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What are my options for long-term care?

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We previously discussed why it's so important to undertake long-term care (LTC) planning sooner rather than later. We also talked about how the unfamiliar language of LTC policies can make considering the coverage a challenge.

Today we continue by helping you plan for your golden years. Specifically, we will examine the many options and price ranges available to seniors. 

Since a person's health typically deteriorates with age, we will start with the least expensive option and progress to the most costly:

  • Minimal to no cost: The plan involves relatives or friends providing you with the necessary assistance. The amount of time and energy required will depend upon your needs. While the option is little to no cost to you, it might cost your loved ones. The caretakers' schedules might need to adjust to their daily lives, reduce work hours or even quit current employment.
  • Medium to low cost: When your needs are more complex, it might be necessary to look beyond loved ones. Specifically, a home health aide or personal care assistant might be a viable option. These professionals come to your home periodically to provide assistance once or twice per week. Cost varies depending on the services provided and your location. A 2016 survey found the daily rate for home health aide services in California was $144.
  • High to medium cost: A different solution may be required if loved ones are unable to help and a more involved care is required. The solution might come in the form of adult day care. A 2016 survey found the daily rate for these services was $68. Another choice could be a residential care facility, but the price would likely be higher.
  • High cost: As you probably surmised, assisted living or nursing home care carries the highest price tag. However, it might be unavoidable given your health or other needs. Long-term care insurance becomes critical when care costs increase.

We hope the post has been helpful to you and your family. Most importantly, we hope it reinforced how important it is to start planning today for your future long-term care needs.

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