"Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, families get together, and many
are seeing mom and/or dad for the first time in months," says
Orestis, senior health-care advocate and CEO of Life Care Funding.
"Some will discover that their parent's health has declined and
he or she should not be left to live on their own any longer."
Warning signs that your parent may
need to be evaluated for in-home nursing assistance, or a move to a
more supportive setting, include:
forgetfulness about taking medications.
unbalanced (at risk of falling).
Change in hygiene habits or
"Most families are not prepared for this, they don't have a plan
or resources, so the situation becomes traumatic and heartbreaking
for everyone," says Orestis. "It doesn't have to be that way. Every
family should be talking about this now and exploring options."
He offers these tips to help families plan:
From a few hours of
in-home assistance each week, to residential communities that
provide daily assistance with meals, laundry, etc., to a nursing
home that provides round-the-clock care, there are many options
to consider. Generally speaking, finding ways to keep your loved
one at home for as long as possible is the least disruptive —
and least expensive — option.
Avoid resorting to Medicaid if at
all possible. Nursing home care costs start at $5,000 to
$8,000 a month, which is often beyond the means of people
otherwise considered financially healthy. Many families turn to
Medicaid to pay for nursing home care, but it comes with many
restrictions, including choice of facilities. In a situation
where one spouse is healthy and the other is not, the spouse
living independently will also face restrictions on the amount
of assets he or she can retain — for instance, as of July 1,
2013, a maximum $2,898 for monthly maintenance.
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insurance policy can be converted into a protected long-term
care benefit fund that will pay for any level of care, from
in-home to hospice. Policyholders typically receive 30 to 60
percent of the death-benefit value when they convert the policy
specifically to pay for long-term care. The benefit qualifies as
a Medicaid spend-down, which means they'll still be eligible for
that program if the money runs out.
Don't simply stop
paying on a life insurance policy to save money.
Chris Orestis, a nationally known senior health-care advocate and
expert, is CEO of Life
Care Funding, which created the model for converting life
insurance policies into protected long-term care benefit funds. His
company has been providing care benefits to policyholders since
2007. A former life insurance industry lobbyist with a background in
long-term care issues, he created the model to provide an option for
middle-class people who are not wealthy enough to pay for long-term
care and not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.
[Text from file received from
News and Experts]