The Livens Law Firm

Long-term care planning for elderly parents

Many Americans are struggling with the financial reality of caring for a senior parent. With nursing home costs of more than $7000 monthly, most families feel they have no other recourse than to care for mom and dad at home. In Texas, more families are investing in long\-term care insurance to help offset the cost of care for their loved ones.

By opening the lines of communication now, adult children can find out where their parents stand in the event of a medical crisis. If parents are fortunate enough to have assets to cover future health care, now is the time to find out how those assets can be accessed. Experts also recommend an adult child having a power of attorney to oversee medical and financial matters.

Long-term care insurance policies pay for costs when a senior can no longer take care of the daily essentials such as bathing and dressing. The money from these policies can be used for in-home care, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. People can also purchase hybrid policies that combine life insurance policies with long-term care. These will allow beneficiaries to tap into death benefits early so that they can secure the money they need for these types of expenses. Any unused funds will simply go to the beneficiary as intended upon the death of the policy holder.

In Texas and other states, many seniors are grappling with the fear of health care costs, and only 25 percent have long-term care insurance. Medicare alone will not cover nursing home care. Adult children and their parents can start planning now by consulting with an attorney who has a thorough knowledge of long-term care. For elderly parents, this is the first step in securing a happy and healthy senior life.

Source: USA Today, "Elder care: How to plan financially to take care of your aging parents", Tamara E. Holmes, March 26, 2018

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