Planning insights from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Want to share some useful insights on long term care planning.

The May 2011 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance includes an insert with Frequently Asked Questions, which are an essential part of planning for long-term care.

It was developed by the American Association for Long-term Care Insurance and is an important step to help you make better decisions.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance information on long term care planning

The May 2011 edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance includes a special planning guide insert – The Most Asked Questions. The American Association of Long Term Care Insurance, a professional association I am involved in, sponsored this insert.

Take a look at this four page informative insert and then call (860) 451-9793 to discuss.

What’s involved in Long Term services and what do they cost?

The results from various survey’s indicate around 70% of individuals over 65 will need some long term services. Most of this assistance will be received in the home where people want to be when help with day to day life activities is needed.

Consequently, this note is to share information about what’s involved in long term services and support:

+ The most common assistance would be for non medical such as preparing meals, helping around the house, etc. and provided by a Homemaker, sometimes called a Companion.

+ More substantial assistance, such as with two or more Activities of Daily Living, would be provided by a Home Health Aide.
Cost: A recent survey indicates these Aides range from $19 to $35 an hour in the Hartford area.

+ Complex medical related assistance can be provided by a LPN or in some cases an RN.
Cost: LPN’s range from $39 to $143 an hour in the Hartford area.

Home based services can be periodic or around the clock and respond to people’s desire to – age in place.

Adult Day services: Individuals go to a center for the day and receive health and therapeutic services. They benefit from interacting with others and it’s a good option so the regular care giver has time to go to work or get some rest. They are growing in popularity. Some Adult Day service providers offer transportation to take individuals to and from their home.

Note: Close to 40% of Adult Day Service providers operate with a social model; 25% provide a medical/health model; and 35% use a medical/health and social model.

Assisted living: One big value of an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) is socializing, which improves an individual’s quality of life and makes them quite popular. Individuals have a private room, receive meals in a common area, and have access to a range of services. It’s an excellent choice when a person can no longer live independently. A part of this decision is safety, which is important for family members since they know help will be there in case of a fall or sudden illness. Some assisted living facilities offer extra services for people with cognitive conditions.

Note: Services provided by ALF’s are not all the same. Some facilities offer up to 5 services in the monthly rate in what is considered a “basic” level. Those with 6 to 9 services in the monthly rate have a “standard” level. ALF’s with 10 or more services in their standard rate are considered “inclusive”. Most will add additional services as needed.
Cost: They range from $2,400 to $6,500 a month in the Hartford area.

The role of a nursing home is to provide more complex and around the clock help and services.
Cost: They range from $300 to $448 a day for a semi private room in the Hartford area. It’s $305 to $478 a day for a private room.

Mom needed help with life activities – What do kids now say?

A recent survey of individuals 46 to 64 of age found those whose parent needed help with day to day life activities now recognize the value of Long Term Care insurance:

+ 87% of the participants said it helps protect family members from having to pay for help.

+ 85% said it provides family members with peace of mind.

+ 84% said it means retirement savings can stay intact.

+ 70% said it helps with the ability to leave an inheritance.

However, even though the chance of needing assistance is more than 70%, individuals of this age have not purchased this special and very important kind of protection. Why? An analysis indicates perhaps they:

+ Don’t fully understand how long term care financing works.

+ Don’t understand the importance of early planning for this need.

The survey also found a majority mistakenly thought government funding would be available to pay for their needed assistance.