It is further into the year than usual for this post, but we do aim for a yearly update to keep accurate numbers on our site. While many aging parents never see themselves spending time in a skilled nursing facility, the reality is that longer lifespans increase the odds that extra care will be required at some point.
As the quality of life around the globe has risen, so has the overall life expectancy. Average Americans are routinely living to 80, 90, even 100 years of age. This is due in no small part to medical and technological advances like:
The last time we talked about long term care planning was about a month ago. We wrote about LTC insurance, and how it can prove very beneficial to some people. Today, we're going to talk about home care, what options there are for this type of care and why many people choose this type of care for the end of their life.
At some point in our lives, we will no longer be able to do the things that we once did. We won't be able to play basketball with the usual group on Saturdays. Those weekend hiking trips will be a thing of the past. And even some of the more basic tasks, such as household care and medical care, will require some form of help.
It can be hard to imagine, but if you can, think about your life when you are much older. Picture yourself as a 70- or 75-year-old person and trying to do all of the things that you do today. Some of those things won't be possible anymore, and others still, though possible, will require a little bit of help. This is simply the way it will be for all of us. Time will eventually catch up to us, and our age, though still just a number, will hang over every element of our life.
The US Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014. The law will enable people with disabilities to access savings accounts to pay disability-related expenses. The accounts will not affect Medicaid and Supplement Security Income eligibility.
Do you freeze up when someone mentions “the end of life" or "advance planning?” Few are comfortable with the topic. Estimates are that more than 60 percent of older adults do not have an advance directive in place that expresses their wishes regarding end-of-life care.
As part of good estate planning, residents of Colorado may consider long-term care planning for themselves and their loved ones. Medicare, a government supplemental insurance policy that provides medical and hospital benefits for individuals who meet certain disability criteria, typically does not provide funds for long-term care services. Therefore, people may wish to consider alternative ways to provide for any future health care needs that could arise from a disability, injury or disease.
A Colorado resident or anyone else turning 65 has a 60 percent chance of needing long-term care. Statistics also indicate that 20 percent of people who reach age 65 spend at least two years in a nursing home. In many cases, people do not prepare because they believe that retirement isn't their most pressing financial priority. However, it is typically worthwhile to to have a long-term health care plan in place.
Colorado residents with aging parents may be in the dark when it comes to what they know about their parents' finances and final wishes. But when it comes to long term care planning, asking the right questions sooner rather than when it is too late makes all the difference.