Paying for Care
Putting financial plans in place early in the caregiving journey is important as it allows you to plan for the future. Many chronic and/or progressive illnesses require years of care so as soon as a diagnosis has been made, the planning process should begin.
Costs of Caregiving – Types of Care
The average costs for long-term care services in the United States are:
$214 per day or $78,110 per year for a semi-private room in a nursing home
$239 per day or $87,235 per year for a private room in a nursing home
$3,477 per month or $41,724 per year for basic services in an assisted living facility
$21 per hour for a home health aide
$70 per day for adult day services
Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute. Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs: The 2011 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs. New York, N.Y.: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 2011.
Get Your ducks in a row
Start collecting all financial documents and put in a safe place that is also accessible for yourself and any other family members that may be involved so they are there when you need them. Things like:
• Banking information
• Monthly expenses and income ( including social security, pension or other retirement benefits including VA benefits,etc.)
• Any Insurance policies (long-term care, life insurance, etc.)
• Stocks and bonds certificates
• Investments or other assets (CD’s, trusts, IRA’s, annuities)
Involve the Family
Many times families pull together during a time of need. Getting together once a month to discuss care needs encourages all members of the family to show up and offer to help. Typically, one person assumes the role of the primary caregiver but in most cases there is a secondary family member, neighbor or friend who offers to help as well. Sharing openly helps not only the caregiver but very often allows the person who is ill feel a part of the solution.
Sometimes we need outside assistance. Elder law attorneys, estate planning attorneys, and financial planners are great resources during the financial planning process.
Look for a credentialed expert for your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask about their education, background, and specific work experience to see if it is a match for your situation.
For more information check out:
• Eldercare Locator online or call 800.677.1116
• Financial Planning Association or call 800.322.4237
• Online Directory of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
• American Association for Long Term Care Insurance