Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey, 55.8 million Americans (16.8% of the population) are 65 years or older. A person turning 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care in the future, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Long-term care refers to the services required by individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities who are unable to care for themselves. By seeking advice from long-term care planning attorneys, individuals and their families can prepare in advance to ensure financial security and access to quality care.
Long-Term Care is Expensive
Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home care are the most common types of long-term care choices in New York. It should come as no surprise that each option is costly.
- Nursing homes provide the most hands-on care for residents. The estimated average daily rate for nursing homes in Long Island is $465, according to the New York State Department of Health.
- Assisted living facilities offer room, board, and aid to people who have some mobility and do not require ongoing medical assistance. Residents usually live in their own apartments and share common areas. SeniorLiving.org says the average daily rate is $151 for assisted living facilities in New York State.
- In-home care, where a caregiver helps a person in their own home, runs $17-$29/hour in New York State, according to Genworth.
Planning is Important for Financial Security
A primary benefit of having a long-term care plan is financial security. Long-term care planning attorneys assist individuals in navigating the complex landscape of insurance options, government benefits, and personal resources.
A Long Island elder law attorney who is knowledgeable about state and federal public benefits can help develop a comprehensive financial plan that includes strategies for financing long-term care and asset protection. Two strategies include Medicaid and long-term insurance.
- Medicaid: Individuals must meet strict financial eligibility criteria to qualify for Medicaid. An elder law attorney can assist in structuring assets and income in a way that satisfies Medicaid requirements while preserving assets for the individual and their family.
- Long-term insurance: Long-term care insurance policies cover the costs of long-term care services, including nursing home care, assisted living, and in-home care. These policies vary in terms of coverage, premiums, and benefits, so it is important to review and compare different policies before choosing one.
Identifying Access to Quality Care
Another advantage of long-term care planning is access to quality care. Long-term care planning attorneys can help individuals find suitable care options, based on the person’s specific needs and financial resources.
New Yorkers can have their Long Island elder law lawyer assist them by reviewing care contracts, negotiating favorable terms, and addressing any concerns or disputes that might arise between the patient and the caregiver or care facility.
Preserving Autonomy and Decision-Making
Long-term care planning allows individuals to preserve their autonomy and decision-making abilities. Through advance directives – such as living wills, healthcare proxies, and powers of attorney – individuals can outline their preferences regarding medical treatments and appoint a family member or friend to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if necessary.
Long-term care planning attorneys verify that all advance directives comply with state laws and accurately reflect the individual’s choices for care. With these documents in place, individuals can maintain control over their healthcare decisions, even if they become incapacitated.
Reducing Family Stress
Long-term care planning benefits families by reducing emotional and financial stress. Individuals should speak with long-term care planning attorneys before care is needed, so that if a crisis occurs, their families are not faced with making critical decisions in the dark.
A long-term care attorney can also act as a bridge between families and the healthcare system, ensuring that families can focus on their loved ones, rather than being overwhelmed by administrative and legal complications.
Peace of Mind for Everyone
A long-term care plan provides individuals and their families with peace of mind. Knowing that a comprehensive plan is in effect offers reassurance that potential challenges associated with long-term care have already been addressed.
By working with elder law attorneys, individuals can proactively plan for their future by authorizing – in a legal document – how they want their wishes to be carried out should they need long-term care. This peace of mind allows individuals to focus on living their lives to the fullest, knowing that they have a plan in place should the unexpected occur.
Sheryll Law, P.C.: The Long-Term Care Planning Professionals
Long-term care planning offers legal tools for individuals to secure financial stability, preserve autonomy, and communicate their wishes for care decisions. The earlier you begin to plan, the better off you and your family will be. Give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind by booking a strategy session with the experienced team at Sheryll Law, P.C. Call us today at (631) 506-8440 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation.
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