HOW EXPENSIVE CAN ELDER CARE GET?

Feb 15th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Cost of Nursing Home and Assisted Living Care on the Rise

Projecting ahead into the next year, it begins to appear that the costs of elder care, i.e. assisted living, nursing care and other such forms of suitable accommodation for the elderly who require attention will continue to escalate. Depending on the nature of the care, geographic location, the condition of the resident (client, patient, etc.) these costs seem to continue to climb, until it is possible to imagine that over a ten year period, one can be talking in terms of somewhere between $400k and  $500k in costs for care.  That begins to feel prohibitive and downright scary. It’s easy to understand why this issue is one of the top ten concerns of seniors.

Those who are wise enough to have applied for and qualified to receive long term care insurance are surely on the right track.  And, they are even wiser if they chose the inflation rider as a part of the policy.

We relish the thought of our elderly loved ones living into their late 90′s or early 100′s.  What are the implications, however, when the costs attached to their needs, care and medical attention begin to threaten the costs of living of others in the family?  Assuming a $50,000 a year price tag to place an elder in a care facility, usually with basic care provided, perhaps a shared room, and other add on costs, how does one budget to cover that, while meeting the costs of one’s own family or even children, some of whom have had to move back home?

Financial Planning is Essential

The prospects can be intimidating.  Assuming your own portfolio is sufficient to meet your living costs at somewhere around $75k per annum, you are now projecting an income need of $125k per year, just for basic living costs for three, one in a care facility, two still in their home, assuming good health.

That catch line, “assuming good health,” carries with it the unpredictable and frightening prospect of some medical treatment becoming necessary for any of those involved. Insurance coverage now becomes not a political football, but a downright serious demand upon the family for determining how to deal with such a circumstance.

Or, let us consider further down spirals in the economy.  That can have consequences that may be more threatening than we can presently imagine.

Big time planning, foresight, realistic evaluation will all be part of the equation to ascertain how to manage what may lie ahead.  There can be no Pollyanna assumptions that this (whatever ‘this’ may mean) will not happen.  Recognizing the givens and practicing and developing strategies for meeting what may come allow for a healthier perspective and a more viable means for coping.



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