Providing Long-Term Care in Today's World

The virus crisis is resulting in many changes in how long-term health care is delivered. Most people want to remain at home. You want a quality facility if you need one. With advance planning, you will be able to enjoy choice and control.

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Providing Long-Term Care in Today's World
4 Min Read April 29th, 2020 Updated:August 19th, 2021
Lydia Chan

Co-creator of Alzheimer’s Caregiver website.

The virus crisis has consumed our lives for over a year. The coronavirus has changed the world as we knew it. One thing that has changed is how people approach long-term health care for their elderly and disabled family members. The thought of putting our loved ones in harm's way might mean that we have to rethink how we provide for them when they are most in need.

What Is Different?

The need for care has not changed. But with all the media attention surrounding assisted living and nursing home deaths, how we provide quality care, at least until the pandemic has cleared, likely will. Families must decide how loved ones will receive the quality care they deserve in a safe setting.

Options

When it comes to caring for a loved one, you do, fortunately, have options. You can, of course, choose to provide care yourself, but this could mean that you have to quit a job or neglect your own needs. The other two options are to push forward with assisted living/nursing care or choose an in-home care provider. 

All three of these have pros and cons. Providing care yourself means that you will have to take time away from other aspects of your life. Your job, hobbies, romantic relationships, or children may have to take a backseat to your role as a caregiver. Providing the needed care for a loved one is the least expensive for them, but you will have to sacrifice income and your family to perform this labor of love.

Moving your loved one into assisted living can be a costly solution, averaging $3,600 per month nationally. Home care might be more affordable if your loved one needs less than 40 hours of care each week, and that care is for basic needs, such as cooking, cleaning, and taking medication. Keep in mind, however, that many factors determine the cost.

The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of care services where you live - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

How to Pay

How will your loved one pay for in-home care? Most long-term health care services will not be covered by health insurance and Medicare. Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for this type of care but you must have coverage in place before you need care.

You'll need to figure out how to pay. If your parent or other family member doesn't have substantial savings, one potential funding source is selling their home. But since the pandemic has changed the housing market, you'll want to do some research into how it's affected your particular area. 

Some cities and towns continue to see extremely competitive markets, while others hover at about the midway point between a seller's and buyer's market. For example, Hueytown is not as competitive a market, with homes averaging 69 days on the market before they're sold.

Which Option Is Safest?

Obviously, your number one concern for your loved one is their well-being. So how, exactly, do you make the right decision given the virus's ability to spread and its propensity for disproportionately harming seniors? 

That is a tough call and one that you must make based on your family circumstances. On the one hand, care facilities are uniquely equipped to provide hands-on care. An assisted living center will have a set of cleaning protocols and will be able to react if a patient shows symptoms of any contagious disease. On the other hand, private in-home care providers will be limited in the number of people they are exposed to each day, meaning your loved one is less likely to come into contact with a harmful illness.

Don't feel pressured to choose one option over the other. Your decision will affect your family for years to come. At the end of the day, how your loved one is cared for should be determined by their unique needs, your family's ability to pay, and available care options. And although COVID-19 has changed the way we look at traditional care options, the truth is that assisted living, nursing care, and independent living are still likely a safer option than allowing your loved ones to live alone in their golden years.

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About the Author

After her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Lydia Chan found herself struggling to balance the responsibilities of caregiving and her own life. Nowadays, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences with caregivers and seniors. She is the co-creator of Alzheimer’s Caregiver, a website that aims to provide tips and resources to help caregivers.

LTC News Contributor Lydia Chan

Lydia Chan

Contributor since February 11th, 2020

Editor's Note

We see the impact long-term health care is having care recipients and their families and finances. These challenges impact the family physically, emotionally, and financially. If you have a loved one who needs care now, there is no way to plan - you must deal with the care recipient's needs. However, what happens decades from now. Will you be prepared?

The financial costs and burdens of aging will dramatically impact you and your family in the decades ahead. If you have a loved one receiving care now, you know the cost and the emotional impact on the family. If not, you will sooner than later.

Most people want to be able to stay at home when they need extended care. Usually, home is the best place to be, although, in some situations, an assisted living facility, memory care unit, or even a nursing home may be necessary. The quality of providers varies, as does the cost - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

Planning Tools Available on LTC NEWS

You can compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Power of Reverse Mortgages

There are many people today that have much of their savings invested in their home. With today's reverse mortgages, you can use the money in your home to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, add retirement income, or even pay for in-home care if you need care now. 

Learn more now - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

Looking for Quality Caregivers? Need Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim?

If a loved one already needs in-home care or owns a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and needs assistance filing the claim, LTC NEWS is here to help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News. You can also help find caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not.

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