A recent survey shows that many people are willfully unprepared for the significant out of pocket costs from long term care facilities. More than 2,000 family caregivers and patients were recently surveyed, and most underestimated the possible need for long term care as well as the typical expenses connected with getting the support. Approximately 70% of all patients today end up needing some form of long term care support, but just under half of patients who responded in this study felt that they would need long term care.
Patients also underestimated the age at which it was likely for them to need long term care. Most survey respondents anticipated that they would need this additional support from a facility or caretaker at age 79, although the national average in the United States for getting this kind of treatment is 73. This gap of 6 years’ worth of treatment can mean that you don’t have enough money set aside to prepare yourself for the rising cost of long term care.
Long term care has an average cost of $47,000 or more, depending on the facility that you select. A private nursing home, for example, comes with a price tag of $100,000 whereas an assisted living facility comes in at an average of $45,000.
When discussing a possible move to a long-term care facility, the family caregivers and patients who participated in the study said that the cost of care was one of their biggest concerns and for those family members who had already undergone this situation, the cost of long term care ended up being much higher than they anticipated. Although there is no way to guard against all possible negative outcomes or issues associated with long term care, there are many things that you can do to protect yourself as well as your loved ones from the challenges of recovering after an incapacitating event or needing consistent long-term care from a facility.
While it’s impossible to predict just how long you’ll live, it’s good to plan for a long and healthy lifestyle.
Talking with an estate planning and elder law planning lawyer now can open your eyes to all of the opportunities available to you and can help to ensure that you have the appropriate documentation and strategies in place to guard against the problems.