Long-Term Care Which Type is Appropriate?

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Based on the U.S. Census, every day until 2030, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 years old.*  Additionally, someone turning 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care services and support in their remaining years. * *  Because of these statistics, we may find ourselves or a loved one facing the need for long-term care services.

Long-term care services can range from paying privately for in-home care, to obtaining Medicaid benefits for a skilled nursing facility. Choosing an appropriate type of care is often very stressful for families. People facing this issue are sometimes unsure whether they are making the right decision for themselves or their loved ones. The following information compares the different types of long-term care services.

Aging-in-Place is the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.

▸ Average Monthly Cost – $0 to $15,000 (in addition to monthly housing expenses)

▸ Payer Sources: Private Pay, MI Choice Waiver, PACE, VA Aid & Attendance

Independent Living is ideal for individuals who can still live independently but enjoy having access to assistance when needed.

▸ Independent living communities
provide their residents with convenient access to dining, medical care, entertainment and more.

▸ Average Monthly Cost – $2,000 – $5,000

▸ Payer Sources: Private Pay, Section 8, MI Choice Waiver, VA Aid & Attendance

Assisted Living (Adult Foster Care) is an ideal option for seniors who can no longer live alone but want to maintain a social lifestyle. This type of care allows seniors to live mostly independent lives, but also find the help they need with the aspects of daily life that provide new challenges for them. It is a long-term senior care option that provides personal care in one or more specific areas a senior individual may need. Residents of assisted living communities still have privacy, autonomy and independence.

▸ Assisted Living Facilities provide necessities such as:

  • 24-hour Supervision
  • Meals
  • Medication Management
  • Activities

▸ Average Monthly Cost: $3,000 – $5,000

▸ Payer Sources: Private Pay, MI Choice Waiver, VA Aid & Attendance, PACE

Memory Care Assisted Living

These facilities provide a special kind of care to those with various degrees of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

▸ It involves creating a structured environment that has set schedules and routines in place to create a stress-free lifestyle, safety features to ensure the health of a senior, and programs designed to cultivate cognitive skills.

▸ Safety features include an emergency response system, alarmed doors so seniors can’t wander out of the community.

▸ Average Monthly Cost: $4,000 – $6,000

▸ Payer Sources: Private Pay, MI Choice Waiver, VA Aid & Attendance, PACE

Skilled Nursing Facility

This is a place of senior living as well as young adults who have physical or mental disabilities, require continuous nursing care and have a significant difficulty coping with the required activities of daily living. Services rendered by a SNF include:

  • Nursing and related services
  • Specialized rehabilitative services
  • Medically related social services
  • Pharmaceutical services
  • Dietary services individualized to resident’s needs
  • Professionally directed program of activities to meet the resident’s interests and needs
  • Emergency dental services (and routine dental services to the extent covered under the state plan)
  • Room and bed maintenance services
  • Routine personal hygiene items and services ***

▸ Average Monthly Cost: $8,000 – $14,000

▸ Payer Sources: Private Pay, Medicaid

When planning for long-term care services, information is the most useful tool. More specifically, information about what type of care is appropriate, the type of care offered, the costs associated with that type of care and what types of payer sources may help with the cost are all necessary to understand when deciding.

* “2020 Census Will Help Policymakers Prepare for the Incoming Wave of Aging Boomers” (census.gov).

* * 2020 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need).

* * * Medicaid.Gov “Nursing Facilities” (medicaid.gov/medicaid/long-term-services-supports/institutional-long-term-care/nursing-facilities/index.html)

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