Bearing the High Costs of Long-Term Care
January 25th, 2018
A recent Forbes article details the high costs and problems involved in obtaining and maintaining long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over half of the individuals who are currently turning 65 will need some form of long-term care services at some point in their lives. This makes the process of long-term care planning even more crucial, particularly as a larger portion of our society continues to age.
The article tells the story of a couple with three out of four parents who either passed away or died of dementia. First, the woman and her mother provided care for her father in her home, as long as possible. When in-home care was no longer a possibility, her parents depleted all of their savings so the father could qualify for Medicaid coverage for long-term care. After her father died, her mother developed dementia, as well, and was destitute from maintaining Medicaid eligibility for her father. The woman and her husband cared for the mother themselves, but when she had to go into assisted living and her father-in-law developed dementia, they again had to spend down assets until the mother qualified for Medicaid. The woman and her husband could not afford to pay the $8,000 to $10,000 per month of assisted living costs, and already had spent thousands of dollars on in-home care. Furthermore, the woman was unable to pursue an advanced degree, and the couple neither had the time nor funds for having children themselves, due in large part to the caregiving responsibilities for their parents.
While some accuse the woman and her husband of “gaming” the system in order to qualify their parents for Medicaid, they point out how they kept her mother out of the system for 12 years before having to resort to Medicaid out of desperation. The fact is that the America’s long-term care financing situation is completely broken, leaving most people unable to afford the care that is so desperately needed. The average long-term care costs of a 65-year-old American male today is $138,000, and for a woman, $182,000.
No matter what type of long-term care you need, choosing and financing long-term care is unlikely to be an easy process, particularly due to current uncertainties in the existing healthcare market. Fortunately, when you don’t know where to turn for help, Legacy Law Center is a valuable resource that you can access as needed. If you or a loved one needs help with planning for long-term care, you should definitely contact an experienced Michigan elder law attorney at Legacy Law Center right away. Call Terrence Bertram at Legacy Law Center today and see what we can offer you and your family.