Frank and Delia were getting older, as most people do. Their life together had included raising three children and providing support for their parents before they passed away. Because of how much care their parents needed at the end of their lives, Frank and Delia were concerned about their own future medical care. They decided to be proactive and start to plan for long-term care situations now.
Long-Term Care Options
People faced with a need for increased levels of care have several options:
- In-home. Aides may come in with meal preparation, cleaning, medication management, and personal hygiene.
- Assisted Living Facilities. The residents live in separate apartments, but limited nursing care is provided.
- Nursing Homes. Skilled nursing facilities typically offer 24/7 care for patients that need it.
As you start your plan for long-term care, consider the following:
Research Current Availability and Cost
It may be years before you need long-term care. However, you can start looking at what might be available.
The least expensive option is usually at-home care. In the Anniston area, the average monthly cost was $2,955 for homemaker services in 2018. Perhaps you have family members who can help you stay home as long as possible and reduce the cost of care.
In Anniston, the average monthly cost for assisted living facilities in 2018 was $3,566. If you don’t need memory care or 24/7 nursing, this might work. Check with family members, friends, and friends-of-friends who live in and can recommend assisted living accommodations.
As you might expect, the highest cost will be for nursing home care. Average 2018 cost in Anniston was $6,175 for a semi-private room and $6,449 for a private room. See what nursing homes are nearby. In addition to word of mouth, you can check the Alabama Department of Public Health website for lists of nursing homes with violations.
Once you have some ideas of available care, you can plan how to pay for it.
Methods of Payment
Generally, you will find there are three ways to pay:
- Self-Pay. Your life savings may be used to pay for expensive long-term care.
- Long-Term Care Insurance. Although this type of insurance can defray the high cost of long-term care, the premiums may be too high. It’s also important to buy the policy well before you need it.
- Medicaid and Other Government Benefits. You may be able to tap into Medicaid to pay for part or all of your long-term care . . . if you qualify. Eligibility rules are strict. If there’s a possibility you will need Medicaid, consult with an attorney now.
Talk to an Experienced Attorney about How to Plan for Long-Term Care
There’s a good possibility that you or one of your loved ones will need some form of long-term care. Doesn’t it make sense to plan for it now?
For a free consultation with Bill Miller, an experienced Alabama attorney, contact us at 256-472-1900. Miller Estate and Elder Law is now located at 818 Leighton Avenue in Anniston, but we serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.
Also, free copies of the following guides are available on our website: Medicaid Planning in Alabama: What You Need to Know and Don’t Go Broke Paying for Long-Term Care.