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Elder Care

Caring for the elderly is a challenge and can be overwhelming if not given proper consideration. Factors to consider include the choice between professional and home care, as well as a number of financial and legal issues.

Long-Term Care

For those who can no longer take care of themselves, long-term care is a broad term for many different options including nursing homes and in-home care. Long-term care can be incredibly expensive, ranging from approximately $1,500 – $7,000 depending on what option you choose, and whether government support is available. Prescription drugs, legal fees and other costs can creep up quickly as well. But insurance premiums can also be fairly expensive, possibly costing thousands of dollars per year. Decide what type of care you want, find out the uninsured cost for it and compare it to the insurance premium that would cover it. This will help you determine what coverage is right for you.

Long-term care usually consists of some combination of skilled care, intermediate care and custodial care. Skilled care is the most expensive service involving round-the-clock care by a registered nurse under the close supervision of a physician. Intermediate care is less intense and includes occasional nursing and rehabilitative care under the supervision of medical personnel. Custodial care is home care. It provides for the basic, non-medical needs of a patient such as cooking, bathing and other day-to-day needs.

Selecting An Insurance Provider

Long-term care insurance is becoming increasingly popular as a way of easing the financial strain that long-term care can impose. Shopping around for long-term care insurance is important because all policies are different and you will need to find a policy that will fit your particular needs and budget.

With the wide variety of services that are available, choosing the right insurance provider can be difficult. There are a few questions, however, that will help you decide.

  • How are the benefits paid? Are they sent directly to the provider or do you have to pay the charges and receive reimbursement?
  • Who determines if the patient needs home health or nursing home care?
  • What level of care does the policy provide?
  • What is the waiting period from when the service begins to when benefits are paid?

Does the policy cover Alzheimer's disease and related disorders?