The fact that we are all living much longer is no secret. With our extended longer life come new challenges. In years past, when lifestyles were less complicated, family units were more defined, and marriages and families with children dominated the landscape. Caring for our aging loved ones was easier with more defined roles by spouses and children.
Times have certainly changed. Studies indicate that people over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care help. Genworth, a leading US company that studies our aging population says that 66% of people over 65 will need extra care. In fact, they say that 70% of this age group will need some form of long-term care for at least three years. It the past, most aging loved ones relied on a family member, a spouse or a partner for help. But what happens today with family and demographic changes, when an individual has none of the above? Who can they count on for help in an emergency or when they get sick?
This is part of a continuing series of articles and tips into elder care and how to address topics such as downsizing, estate sale, content removal, home clean-out, property sale, moving and other real estate transition insights by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Many aging Americans who have children don’t want to be a burden to them, but at least they are lucky enough to have a choice. They may not want to, but older adults rely on family caregivers most of their help. Today, there are over 43 million family members providing some form of elder care for a person 50+ years of age. The 2010 U.S. Census reported that 11 million people over the age of 65 live alone, and that number will likely increase. Even more alarming is that 11.6% of women (ages 80 to 84) are childless, so who will care for them?
Today, society has a totally different view of people without children verses 25 years ago. Many of today’s adults no longer believe that those without children lead empty lives. Recent surveys found that children are less significant to a thriving marriage. In 2007, a Pew Research survey unveiled 41% of adults said that having children was crucial for a successful marriage. This is a huge decline from 65% who said so in 1990.
Since the supply of family caregivers diminish as families get smaller or without children, it’s important to get organized around ones long-term care preferences.
PPM Insights into Elder Care
We at Personal Property Managers, often work within the Senior Community and with Adult Care Givers. We specialize in senior transition services, helping our elderly loved ones transition from their home of many years into senior care communities or to move in with caregivers or other family members. This process if often very overwhelming and our one stop services are valued by those going through a major move and transition. We have learned that there are significant facts about aging care that every person should know and wanted to share them with you. First, what we have learned is that elder care is more expensive than you think. And most of the costs of long-term care come out of your pocket and not through some government or state program. To help you plan for senior care later on, you should understand the details about the services that are and are not covered.
1. Medicare (controlled by each state) does not pay for long-term custodial care services. This is the kind that help you with everyday activities of living needs. Medicare only pays for the medically necessary care like acute medical care, doctor visits, drugs, and a hospital stay.
2. Medicaid is a combined program offered by the federal and state governments. It helps individuals living with low income and assets, and it pays for some of the health care expenses. Medicaid has stringent regulations on who are eligible for the benefits and the services covered.
3. Paying for long-term care out-of-pocket is your option if you have enough money and savings.
4. Health insurance covers the restricted and particular types of long-term care. Disability insurance replaces income and does not include long-term care services and supports.
5. Long-term care insurance pays for long-term supports and services. But before you buy a policy, know the daily amount it will pay to assist you with the activities of daily living requirements.
While we are certainly not insurance agents or elder care attorneys, we do, a large portion of our business assisting adult caregivers in the transition of their elderly loved ones from their home of many years into a senior care communities via our home downsizing, cleanouts, estate sales, and full service discount real estate services. We would like to share with you some tips that we have learned along the way that may help you in your long term care plan. They are:
• Draw up legal documents: a will, a living will, a healthcare proxy and a power of attorney.
• Share a home with like-minded friends and siblings. Create a “share the care” approach that serves each resident equally. Draw up legal papers outlining each person’s responsibilities; one that makes each party accountable.
• Live nearby mass transportation if you don’t drive.
• Choose a walk-able neighborhood.
• Find a trustworthy person or family you can depend on for support and care. Work out a payment strategy and put it in writing. Get legal advice prior to implementing a plan. An elder law attorney can steer you in the right direction.
• Hire a chronic care advocate if you live with a prolonged medical condition, preferably an attorney specializing in elder law.
• Make friends with the supportive type.
• Eat fresh, healthy foods.
• Stay fit.
• Keep your brain sharp by getting involved.
• Volunteer and help those in need.
• Take up hobbies that fulfill your curiosity.
For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.