Long-term care is the care you may need if you are unable to perform daily activities on your own. That includes eating, bathing, dressing, transferring and using the bathroom. The goal of long-term care is to help you maintain your lifestyle as you age. Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance and the health insurance you may have at work usually don't pay for long term care. Studies show that 7 of 10 people over the age of 65 need some type of long-term care support.1
Where is long-term care provided?
Very often, people needing long-term care go through stages as they need more care and support. Most start at home with a spouse or family member providing care. Those without a spouse often get a home health aide or move in with a family member. Adult day health care is used so a family caregiver can work. At some point, living at home or with family is no longer an option and they move to assisted living. Most assisted living residents spend their final days in a skilled nursing home (often a different building in same facility) as their medical care needs increase.
What are the payment options for long-term care?
Long-term care is very expensive and costs tens of thousands of dollars per year. A number of payment options exist to meet this expense.
- Self-pay from saving and retirement accounts
- Traditional long-term care insurance
- Hybrid annuity or life insurance
Most people requiring nursing home care need to qualify for Medicaid.
1 2021 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "How Much Care Will You Need?" (February 18, 2020). Site accessed 01/14/22.