Options to Consider When Parents Require Different Levels of Long-Term Health Care

Many middle-aged adults' conversations revolve around their aging parents and long-term care. Many families face a crisis when no planning is done in advance. There are ways to make the crisis easier.

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Options to Consider When Parents Require Different Levels of Long-Term Health Care
3 Min Read August 16th, 2022

As your parents approach their golden years, planning for a transition to a nursing home may be inevitable. Often, one parent may require a higher level of care than the other, and the family needs to help plan for each parent's unique situation. Planning for these events in advance is beneficial, so you can find the ideal nursing home, know the costs, and prepare your loved ones for the change. 

Finding Living Situations for Parents With Different Levels of Care

When considering living situations for both parents, determine if they will stay together. For example, many senior living communities now offer continuing care. The community offers different levels of housing to accommodate different levels of care. Neither parent needs to leave the campus even with different needs. As a result, both parents are in suitable care and housing environment and can enjoy their time together.

In your search for a good nursing home where you live, you can ask for referrals from friends, church members, doctors, or other professionals. In addition, you can read reviews and find additional information such as inspection records at the Medicare Nursing Home Compare site.

Greeting visitors as you approach a facility and asking their opinions is a firsthand method of learning about the home. Additionally, touring campuses with your parents and siblings will help everyone explore the options. 

Downsizing to Help Pay for a Nursing Home

Medicare will only pay a limited number of days for skilled long-term health care. Depending on their income and assets, Medicaid may help pay for the cost of your parent's nursing home. However, selling your parent's house may be a good expense option. Sometimes, the sale can pay for up to 13 years of nursing home residency. In addition, your profit of up to $500,000 is tax-free for couples. One thing to consider is that when you still have a mortgage, the proceeds of the sale go to the mortgage company first. In these cases, it may be more viable for the independent parent to refinance the house instead of selling it to get a lower payment.

Planning and Transitioning with Compassion

You can avoid the inevitable pain of telling your parents you'll never place them in a nursing home by including them and your siblings in a realistic discussion about the future. Including your whole family in decisions will alleviate fears and give your parents control over decisions. In addition, seek the outside help of physicians, social workers, and other professionals to help determine current and future care needs.

To build a predictable routine, family and friends must schedule specific times to visit each parent for family activities such as movies or board games. Teach your parent how to use technologies for video chats between visits. Finally, talk to your parents about how they like their new routines away from each other to see how you should adjust activities and improve morale. Keep all family members current on any changes to the plans.

Stay Educated on Issues of Aging, Caregiving, and Long-Term Health Care

Having family members all on the same page makes the transition to a nursing home easier for everyone. Rely on LTC NEWS for long-term care resources and news to help make wise choices. 

LTC NEWS has several guides that can be very helpful if you are looking for long-term care services for a loved one: 

Have you considered how your family would address your future declining health and the consequences of long-term health care? Are you aware that several states are considering taxing individuals who do not own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy?

Long-Term Care Insurance offers guaranteed tax-free benefits that give you access to your choice of quality care services, including care at home. When you own a policy, you own a solution. You can protect your savings and reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on those you love.

Most people obtain coverage in their 50s, but because of the upcoming tax in many states, younger people are getting coverage to avoid the tax and protect their 401(k). An LTC Insurance specialist can help you navigate the many options and find affordable coverage no matter your situation. Be careful, however, since premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. LTC NEWS has reviewed all the companies for you - just click here.

Be sure your policy follows federal guidelines under Section 7702(b) of U.S. Code. Not only will you have the consumer protections, regulated benefit triggers, and tax advantages, but the states considering the tax will require you to have a tax-qualified Long-Term Care Insurance policy that meets these guidelines to avoid the tax.

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About the Author

Donna Erickson is a retired public educator. She created Fit Memory with a few friends as a way to promote wellness among senior citizens with the hopes it will help inspire others to make the most of their golden years.

LTC News Contributor Donna Erickson

Donna Erickson

Contributor since December 8th, 2021

Editor's Note

Face it, aging is a reality that we can't ignore. You probably have seen or are seeing your parents and other older family members decline. Health, mobility, and memory problems become more prevalent as we get older. These declines lead to needing help with routine daily activities or supervision. 

LTC Insurance will safeguard your savings and preserve your lifestyle and legacy. However, don't delay as LTC Insurance is medically underwritten. The tax, in the states considering implementing it, will impact everyone age 18 and older with earned income. 

Long-term care is very specialized, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise

LTC Insurance is custom designed and can be very affordable - see what Long-Term Care Insurance costs by clicking here

Staying at Home Important? Reverse Mortgages Can Help

Today's reverse mortgages are being used by more people who have most of their assets within their homes. Don't compare yesterday's reverse mortgages with today's options that meet new regulations. 

For people aged 62 and older, a reverse mortgage can be helpful to fund in-home care or provide the necessary money to buy an LTC policy. The big headline: you no longer pay your mortgage payment, so you automatically improve your cash flow... but it remains your home!

Mike Banner, LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew," can answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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