Elderly Health – Discussing the Cost of Future Care with Your Parent
Discussing Elderly Health and future care for your parent isn't easy. Many families have family meetings away from the parents to discuss their concerns and worries. Does your elderly parent have medical care insurance that will help cover the cost of nursing homes?
Will your mother have a fit if you even suggest she go to an Assisted Living or nursing home facility?
Has your parent expressed concerns about becoming a burden to the family? Will the family consider caring for their elderly parent at home? These and many more considerations need to be discussed, and once a consensus has been reached, someone's going to need to discuss such issues with the parent.
Know ahead of time that this may very well be one of the most difficult and uncomfortable topics you've ever discussed with a parent. Asking your parent anything regarding their financial stability is often met with stony silence. Seniors don't want their children to know that they may not be doing well financially, or are unable to afford for their future elderly health care. Communication, patience and understanding are the key to success when broaching the subject of elderly health care with a parent.
Health care costs are rising. Does your parent know how much it will cost to live in an Assisted Living facility or nursing home? Chances are they don't. While you don't want to incite fear, uncertainty, or panic, you do need to know certain aspects of your parent’s financial stability. Does your parent have enough income to provide for their long-term care? Do they have long-term care insurance policies in place?
Nursing home care, depending on geographic location, may cost between $130 and $500 a month. Annual nursing home care costs may range between a national average of $50,000 and $75,000. Assisted Living Facilities cost the national average of about $3000 a month. That amounts to a minimum of $36,000 a year.
Costs will also depend on the level of care necessary, the size and location of facilities, and increased costs where special ambulatory or dementia care services are required. When looking at assisted living facilities, also determine at what point the facility requires individual’s transition from an assisted living environment to a long-term care facility. Most assisted living facilities do not take Medicare or Medicaid.
At Home Care costs will save some money, but depending on need may take a big chunk out of the budget. Live-in caregivers can cost an average of $200 a day, costing up to an average of $5700 a month.
Home care, including home health aides, nurses, therapists or specialists, cost between seven dollars and $90 an hour. Home health aides cost between $7 and $25 an hour and are covered by Medicare under certain circumstances. Home health nursing care, which ranges between $20 and $90 an hour is not typically covered by Medicare, and will be covered by Medicaid under special circumstances.
Many seniors don't understand regulations regarding Medicare and health insurance policies when it comes to long-term care. When discussing elderly health care issues, ask your parent if you can take a look at their health insurance policy, Medicare plan, Social Security information and other income in order to help them determine and decide on their care.
Long term care insurance can help pay for some costs. Websites like the Long-Term Care Insurance National Advisory Center Long Term Care Insurance.org may help children of aging parents as well as seniors to anticipate the cost of long-term care as well as the benefits of long-term care insurance plans.
Today, nearly 80% of seniors receive health care at home, but even so, costs or services are escalating. There are no easy answers.
To date, nearly 25 states have approved long-term care insurance premium increases up to 50%, and the older the person gets, the more likely he or she may be rejected for long-term care insurance. Seniors considering long-term care insurance should carefully evaluate deductible requirements, and elimination periods as well as out-of-pocket expenses.
Multiple elderly health resources are available to answer questions and provide information for seniors as well as their caregivers. The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) can be found at www.aarp.org The Family Caregiver Alliance, at www.caregiver.org provides information on all aspects of caregiving, and financial information and regulations regarding care may be accessed at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at www.cms.hhs.gov The American Health Care Association at American Health Care Association is also an excellent resource to seek government help and agencies when it comes to providing elder care around the country.
What questions or solutions have you found for care for your parents?