According to a report from Genworth Financial the median bill for care in an assisted living facility is $43,200; a private room in a nursing home costs $91,000 a year.
Some might think Medicare, Medicaid, or health insurance will handle all the expenses, but as a person’s medical conditions advance the cost keeps going up. A Portland Press Herald article provides fascinating stories of people burning through money they thought would last a decade in two years.
Why It Matters
An Associate Press and the NORC Center’s Long-Term Care poll found that people are worried, unprepared, and uneducated on the matter of long-term care. Here are some of the findings among adults age 40 and older:
- 54 percent report doing little or no planning for these needs.
- Only a third say they are very or extremely confident in their ability to pay for ongoing living assistance they may need in the future.
- 1 in 5 don’t know if private health insurance plans cover ongoing care in a nursing home, and over a quarter don’t know if Medicare does.
- Nearly 1 in 10 are both supporting a child and providing ongoing living assistance for a loved one.
Starting The Conversation
A person can start making eldercare arrangements as early as they want, but when is it most logical and realistic? First, assess the person’s situation using the following checklist:
- Children (in state/out of state)
- Other family (brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews)
- Close friends/community support
- If a person had to live in an assisted living facility or nursing home, what type of things would they want or need?
Resource: We put together a guide to eldercare living options and wishes that can help start the conversation in this area, asking such basic questions as whether a person would be willing to share a room, move to another state, or require certain amenities (kitchen, furniture, pets, wi-fi, etc…)
Concerns & Worries
The Genworth study also revealed that “females (65 percent) and [Millennials] (69 percent) are more likely to feel that the burden of providing long term care for their parents or grandparents will fall on them.”
This brings up a few tough questions that need to be confronted sooner rather than later:
- Is it important to not be seen as a burden on children or other family members?
- Is it automatically expected for children and family members to provide care?
- How do the children or family members feel about this?
Other concerns could involve managing a condition that requires special care. If a person is especially reticent to speak about this topic, just learning their general perception regarding a facility can be valuable insight. Would being in an assisted living or place with 24-hour care and other people sound appealing or does it sound like a prison? It’s best to get these things out in the open and let them know that their feelings matter.
Questions To Consider
Here at Everplans we’re interested in capturing real voices and sound advice from experienced experts so we can help and educate other professionals and our platform users. If you can offer any insight into the following areas, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us:
- Is Long-Term Care and other eldercare living arrangements something you discuss with clients?
- Is it your place as an advisor to start this discussion or should the client bring it up?