Preparing for a loved one's long-term care can be overwhelming, especially when an unexpected event comes before taking steps to prepare.
For actress Angela Bassett, her past experience serving as a caretaker for her mother and mother-in-law led the Golden Globe Award-winner to partner with Long-Term Care insurance company Genworth to help push a national dialogue and educate Americans about planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging.
Talking to Family About Long-Term Care is Important
Bassett has been part of the initiative's #LetsTalkTour to expose the issues of aging and the impact on family and finances. She opened up about how her family dealt with her mother-in-law's care after her diagnosis with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
She says awareness of the need for long-term care planning is essential. She said while caring for her mother and mother-in-law, she discovered that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities could cost $100,000 a year or more.
“The thing about aging is we know it’s coming. We thought with her athleticism [at age 75] that we had another 15 or 20 years before something would come on so suddenly.”Angela Bassett, actress
As Genworth's official spokesperson, Bassett says she aims to engage the many Americans who will confront the challenge of arranging for the care of an aging loved one and educate them on potential options.
“It really is about -- not selling anything to anybody -- but really just taking the first step to plan for the future by having a conversation, and sometimes a conversation about aging and age is a difficult one.”
“But a lot of conversations are tough to have, but it’s vital that we do have them. So we’re hoping to create empathy, educate, and just open up dialogue.”
While she said her mother-in-law chose at-home care, Bassett's mother decided to live in an assisted living facility in Florida before her 2014 passing. She discovered the cost of long-term care was expensive, and health insurance and Medicare won't cover the most of these costs.
Long-Term Care Costs Impact Family and Finances
The costs of long-term care services and supports vary depending on the type of care a person needs and the location. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you both the current and future costs so you can adequately plan.
Bassett says the high prices of assisted living facilities contribute to why some in the African-American community resort to at-home care instead.
“In our community sometimes we move in with our parents, and move them into our homes and take care of them.”
“But even in that situation, where you have unpaid care, they’ve found that you still end up paying on an average $8,000 to cover costs that aren’t covered by other means. So it’s just something that you have to have a dialogue about and consider so that your parents, your lifestyle, and your expectations meet your financial reality.”Angela Bassett,
Caregiving is Hard on Family - LTC Insurance Helps Family be Family
It is difficult for caregivers to manage their own lives while tending to others, but the "Olympus Has Fallen" star found that remaining positive and finding grace helps both the person who is being cared for and the caretaker.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance gives you access to your choice of care, at home or in a facility, giving your family the time to be family. The tax-free resources also safeguard income and assets.
These are the same traits she hopes her caretakers will express with her one day, with “ grace, dignity and try to find the beauty in any moment."
"I like things in order and decently done, but I would hope to be cared for by loved ones and be surrounded by love.”Angela Bassett
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
The problem of long-term care is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. Preparing your family and finances for the financial costs and burdens associated with long-term health care is key to enjoying a successful future retirement.
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