Another oldie but goodie from January 2011 made more timely by the celebration of Mother's Day today. Our Moms (and Dads) deserve our attention when it comes to their potential long term care needs.
There is a very good chance that you or someone you know is taking care of elderly parents now or looking at that possibility in the near future. In 2008 a USA TODAY/ABC News/Gallup Poll of baby boomers found that 41% who had a living parent were providing care for them — either financial help, personal care or both — and 8% of boomers said their parents had moved in with them.
Of those who were not caring for an aging parent, 37% said they expected to do so in the future. About half said they were concerned about being able to provide such care.
If financial planning and long term care planning have not been done previous to the need for care, the burden falls on the caregiving family member. Decisions about how care will be paid for, who will be responsible for managing the estate as well as how the long term care will be given can cause stress and contention among family members.
It is best for parents and all family members to be involved in planning for future financial needs. The financial resources being used today could change drastically with the occurrence of a stroke, illness or onset of dementia. In order to plan financially for long term care, you need to know what the costs are now and what they will be in the future.
Every year MetLife does a survey of long term care costs. Their 2010 survey shows that the average daily rate for private nursing home is $229 which is up from $219 in 2009. Assisted living monthly base rate cost rose to $3,293 in 2010 from $3131 in 2009. Home health aides average $21 an hour.
Planning financial needs can be very difficult, considering you do not know when long term care will be required or how long it will be needed. Staying in the home for care will require professional home care assistance, travel accommodations to doctor appointments, help with shopping, meals, medical supplies and medication and possibly a 24-hour attendant. Even if a family member is doing most of the care, in most cases professional care will eventually be required or a move to a nursing home facility will be necessary.
When evaluating present income and assets consider how they would work for future needs. Consider the following:
- Care options
- Long Term Care Costs
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Home Care Costs
- Medicaid Planning
- VA Benefits & Planning
- Legal Documents – Estate Planning