By Brian M. Johnson, MBA, CLTC
Long-Term Care, we often dread hearing the words. Our minds quickly go to an image of a nursing home. However, the good news is that many of us will never see the inside of a nursing home.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, the vast majority (80 percent) of elderly people receiving assistance, including many with several functional limitations, live in private homes in the community, not in institutions. Your home doesn’t instill the same doom and gloom that a nursing home might.
Still, in a recent study of adults over age 65, it was found that most respondents were more comfortable discussing and planning for their own death than their potential need for long-term care. That is probably why many Americans fail to address this single biggest risk they will face in retirement.
In our practice, we regularly address long-term care planning options. In doing so, we consistently coordinate planning with elder law and estate planning attorneys, geriatric care managers, accountants, and financial advisors. One of the biggest misconceptions we hear from consumers and advisors is that long-term care is covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
Many seniors are under the impression that their traditional health care programs will provide the desired services in the home such as meal preparation, grocery shopping, assistance with hygiene, dressing, grooming, 24-hour care, etc. Medicare, Medigap and most Medicare Advantage Plans are designed to cover hospital stays, doctor bills and some short-term skilled nursing. Unfortunately, they do not cover the cost of everyday assistance in your own home.