7 signs you may need long-term nursing care
Thinking about long-term care is not something most people do until they begin to get older. Unfortunately, for many, this comes too late to make plans for paying for that very costly care. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging assess that about 20% of those over age 65 go to nursing homes for care. Unfortunately, the older one gets, the greater the chances that he or she will need long-term nursing care at some point.
You may have every intention of remaining in your home as long as possible as you age. Perhaps you have even considered having trained professionals visit you during the week to offer support if you should need it. However, when will you know that remaining in your home is no longer a safe or prudent choice? What will you do if you should fall ill or have an accident that requires long-term care in a nursing facility? What are the signs that it is time to make that move?
Is the time coming?
Nursing home care is not cheap, but Medicaid will cover the cost for approved facilities if your income and assets qualify. This qualification process can be unsettling, and many put it off because it often means depleting the savings and property they have worked a lifetime to acquire. Nevertheless, the time may come when you or your loved ones have no choice but to look for a nursing facility, such as in the following circumstances:
- You can no longer handle your finances.
- You are unable to shop for yourself.
- You make mistakes with your medication.
- You are unable to use the phone to call for help if you need it.
- You can no longer cook for yourself, and your health is suffering because of poor nutrition.
- You are not able to clean your home, do your laundry or perform other household chores.
- You cannot care for your daily hygiene needs without help.
A private room in an average Florida nursing home may cost as much as $78,000 a year. This is not the kind of expense you can plan for at the last minute, and you may even find yourself scrambling to qualify for Medicaid or settling for care that is inadequate to meet your needs. To avoid this, it is wise to face head-on the possibility that at some point, you may require long-term care and begin to prepare accordingly by learning about your options and creating a comprehensive estate plan.