We all want to just die some day in the distant future. No one wants to be dependent and require caregivers for any extended period before we die. The reality is obvious – as we age we probably fall apart. Just like an older car, the tires get flat or bald; the fender rusts and falls off, the battery dies. What is the progression for people?
Hopefully you started on the conveyor belt of life for seniors as a healthy retired person. As the belt moves along have you found yourself?
- Taking medications
- Having health issues
- In the hospital for a crisis (pneumonia or a fall)
- Experiencing memory loss
- Less mobile
- Signing up for Medicare and supplemental insurance to help pay for all of this.
At this point care becomes an issue, care in the home is needed and a new concern becomes how to pay for that care. Is the care paid for “out of pocket,” with long-term care insurance, Veterans Administration benefits, or Medicare? As the conveyor belt keeps moving, staying in the home may no longer be possible, so you move to an assisted living facility (where you can do a few things for yourself) or you become a fragile senior and need to be in a skilled nursing home. Again, the concern is what funds you will use to pay for that care – your own money, VA non-service connected pension benefits, Medicare, Medicaid or long-term care insurance.
What is the average length of care in facilities?
Assisted Living stays range from 2.5-3 years.1 To qualify to stay in an assisted living facility, the residents need some help with what are called “activities of daily living.” These six activities include: medications, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring and eating.
Skilled Nursing Care (nursing home) stays average 2.4 years. Of course, the average is based on residents who stay for only a few days, and others who stay for a decade or more.
What does it cost for care in southwestern Idaho?
Assisted Living $2,000 to 5,000/month
Nursing Home $6,000 to $8,000/month
At Home $20/hr-bath/aide in the home to $15,000/month for 24 hr. care
Once the conveyor belt has stopped, after death, are there care needs for the surviving spouse or dependent disabled children?
The issues become frightening when considering this progression. Start planning NOW.
1 Public Policy Institute, Assisted Living in the United States Fact Sheet, AARP, FS62R