we know how you are, and also, we can’t get enough of your yearbook photo.
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(Source: Prudential Research Report 2010: Long-Term Care Cost Study)