Who Will Provide Your Long Term Care When You Need It?
As you begin your adult life, you’ll be asked to start thinking about your retirement. You’ll likely open a 401(k), consider some other investments and retirement savings sources, and be confident you’re doing what you can to save for your golden years. But what many of us fail to realize is that we’re not all going to be capable of caring for ourselves in our later years, and that responsibility will have to fall on someone else.
Family and Friends
Family members and friends often become caregivers when their loved ones become ill or simply need help with daily tasks. You may simply need a ride to the grocery store or help up the stairs, but many people progress to the point where they need help bathing, dressing, using the toilet, preparing food, and eating. Many caregivers take on the role because they have experience in the medical field, but many do so for free out of the goodness of their hearts. While this type of arrangement may work for the short-term, it is very rarely suitable for long-term needs – especially for those with chronic illnesses or dementia.
Adult Day Care Services
Family members and friends may be able to shoulder some of your long term care needs if they have help so they can continue working to support the household. A lot of people opt to enroll their elderly family members in adult day care services. This will ensure you are receiving the attention you need in terms of medication and meals while allowing you to continue socializing with others as well.
Professional Care in the Home
Those with more serious needs may end up having a professional visit the home for a limited number of hours per day. The type of in-home care may vary, ranging from a home health aide to physical therapy or nursing. Home health aides can sit in the home with an individual, take care of meals or errands, and provide companionship. Nurses and physical therapists may be needed to check on those who have had surgery, are ill, or who have more demanding medical needs.
Long-term Care Homes
The options most people explore last are long-term care facilities. These range from senior living apartments (with limited supervision) to assisted living homes and skilled-nursing facilities (or nursing homes). While these options are best suited for those who need round-the-clock care, they are also the most expensive.
While there are options for your long-term care, they are things you should consider earlier rather than later. Free and low-cost options may not provide all of the care you or your family members need, and adding long-term care insurance to your portfolio may be a wise investment. Talk to your insurance agent about your options.