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 their care.
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.