Tag Archives: Retirement Homes

5 Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents Retain Their Independence

By Nicole Seghetti

SEnior freedom

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We all want to help our parents meet the goal of aging in place independently and happily. Evaluating your loved ones’ current living situation and making necessary changes now increases the likelihood they’ll be able to stay in their homes for as long as possible.

Here are five things you can do to ensure your parents can keep their independence in the years ahead.

1. Assess Caregiving Needs.

Determine what your parent needs help with on a daily or weekly basis. For example, would they be better off if they were having the groceries delivered? Can your dad follow his medication schedule? Do your parents need help with housework? Evaluate their needs, and then match up service providers to take care of those needs.

One major factor in an elderly person’s independence is their ability to drive. If they are not capable of doing so without possibly causing injury to themselves or others, then arrange other transportation options. Many municipalities, volunteer groups, and nonprofit organizations offer seniors rides for little to no fee.

2. Make Home Modifications.

Next, assess your parents’ home and determine whether or not it can safely sustain them now and in the future.

Mobility and the ability to monitor their safety is key. If possible, make modifications to their existing home. Consider (where possible) tearing down walls to create a more navigable floor plan, installing easier-to-access showers and sinks, and modifying fixtures so they’re more user-friendly.

Also, look into home monitoring systems, which are becoming more sophisticated every year. Some technologies even have the ability to detect changes in your parents’ activity. For example, if the system senses that Mom took a fall, it can send instant alerts to you and 911 in emergency situations.

If their home cannot be modified to accommodate your parents as they age, then be proactive about looking for a new residence (e.g., a new single-story home in a neighborhood near you or assisted living).

3. Find Community Resources.

Until recently, local resources for seniors mostly consisted of adult day care centers and Meals on Wheels programs. But as the population of adults age 65-plus escalates over the next couple of decades, more resources will become available.

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One such resource is the “village” concept. Villages connect members with resources they need to live at home safely and comfortably. Many villages are neighborhood organizations that rely on volunteers to provide services. For an annual fee, these communities help senior members manage household tasks they can no longer handle. When volunteers aren’t able to provide services, villages refer members to discounted and vetted vendors. Look for a village close to your parent’s home.

4. Enlist Local Support and Companionship.

Many adult children live hundreds or even thousands …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Long-Term Care Insurance Should Be Part of Your Financial Plan

By Michele Lerner

Life Insurance - home care and nursing home coverage

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In the world of insurance products, long-term care insurance is a relative newcomer. It was introduced in the late 1970s, but in recent years, it has become a much more important element of retirement planning thanks to twin rises in health care costs and longevity. (Life expectancy in 1930 was just 59.7; in 2010 life expectancy for Americans was 78.7.)

Many people associate long-term care insurance with nursing homes, but it also pays for in-home care and assisted living facilities. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, 50 percent of long-term care insurance benefits in 2011 went to pay for in-home care, 31 percent for nursing home care, and 19 percent for an assisted living facility.

How Long-Term Care Insurance Works

Each long-term care insurance policy is slightly different, but most benefits kick in based on a similar definition of “disability”: either you have severe cognitive impairment or you need help with at least two daily living activities. These activities include bathing, dressing, eating or using the bathroom.

In other words, you don’t just automatically receive the benefits when you think you could use some help or when you move into a retirement community. Policies are typically purchased with fixed daily benefits for a fixed period of time such as three years or five years.

Can You Cover These Costs Without It?

On an hourly, daily and monthly basis, the cost of the kinds of services covered by long-term care insurance really add up.

A 2012 MetLife Survey of Long-term Care Costs found:

  • The national average monthly base rate in an assisted living community cost $3,550 in 2012.
  • The national average daily rate for a private room in a nursing home cost $248; a semi-private room ran $222 per day.
  • The national average daily rate for adult day services was $70.
  • The national average for hourly rates for home health aides was $21.

While many people recognize the value of having insurance coverage to help pay for their care when they age, not everyone purchases it.

A 2012 Generational Research project by Financial Finesse showed that just 10 percent of people age 45 to 54 have purchased long-term care insurance, and only 16 percent of people age 55 to 64 have it.

Why are people forgoing coverage? It comes down to cost, according to the AARP.

How Much Does Coverage Cost?

Long-term care insurance can vary widely depending on your age at the time of purchase, the length and amount of coverage, and policy characteristics including whether your benefits are adjusted for inflation and the length of any waiting period before benefits are paid, among other things.

According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the average annual premium for long-term care insurance in 2012 for a policy for a …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance