Long Term Care

Because of old age, mental or physical illness, or injury, some people find themselves in need of help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting or continence, and/or transferring (e.g., getting out of a chair or out of bed). These six actions are called Activities of Daily Living–sometimes referred to as ADLs. In general, if you can’t do two or more of these activities, or if you have a cognitive impairment, you are said to need “long-term care.”

 

Long-term care isn’t a very helpful name for this type of situation because, for one thing, it might not last for a long time. Some people who need ADL services might need them only for a few months or less.

 

Many people think that long-term care is provided exclusively in a nursing home. It can be, but it can also be provided in an adult day care center, an assisted living facility, or at home.

 

Assistance with ADLs, called “custodial care,” may be provided in the same place as (and therefore is sometimes confused with) “skilled care.” Skilled care means medical, nursing, or rehabilitative services, including help taking medicine, undergoing testing (e.g. blood pressure), or other similar services. This distinction is important because generally Medicare and most private health insurance pays only for skilled care–not custodial care.

 

A long-term care insurance policy helps cover the costs of that care when you have a chronic medical condition, a disability or a disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease. Policies will pay you directly or reimburse you for care given in a variety of places, such as:

  • Your home.

  • A nursing home.

  • An assisted living facility.

  • An adult day care center.

 

The high cost of long-term care may not be something you want to think about, but you probably should. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nearly 70 percent of people turning age 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care in their lives.

 

With such care averaging $229 a day for a private room in a nursing home, according to the HHS, it can quickly deplete your savings if you're not prepared.

That's where long-term care insurance can help. Give us a call and we can discuss if this type of policy is right for you, or for a member of your family.

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© Kamaka Jingao 2020 

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