Long Term Care Planning

What to consider when planning for Long term care

What to consider when planning for Long term care

In this article

— Last Updated May 27, 2022

Read Time
4 mins
Reviewed by
Eric Berkman

Guide What to consider when planning for Long term care

— Last Updated May 27, 2022

Stephanie Wilson

Director of Operations


Reviewed by

Eric Berkman

It is impossible to predict the future; therefore, preparing for the unforeseen is vital. The process of planning for long-term care can be overwhelming. When planning your retirement, it is essential to consider your future long-term care needs.

Investing in your future healthcare now will give you a better chance of maintaining your independence and quality of life in the future. A good insurance policy will increase the likelihood that you will realize your plans no matter what happens.

How do you begin planning for long-term care? This article will discuss factors to consider when planning long-term care.

Start planning early

Considering the likelihood of needing long-term care offers you time to research the many options and costs in your area. Additionally, it enables you to make important choices while you still can do so. Individuals diagnosed with dementia or other cognitive impairment should begin planning for their future care.

Planning for long-term care in advance can ease the burden of this change. It allows you to determine the type of long-term care services you need and how you will fund the long-term care expenses.

The type of care to consider

As part of the planning process, you must consider which long-term care services and options are available to you.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes provide long-term in-patient care, often known as skilled nursing facilities. Their role is to give 24-hour nursing home care to persons who are chronically ill, have medical issues as well as personal needs, and cannot function independently. 

However, there is more to a nursing home than just medical attention. It’s a safe haven where people can live independently, all while being closely monitored by professionals.

Home-based care

Most people who need long-term care get it in their own homes, making in-home care the most prevalent type of long-term care. Depending on preference, a health aide could be family caregivers or hired help. They are accessible at all times and can either remain with them or show up at the residence at a prearranged time.

The range of services and care provided will vary according to individual needs. Most patients prefer to receive care at home until their needs exceed the capabilities of their home.

In addition to being more practical for everyone involved, providing care in the patient’s home is the best way to keep them from feeling emotionally and socially isolated.

Assisted living facility

If you or a loved one need the round-the-clock medical attention that a nursing home provides, an assisted living program (ALP) may be the best option.

People who still need assistance with regular activities can benefit significantly from ALP. Unlike many in a long-term care home, the patients can move around without constant help.

The acronym ALP may refer to various living situations, and the phrase can have varying definitions depending on the state. Therefore, it is recommended that you do your research on the local ALPs available to you before making any firm plans.

Residential care homes

Residential care facilities are another option for those needing long-term care but do not need round-the-clock medical attention. However, they will still need constant one-on-one support with daily activities like bathing, feeding, and medicine.

In-home care does not need relocating from your current residence, unlike residential care facilities, but instead allows you to continue living in your home.

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Paying for long-term care

Part of planning your retirement is how to pay for long-term care costs. 

Long-term care insurance

Assisted living facilities are expensive, but long-term health care insurance can help with the costs. Long-term health insurance may be your best option if you cannot work and don’t have a pension or retirement nest egg. To ensure you have complete insurance coverage options for long-term living settings like an AL facility, you should talk to an insurance company about your options.

Traditional long-term care insurance is often misunderstood as the only option for those in need of long-term care. The people who conclude that conventional insurance is not suitable for them often stop there, ignoring the many options available to them.

Medicare and Medicaid

Low-income individuals, those with disabilities, and seniors are covered by Medicaid and Medicare, two government-run health insurance programs.

Because of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions more Americans are now eligible for Medicaid. However, qualification standards differ significantly across jurisdictions.

Talk to your in-home care provider or financial planner about this possibility if your income is over the state’s limit but below the amount necessary to pay private long-term care insurance premiums on top of assisted daily living costs.

Government Programs

Individuals who have served in the armed forces are eligible for veteran benefits. Assistance with assisted living expenditures is only one of several medical and financial services offered by the Veterans Administration (VA).

Reverse Mortgage

You can access your home’s equity value as a loan with a reverse mortgage. It’s not a home equity loan, per se. You will be compensated for the equity that has accrued on your house.

Social Security

You can significantly reduce your cost of assisted living by receiving Social Security benefits. Although not everyone in need will be able to collect social security benefits, it is crucial to understand how the system operates and whether or not you qualify.

How much money you’ll get from social security is determined by your age and how much you’ve worked. Because there are many types of social security income, discussing your options with a financial planner is in your best interest.

Final Thoughts

Long-term care planning enhances your chances of receiving personal care when you are most vulnerable and less likely to spend your entire retirement savings on long-term care. By planning ahead for your long-term care needs, your family will experience less emotional and financial strain.

Stephanie Wilson


November 22, 2022

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