Long Term Care consists of a wide range of medical and support services for the elderly or people with a degenerative condition (e.g. Parkinson’s, stroke, etc.), a prolonged illness (cancer) or cognitive disorder (Alzheimer’s).
Long Term Care could also be categorized as "custodial care." Custodial care involves providing an individual assistance with activities of daily living or supervision of someone who is cognitively impaired.
Long Term Care, could include simple daily activities such as:
- Climbing out of bed
- Walking to the bathroom
- Using the toilet
- Using the bath or shower
- Getting dressed
- Eating lunch or breakfast
When you or a loved one is suffering with a degenerative condition such as a stroke or Alzheimer’s, performing these activities become impossible without the assistance of another person.
This type of care is Long Term Care. Long term care is chronic and could become very expensive. Long Term Care can be provided in many settings including nursing homes, your own home, assisted living facilities and adult day care.
Long-term Care Insurance
At one point or another in life, you may not be able to live as independently and safely as you once could. This especially applies with old age, chronic illnesses or disabilities. You may find yourself needing help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, putting on clothes, going to the bathroom, eating, and moving around. This type of help is called long-term care (LTC).
Who Needs Long-Term Care?
Several people are more likely of needing long-term care. Firstly, the older you are, the higher the possibility you’ll need care. Being a woman also makes you more likely, as women tend to outlive men and consequently live at home alone. A disability caused by an accident or chronic illness also makes you prone to requiring LTC.
Where Can You Receive Care?
Long-term care is most commonly provided at home by an unpaid caregiver who may be family or friends. A professional caregiver can also be paid to go to the home. Outside of the home, care can be received in nursing homes, retirement communities and boarding homes.
Long-Term Care Insurance
The cost of long-term care is usually pricey, especially if it is ongoing. To make matters worse, this type of care is not usually covered by traditional health insurance. LTC insurance is more specific to home care, hospice care, respite care, assisted living facilities, adult day care centres, nursing homes and Alzheimer’s special care facilities.
The cost of LTC insurance is based on your age at the time you purchase the policy, the type of policy, and the extra benefits you select. On average, a long-term care insurance policy can cost over $2,000 a year. This will cover you just less than 5 years of benefits, with a $160 daily payout covering both in-home and facility care.
Who Qualifies for Long-Term Care Insurance?
Generally, if you need help with ADLs then you qualify for LTC insurance. However, if you are already using LTC services, already need help with ADLs, have AIDS or Alzheimer’s disease, have dementia or progressive neurological conditions, have a history of strokes, or metastatic cancer, you may not be eligible at all. You need to purchase your policy before you develop any of these conditions.
Where Sells Long-Term Care Insurance?
Insurance specialists, financial planners and brokers can provide you with a variety of long-term care insurance policies. There are hundreds of companies that offer them but only a few who will have a significant number of long-term care insurance policy choices available to you.
Depending where you live, you may also be able to find care through State Partnership Programs provided by private health insurance companies. Many employers are also willing to negotiate LTC programs.
Why Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?
People take up long-term care insurance for various reasons. Many of us prefer not to rely on family members for long-term support. Paid LTC is then the best option, but out-of-pocket expenses can quickly escalate and deplete your savings. To avoid this situation, taking up a long-term care insurance policy is highly recommended. People tend to purchase these policies between ages 50 and 60 years. But if you buy young, then you could be paying less for your policy. So, if you haven’t already considered long-term care insurance, the best time to do so would be now.