To be completely prepared for your twilight years, you should understand all of the eventualities and include family members who will be by your side. Death is one of the certainties of life so it is wise to be prepared and make things as comfortable as possible for yourself and the people that you love. With this in mind, it is important to understand the value of hospice care.
Ordinarily, when you seek out health care assistance, recovery is the objective. Things are entirely different when it comes to hospice care. The idea is not to heal because that is no longer feasible. In hospice, you are provided with everything that you need to live the final portion of your life as comfortably as possible.
Hospice care can be provided in a number of different settings. Some hospitals are set up to provide this type of assistance, and nursing homes can also accommodate residents that require hospice care. There are individual, freestanding hospice centers, or the care can be provided in your own home if that is your preference.
In addition to the family members who want to be involved, there are a host of different professionals who are typically part of the hospice team. Your personal physician will still be involved during this phase, and the hospice itself will have a physician or medical director who participates.
Nurses are assigned to your case, and there can be therapists and counselors. You may also want to interact with members of the clergy. Trained volunteers often provide very useful help as well.
One of the goals is to find peace when you are traveling on this final road. At the same time, there are financial considerations that should be addressed so that you can leave a suitable legacy for your loved ones to draw from after you are gone.
When it comes to hospice care in its own right, Medicare and Medicaid will cover it, and most private insurance policies will assist with hospice costs.
However, before you require hospice care, you may well spend some time in a nursing home. In fact, seven out of every 10 seniors will eventually need some form of living assistance, and many will reside in nursing homes.
One major health challenge that forces people into nursing homes is Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately 40 percent of people that are 85 years of age and older have contracted Alzheimer’s, and a significant level of care can be required.
As we have stated, Medicare will pay for hospice, but it does not pay for a long-term stay in a nursing home. This is significant because nursing homes are very expensive. In North Carolina, the average monthly charge is just over $6,800, and the figure is right around $6,000 a month in Kentucky. According the United States Department of Health and Human Service, the average length of stay is 12 months.
Medicaid is a potential solution in appropriate circumstances because it will pay for nursing home care. Since it is intended for people with sparse financial resources, there are low income and asset limits. However, if you take the right steps in advance, you can potentially position assets to make you eligible for Medicaid.
This takes careful planning because any gift giving must usually be completed more than 60 months before submitting a Medicaid application; gifting within the five-year window normally creates a penalty period. Even within that five-year window, there are still Medicaid planning options, particularly for a spouse living at home, but they require you to carefully follow Medicaid’s rules.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Firm!
If you would like to learn more about hospice care, nursing home asset protection, or any other elder law matter, we would be more than glad to have a meaningful conversation with you. We will answer all of your questions and help you put a custom crafted plan in place if you decide to move forward.
To schedule a consultation, give us a call at 704-944-3245 in North Carolina (Charlotte, NC or Huntersville, NC) or 606-324-5516 in Ashland, Kentucky or 859-372-6655 in Florence, KY. Another option would be to send us a message through the contact form on this website.