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Government programs are limited and hard to qualify for without professional assistance.  Moreover, research indicates that only 16% of all long-term care services are provided by government programs. The other 84% is provided free of charge by family members, friends, volunteers, charity, church groups, or paid for by private funds.

Life Care Planning, Estate Protection, Disability,
VA & Medicaid Assistance Lawyers

Planning For the Rest of Your Life- Part 2

Planning For the Rest of Your Life

Part 2 of 2

 

In last month's article, we discussed long-term care planning and introduced you to "life care planning"  -  the ultimate in long-term care planning.  We also discussed the fact that the need for long-term care can happen suddenly, at any time, and thus it was important to take action now  -  before the need arises.  In this second of two parts, we cover the four crucial steps necessary for effective long-term or life care planning:

 

STEP 1          Understanding the Nature of Care, Care Settings, and Government Programs  (Knowledge and preparation are the keys to success.)

 

This step requires an understanding of different living arrangements and settings under which care is provided. In addition, understanding the provisions and limitations of government programs is essential because the public generally has a misconception that the government will step in and provide care when the time is needed.

 

Government programs are limited and hard to qualify for without professional assistance.  Moreover, research indicates that only 16% of all long-term care services are provided by government programs. The other 84% is provided free of charge by family members, friends, volunteers, charity, church groups, or paid for by private funds.

 

STEP 2          Funding the Cost of Long-Term Care (Having funds to pay for care greatly expands the choices for care settings and providers.)

 

Much emphasis has been placed on purchasing long-term care insurance.  This is an excellent tool for providing funding for long-term care expenses.  However, long-term care insurance generally is viewed as too expensive and many who apply cannot qualify medically for the coverage.  Thus, in reality, this approach for long-term care planning is not working.  After 30 years of being touted as the ultimate solution, less than 2% of the American public and only 9% of seniors own long-term care insurance policies.

 

With the cost of care in a nursing home in southern Illinois running as much as $60,000 or more per year, preparing to access public resources (that is, community care, VA, and/or Medicaid) to fund the eventual need for long-term care greatly expands the options that will be available to you or your loved-one.

 

STEP 3          Using Long-Term Care Professionals (Using professional help relieves stress, reduces conflict, and saves time and money.)

 

Long-term care services are complicated and provider contacts are fragmented throughout the community. For the majority of Illinoisans, elder care becomes a frustrating do-it-yourself process. This approach generally leads to very costly mistakes, the loss of financial benefits, and is unnecessary. Using care professionals is the most cost effective and efficient way to obtain help for yourself or a loved one.

 

Persons who need help with long-term care and use the services of professionals often find they save money over doing it themselves. They also reduce their stress and free up a considerable amount of their personal time.  If a Life Care Planning Law Firm is used (that is, one that uses a multi-disciplinary team of care coordinators as well as elder law attorneys), another benefit is to ensure that you or your loved one will never be alone or out of options.

 

Hiring professional advisers or providers to help with long-term care is no different than using professionals to help with other complex issues such as car repairs, dealing with taxes, or dealing with legal problems.  With their education and training, elder law attorneys and geriatric care coordinators bring a wealth of experience that only comes from dealing with countless hands-on elder care challenges.

 

STEP 4          Creating a Personal Care Plan  (Success is assured through a written plan, accepted by all parties involved.)

 

The first three steps in the planning process are designed to give you a wealth of information about long-term care.  It is important for you to have an understanding of care systems and the resources you can turn to when the need arises. However, knowledge of long-term care systems is not enough. You must take some tangible action now to prepare for the day when you will need to deal with elder care for your loved ones or for yourself.

 

The final fourth step in the planning process will help you make a care plan. If you consult with an elder law attorney who employs geriatric care coordinators and prepare a written plan for yourself or your loved one, the challenge of dealing with long-term care will unfold for you in a more manageable manner. You will experience less stress, have fewer costs, require less time committed, and the ultimate in peace of mind.

 

Richard Habiger is an elder law and life care planning attorney.  You may contact him at 618-549-4529 or Richard@HabigerElderLaw.com.

 

 


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Physical Address
1808 Clark Street, Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: 618-985-4529
Toll Free: 800-336-4529

Mailing Address
1808 Clark Street
Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: (618) 985-4529