One of my roommates from college entered into the field of gerontology at a young age. When I asked him why, he told me that two family friends became feeble at roughly the same time. One had great support from family and friends as well as financial resources to use for her care. The other had very little, and he found it appalling how much she suffered more than the other family friend.
At present, the baby-boomer generation (my college roommate and I are among the last of that cohort) and their immediate family members are dealing with complicated legal and financial issues brought on by aging or disability. They worry about eligibility for long-term care coverage and also their ability to preserve the assets needed to pay for long-term care.
Long-term care refers to assistance needed by individuals to perform daily activities, such as bathing, getting dressed, eating, and going to the toilet. While the need for long-term care generally arises from the normal aging process, it may also be due to illness, injury, or a cognitive impairment—such as from a stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, or Alzheimer’s disease. This type of care is typically received at home, in a nursing home, in a hospice facility, or in an assisted living facility.
Unfortunately, finding and paying for high-quality long-term care is difficult. More often than not, people address the issue of long-term care when it is too late, thus depleting life savings and financial resources. Planning for long-term care involves an extensive range of personal and legal issues. Long-term care requires careful financial planning for services to meet either physical or emotional needs.
Although government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare may cover the costs of care in limited circumstances or for a specific period of time, the person requiring care may need to absorb a large percentage of the costs. Many individuals therefore rely on options such as reverse-mortgages, trusts, annuities, and long-term care insurance to cover the costs of care.
Planning for long-term care requires the evaluation of the nature and size of the estate, the health of the individual, the projected costs of healthcare, and any expected benefits from insurance or government programs. Preparing for incapacity and reviewing Medicare, Medicaid, and other benefits requires patient research.
Ultimately, however, planning for long-term care early on will allow you to protect your hard-earned money while still ensuring that you and your loved ones obtain the best possible care and quality of life. The best time to plan for long-term care is before you or a loved one actually needs it.
Consult with an Attorney
The elderly typically deal with specialized and sensitive needs, including the need for long-term care. As with many Americans, you and your loved ones may be concerned about the financial strain on your life savings that comes with the care of long-term care. It is therefore essential to work with a skilled attorney who can ease the burden of financial and legal matters so that you can focus less on finances and more on the health and well-being of your family members.
An experienced Alabama elder law attorney can provide you and your family with the information and tools needed to help make the best decisions for you and your loved ones. Discuss your issues with a compassionate and qualified elder law attorney who can help plan for the future. Call James B. Griffin, LLC at 205-502-2199 today.