According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people who reach age 65 will need some form of long-term care during their lives. “Long-term care” refers to those services and supports that might become necessary to perform everyday tasks and personal care needs.
Determining the Level of Care
Everyday tasks, sometimes called “instrumental activities of daily living,” are things such as cooking, cleaning, driving, managing money, taking medication, using appliances and responding to emergencies, such as fire alarms. Persons who need help with these tasks can no longer live at home independently. Where family supports are inadequate, caregivers must be hired. Unfortunately, Medicare and health insurance do not pay for help with everyday tasks. And the cost for this can be substantial. Many such persons choose to enter assisted living facilities, most of which in Pennsylvania are technically referred to as “personal care homes.” The cost to live in these facilities typically exceeds a resident’s income by thousands of dollars per month.
Getting Help for Everyday Activities
For many, successfully meeting the challenges of getting help with and paying for everyday tasks is not the end of the story. The inevitable aging process combined with the onset of chronic medical conditions give rise to new or enhanced physical and or cognitive impairment. These persons require help with their personal care needs, sometimes called “activities of daily living.” Personal care needs refer to bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, transferring (for example moving from bed to chair), and ambulating (moving about). So, what happens to persons who, when they awaken, need help to get out of bed, to get from bed to bathroom, to perform toileting functions, or who are incontinent, who need to be bathed, dressed, or fed? What happens to those who have cognitive impairment, perhaps from Alzheimer’s Disease, such that they must be watched round-the-clock so that they don’t wander outside in winter and freeze to death, turn on the stove and burn down the house, or who when thirsty do not know to pick up a glass of water placed in front of them and drink? These are the people who populate our nursing homes.
Planning for Long-Term Care
The consequences for those requiring long-term nursing home care and for their families can be, without proper legal planning, financially devastating. We at Vasiliadis Pappas Associates can help your loved ones qualify for benefits to pay for needed care while protecting their life savings.
Contact Vasiliadis Pappas Associates to learn more about your options and other measures to protect yourself.