January 28, 2016

What is Long Term Care and How is it paid for?

Most of us don’t realize that at some point in our lives, we will need long term ‘custodial’ care at home, and Medicare or private health insurance won’t pay for it!

If you or a loved one are unable to live independently at home, you will need Long Term custodial care: someone to assist you anywhere from a few hours per week to 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Long Term custodial care can mean assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s) such as eating, grooming, dressing, bathing, toileting, and transferring from a bed to a chair. It can also mean assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (iADL’s) such as managing medication, cooking, driving, shopping, keeping track of finances, and using the telephone or computer.

Medicare and private health insurance will only provide a limited amount of home care for a limited time following a hospitalization or an acute care episode. Therefore, unless you meet the stringent criteria to become eligible for Medicaid, the government program that covers long term custodial for the indigent and/or disabled, you are on your own!

Therefore, in order to obtain long term custodial home care, you will need to pay privately. There are a few ways that people obtain the funds to pay for care: 1) use their savings, 2) activate a long term care insurance policy that covers homecare and/or care management, or 3) obtain a reverse mortgage on their home to generate funds to use for care.