If you’re an older adult, you may already be thinking about paying for retirement and your health care when you retire. But have you given any thought to how you would pay for long-term care? Long-term care isn’t always in the forefront of people's’ minds when they think of the future. But for most people, long-term care is likely to be a part of their future.
This is such a tricky question to answer. For most people, the prospect of long-term care doesn’t even cross their mind. Yet, research indicates that up to 97 percent of the aging population will need some form of long-term care in their lifetime. Your risk, or that of a loved one, can be better determined by taking a look at hereditary illnesses as well as your lifestyle choices.
While most people will require some type of long-term care at some point in their lives, the good news is there are steps you can take to delay your own need for care. Simple lifestyle changes, like getting adequate exercise and changing your diet, can drastically improve your chances of fending off disease and injury. Exercise, and more specifically strength-training, is especially important in preventing falls, which is the leading cause of serious injury for seniors. These tiny adjustments to your habits can make a major difference in your long-term health and happiness.
For older adults, being able to age in place is essential for maintaining independence and control over their lives. But if you are planning for the eventuality of long-term care, will you be able to plan for the certainty of staying in your own home? For injuries and illnesses that require constant care, accessibility features are vital in your living environment. Changes such as replacing stairs with ramps putting down carpet and making safety upgrades in bathrooms, can help you age in place and even avoid injuries that can lead to long-term care.
When you or a loved one is facing the prospect of covering long-term care costs, and doesn’t have savings or insurance, it can be pretty stressful. Loans could be a solution to help you cover the costs, but only if you can afford to repay them. If you’re thinking of selling your home, take some time to decide if this is your best bet. Research home prices in your area to see if you’ll be able to make what you need to cover long-term care costs and still be able to pay for regular living expenses. The average listing price for homes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is $191,000, but that figure can change with fluctuations in the market and home values.
Even with healthy lifestyle choices and good genes, most people will need some form of long-term care at some point in their lives. Knowing how to prepare yourself and your finances are ideal ways to keep long-term care from taking the joy out of your life.Author
June is the co-creator of Rise Up for Caregivers, which offers support for family members and friends who have taken on the responsibility of caring for their loved ones. She is author of the upcoming book, The Complete Guide to Caregiving: A Daily Companion for New Senior Caregivers.
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With the average life-expectancy continually increasing, more individuals are looking to long-term care, such as a nursing home or at-home health. However, this can place unnecessary stress on an individuals and their loved ones. Long-Term Care Insurance policies pay the cost of day-to-day care for a person with an acute or long-term illness or disability.
Learn more about Long-term Care Coverage with Five Questions About Long-Term Care