As the old adage goes, getting older ain’t for sissies. This is particularly true when it comes to looking at the cost of long-term care options. Most of us don’t like to think about “what if” scenarios for our health or our finances, but when it comes to long-term care, it’s essential for seniors to do both.
Long-term care, according to the National Institute on Aging, involves “a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time.” These services are designed to help seniors live as independently and safely as possible. The most common form of long-term care involves helping with the activities of daily life (ADLs), but also can include transportation, meals and adult day care.
“Long-term care for seniors isn’t cheap, and it’s only increasing in cost,” says Lynda Marino, Marketing Director at Canterbury WoodsGates Circle, a Life Care Community in Buffalo, NY. “Today, the average cost of living at a skilled nursing facility is $6,000 to $7,500 per month, while hiring an in-home caregiver costs approximately $12 to $30 per hour.”
Long-term care is not covered by traditional forms of insurance or Medicare, which can come as a shock (and a rude awakening) to people who find themselves in a situation where this type of care is needed. This may be more people than we expect, as the Baby Boomers continue to age. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of individuals who are 65 or older will require some sort of help in their senior years. That’s a lot of people – and a lot of “surprise” costs that could quickly derail a retirement.
However, says Lynda, long-term care doesn’t have to be a worry that keeps you up at night.
“With planning and consideration, seniors of any age can take steps to ensure that long-term care won’t break the bank,” she says. “By knowing your options, understanding your financial situation and making careful choices, you and your loved ones will be better equipped to make wise decisions when the time comes for long-term care.”
Consider long-term care insurance.
While traditional insurance plans don’t cover long-term care, there is another option: long-term care insurance. These types of policies are designed to help seniors cover the costs of care that comes from a condition like dementia, disability or another chronic medical issue. Most policies will help pay for costs associated with living in an assisted living community or skilled nursing facility. However, just as with other forms of insurance, the premiums you pay will be dependent on the age of the individual and their health profile. It’s possible that this form of insurance may not be cost-effective for you or a loved one, so be sure to do your research.
Look into costs of care types in your area.
Just as with most things in life, the cost of long-term care and care options can vary greatly from one place to the next. This is true for the types of services you need and for the prices you may pay for those services. It’s worth looking into the options in your area as well as other places that might be viable alternatives – such as near a family member, or in an area with better access to health care services. That way you’ll have your bases covered and find a place that’s both affordable and attractive to your situation.
Take care of your health.
Living a healthy lifestyle and monitoring any current or potential health issues can greatly help reduce long-term care costs. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, visiting your doctor regularly and taking steps to control things like blood sugar and blood pressure can pay off in spades. It’s important to know your family history as well, so that you can be aware of conditions that could pop up in the future (such as dementia or heart disease). While living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t need long-term care in the future, it’s the best thing you can do to help avoid it for as long as possible.
Look into available benefits.
While Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care costs, there are other benefits and options that seniors may be eligible for. For example, veterans may qualify for various benefits and pensions from the VA, which can help cover the costs for respite care, home health care and other services. Depending on the senior’s income, it’s also possible they could qualify for Medicaid – which can cover long-term care costs. There are also many private and community organizations that are available to help seniors in the community, from meal services to transportation services and more. Check out what benefits you may be eligible for at BenefitsCheckUp.org, which is run by the National Council on Aging.
Consider senior living.
Surprisingly, moving into a senior living community can actually help seniors live more independently, age better and avoid long-term care for as long as possible. Sound counterintuitive? It’s not, really, says Lynda.
“A senior living community like Canterbury Woods Gates Circle provides seniors with the best of both worlds: the independence they desire, and caring assistance and support when it’s needed,” she says. “Because our community is designed around the needs of our senior residents, we’re able to provide a healthy lifestyle, a social network and caring hands that are available to help at a moment’s notice – which can keep a small issue from becoming a large one. Our residents enjoy nutritious meals, robust fitness programs, engaging events and activities and a wellness-focused lifestyle. We want our residents to live healthy and active-as-possible lives to delay long-term care and let them live the life they want.”
For more information about saving on long-term care costs, or simply to learn more about our Life Care Community, please call us at (716) 929-5817.
Find Your Fulfillment.
Planned as the centerpiece of a unique intergenerational community, Canterbury Woods Gates Circle is a Life Care Community like you’ve never seen. Urban, contemporary, and close to everything, this is a community that confirms what you already know: how you live has everything to do with where you live. Canterbury Woods Gates Circle offers the highest quality lifestyle and security. While offering the charm and livability of the Elmwood neighborhood, it also boasts the financial strength, impeccable reputation and reciprocal access to its sister community, Canterbury Woods Williamsville.
A Life Engaged. A Life Inspired.
With the excitement and energy of a revitalized Buffalo at your front door, you can immerse yourself in a diverse world of cultural pursuits and pleasures. Research tells us that connections are what a healthy and fulfilling retirement and a more fulfilling life are all about. At Canterbury Woods Gates Circle, connections have never been easier. The intergenerational neighborhood concept of our campus, with nearby residential apartments and retail spaces, creates a natural centerpiece for socialization and activity, surrounding you with neighbors and new friends of all ages.
Continuum of Care.
As a Life Care Community, Canterbury Woods Communities provide a comfortable environment and first-rate services to support every level of need. Assisted living apartments allow Gates Circle residents to benefit from additional support while maintaining their independent lifestyle. If skilled nursing, rehabilitation or memory care is ever needed, residents can experience the support they require at our sister community in Williamsville.
Contact us today to discover more about Canterbury Woods Gates Circle! (716) 929-5817