5 Myths about Long-Term Care

5 Myths about Long-Term Care
David Posner, 2/5/2017
When you leave a delivery room of a hospital with your newborn, you get a packet of information from food-to-care for your baby. However, when your parents begin to age they may have a need for additional care, and there is no goodie bag of educational information on how to care for an aging loved one. Also, while you are in the process of researching long term care for your parents, you may have some preconceived notions or receive information that may not be correct. This article will discuss some myths associated with long term care and hopefully help you in your decision making.

Myth 1: I am too young to need long term care

Long term care is not just for the elderly. Nearly 41% of long term care is for those under the age of 65 who may need help after a diagnosis of a chronic disease, injury, or mental illness. Also, people are living longer than they ever have before. Per the US Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people turning 65 this year will require long-term care at some point in their lifetime.

Myth 2: My family will take care of me

Home Care is one of the fastest growing industries for one major reason - families are working and living further away from their parents than ever before. In addition, many adult children are in the sandwich generation that may have a young child and a parent they are taking care of. This additional care results in a rather large undertaking and stress, and comes with a financial cost if they stay home.

Ask yourself these questions, “will my kids clean up after me or wash me? Am I willing to clean up after my parent’s explosion?” These are real scenarios that happen every day and need to be considered while planning for your future care needs.

Myth 3: Medicare or Government will cover my bills

Medicare is generally available for those over 65 or disabled, and pays for “skilled” care - or care that is intended to cover medical needs like wound care, rehabilitation, and medication oversight. Medicare may also cover a short-term care stay (only up to 100 days) in a facility. However, personal and companion care like bathing, dressing, and incontinence care are not covered by Medicare.

Medicaid is a state based program and may cover you if you meet your state’s poverty criteria.

Myth 4: Health Insurance will cover my bills

Health insurance is used to cover skilled medical care, and it rarely will cover ongoing chronic care needs liker personal or companion care.

However, Long Term Care Insurance will cover personal and companion care services provided by an aide in the home. This is a separate policy and different from long term disability insurance (that you may have in your HMO) but it does not cover an aide in the home.

Myth 5: I can save enough on my own

As previously mentioned, personal and companion care usually paid out of pocket. Here is a quick breakdown of typical costs:
  • $20-30 an hour for a home care aide
  • $71 a day for care in an adult day care center
  • $3,427 a month for care in an assisted living facility ($43,539/year)
  • $227 a day for a semi private room in a nursing home ($82,125/year)
  • $258 for a private room in a nursing home
These figures are national averages and care services will vary by state. Each person’s situation is unique and may save or cost you more money. The above numbers are used as a guide to help you make a more informed decision of cost for long term care.
David Posner

David Posner

David Posner is the Vice President of Business Development for HomeCare.com, a leader in the caregiver referral service industry. David is a recognized thought leader in healthcare with experience growing the revenues of companies he has worked for. In particular, his passion is in sales and training others to be successful.