Understanding Long Term Care Options For Your Estate Plan
When you create your estate plan, there is one very large expense that you really can’t forget to plan for: Whether it’s for you or your loved ones down the road, the possibility and necessity of long term care, is something you can’t leave out.
A Big Expense
Long term care is extraordinarily expensive. By some estimates, the cost is between $4,000-$9,000 per month depending on what kind of care is needed, how much medical attention is needed, and whether the resident will have a private room or a shared room.
Either way: For someone who may need assisted living—especially if that is at an age where the person has many years to live—that monthly expense can add up, and it needs to be accounted for in your estate plan.
In planning for long term care, many people bunch all the types of long term care into one. But they are very different, and in creating an estate plan, it’s important to understand what those differences are.
Nursing Home Care
We often lump all kinds of long term care options into the phrase “nursing home,” but a nursing home is very different from assisted living. A nursing home is for people that need constant medical attention or assistance with the everyday activities of daily living.
In many ways, a nursing home is similar to a hospital.
Nursing home residents may have dementia, or may be physically or mentally infirm. Some may have limited mobility, and others may have no mobility at all. Residents may have continuing medical conditions that need routine medical care, they may need therapy or rehabilitation, or just assistance moving, eating, communicating or taking medicines.
There are some recreational or social activities for residents. But a nursing home is not intended to be a replacement for a traditional home environment.
Assisted Living – More Like a Community
In contrast, assisted living is for those who are more mobile, and who can take care of themselves, but who just may need help with the everyday tasks of routine life. Those in assisted living may have some medical needs and need medical care, and they may need some help getting dressed or taking their medicines, but generally they are more able bodied than those in nursing homes.
Assisted living tries to mimic private apartment-style living; residents often have their own room, and the facility may provide recreation, games, entertainment or shows for residents. Residents are generally free to socialize, and move about the facility at will. The facility may even have transportation, taking residents to get groceries or go shopping or go to movies.
Planning for the Future
As a general rule, nursing homes, because of the increased attention that is needed, and the medical care, is more expensive than assisted living.
At this point, you may not know whether you or your beneficiaries need assisted or nursing home care. You can, in your estate plan, leave money for either one, so whichever is needed, can be paid for from your estate.
Ask us for help with your will or estate plan. Call the West Palm Beach estate planning lawyers at the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray today for help planning for your future.