As advancements in medicine enable people to live longer, healthier lives, many people do not think about whether they will ever need at-home care assistance. Instead, most people take it for granted that they will pass away peacefully one evening at home and they do not make any plans to pay for at-home care assistance. However, consider the following statistics:
- Approximately 70% of those Americans who reach the age of retirement will need long term care services at some point in their lives;
- The lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older; and
- 42% of people in need of long term care are 64 years old and younger.
With these sobering facts, it is paramount that you address questions of how to pay for at-home care assistance as well as how to pay for the potential need for long term care in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.
If you are still somewhat young and sufficiently healthy, it may behoove you to consider purchasing a long term care insurance policy. These days, there are numerous chameleon-type policies which may be purchased as life insurance, but may also be converted into a long term care insurance-type policy if long term care is needed. In order to find a policy that suits your needs best, speak to a qualified and trusted financial advisor about your particular situation.
If, after consulting with a financial advisor, you determine that you are ineligible for a reasonably-priced policy, you may benefit from speaking to an experienced elder law attorney who is familiar with the various government benefit programs that may be available to pay for the different levels of medical care, and the rules and regulations which determine eligibility.
Furthermore, if you are a veteran, make sure the elder law attorney you contact is knowledgeable about potential veteran benefits as well. There is a relatively unknown veteran benefit which may pay up to $1,949.00 per month to help veterans or their surviving spouses remain in the comfort of their own homes, while receiving the assistance of at-home caregivers in order to do so.