Senior Care – Paying for long term care

We are fortunate enough to be living in an age where there is a service for almost every conceivable need. But every service comes with an attached price, which everyone may not be able to afford. Senior citizens, who would have to depend upon stressed out and disgruntled relatives to take care of them earlier, now have experts, available from senior home care agencies, specially trained to take care of them. However, as mentioned earlier, everything comes with a suitable price and usually these prices are high.

Senior home care is usually a long term affair. It includes taking care of people who are suffering from chronic conditions or disabilities like those arising from paralysis or Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from medical care, senior home care may also include helping out with activities, which form an integral part of daily life like, bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, and doing laundry among others. All these services can drain the savings of the person who is paying for them. This necessitates that senior home care is planned well, keeping the financial aspects in mind. For that one needs to know about the different avenues of payment, which are-

  1. Long Term Care Insurance: Though originally Long Term Care Insurance was meant to cover nursing home bills, new policies have expanded its cover to senior home care, assisted living and day care facilities. However it is recommended that people should get this policy while they are still in their fifties. This is because the policies become expensive for older people, especially those who have crossed their seventies. Premiums would also vary according to the benefits assured.
  2. Medicare: Though Medicare provides health insurance for the elderly, it does not pay for all nursing home and senior home care bills. So you cannot depend upon it to pay for long term senior home care. Medicare has certain requirements which have to be met in order to get nursing facility, hospice and senior home care.
  3. Medicaid: Medicaid has been specially designed for the poor. It is a health insurance policy that is financed by the State and federal Government. Medicaid can also be availed by people who have been drained of their resources in the process of paying medical bills. An interesting feature of Medicaid are its waiver programs that pay for assisted living as well as senior home care and day care.

The above avenues form the most popular and reliable options for planning long term care. Other programs are also available. You can search for them in the Internet or enquire at local associations that are involved in senior home care.

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