Who needs help with the costs of long-term care? The answer may surprise you.
Most of the people who come to see me about a long-term care crisis are
people who worked hard their whole lives and saved responsibly for their
retirement. As long as they remained healthy, their retirement nest egg
worked just the way they envisioned. However, as soon as a health crisis
requiring long-term care assistance occurred, their nest egg couldn’t
absorb the unbelievably high costs of long-term care assistance.
In our area of Florida, moving to an assisted living community can cost
between $2,000-$5,000 per month and moving to a skilled nursing facility
can cost between $6,000- $10,000 per month. Really, whose retirement nest
egg can absorb expenses of this magnitude, especially if there is a well
spouse who is still trying to live in the home?
The unbelievably high cost of long-term care causes people who never in
their lives imagined they would have to turn to Medicaid for assistance
to turn to Medicaid for assistance.
Sometimes they are lucky and they invested in long-term care insurance.
If they are one of those lucky ones, they have options outside of Medicaid
that give them choices and flexibility as to how and where they receive
Sometimes, they are a wartime veteran or the surviving spouse of a wartime
veteran. If they are one of those lucky ones, they can potentially turn
to the Veteran Administration’s Aid and Attendance program for assistance
paying for their long-term care needs and gain additional options as to
how and where they receive their care.
Sometimes, they were fortunate enough to have met with an elder law attorney
well before a long-term care crisis loomed on the horizon and received
education on the unwelcome, but real possibility that a long-term care
need could arise and advice on how to plan ahead for that long-term care need.
Sometimes, they weren’t lucky at all and now are just trying to cope
with the overwhelming financial burden, stress and worry caused by their
own or a loved one’s unexpected long-term care need.
So, just about anyone can find themselves in need of help with paying the
costs of long-term care. Although there is thankfully help available even
once the long-term care crisis has occurred, there is potentially more
help available if you can bring yourself to think about the unthinkable
and explore your options for paying for long-term care assistance before
the crisis occurs.