LONG-TERM CARE PLANNING: THE PROBLEM

One of the greatest fears of older Americans is that they will end up in a nursing home losing their personal freedom and life savings. When asked, most people say they will never go into a nursing home, but in reality many will. Close to fifty percent of Americans age sixty-five years and up will spend some time in a skilled nursing facility, and for one out of every ten that stay will be five years or longer.

Those odds, one out of ten, may seem an acceptable risk, but consider this. The odds of your home burning to the ground tonight are about one in five hundred, and yet most homeowners would not think of not insuring against this risk. However, most of us have not even thought about our long term care much less planned for it.

Naturally, older Americans prefer to stay at home rather than go to a nursing home, and most care of the elderly is provided at home, whether by family or hired help. If the family provides this care at home and the elderly person requires assistance with activities of daily living, such as walking, eating and toileting, the caretaker will quickly become exhausted. In many situations the level of care required cannot be adequately provided at home.

In North Mississippi a semi-private room in nicer nursing homes costs about $75,000 per year, and this expense is currently rising at a rapid rate well above the inflation rate. Most Americans, who go to a nursing home, are financially impoverished within one year and then go on Medicaid.

Many people think that Medicare is going to pay for their long-term care, but this is a mistake. Medicare is not designed to pay for long term care. Others have decided to let Medicaid pay their way, but they do not know that practically all of their assets must be spent before they qualify for Medicaid. With proper planning you can be prepared for your future. The attorneys at Dunn &Hemphill have extensive experience in long term care planning. Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your long term care planning options.

 



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Articles Written By David Dunn


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