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Planning for Long-Term Care in Pennsylvania
About nine million people over the age of 65 will need long-term care this year, according to Medicare.gov, and that number is expected to rise to 12 million by the year 2020. Fortunately, thanks in part to the increasing demand as the baby boomer generation moves toward retirement, people with long-term care needs have more options today than in years past.
What Is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is an umbrella term that refers to a wide range of medical and non-medical services for elderly individuals, as well as for those with disabilities or chronic illnesses. In most cases, long-term care helps people meet day-to-day health and personal needs like dressing, eating and bathing.
Long-term care comes in many different forms, including:
- In-home care: People who receive in-home care can continue living at home while getting the help they need from care providers who come and go on a regular basis according to the individual’s needs. Depending on the situation, in-home care may be limited to everyday tasks like bathing and eating, or may include more specialized health care services.
- Personal Care Homes: An personal care home is a group housing arrangement that provides on-site services for elderly and disabled individuals. Residents often have their own apartments or rooms and live relatively independently with easy access to the care they need.
- Nursing home care: Nursing homes are similar to personal care homes in that they provide on-site care to residents, but the level of care provided by nursing homes tends to be far more intensive. Typically, nursing home residents are older individuals who require constant care and assistance with the activities of daily living due to either physical or mental limitations.
Costs of Long-Term Care
With increased options comes a greater need for careful planning – but, unfortunately, most people are unprepared. According to a survey conducted by Lincoln Financial Group, only 44 percent of Americans have taken steps to plan for their long-term care.
In Pennsylvania, the median cost of in-home care is $19 per hour for homemaker services and $20 per hour for home health aide services, both of which are slightly above the national average. Meanwhile, the median cost of personal care homes in Pennsylvania is close to an average at $39,015 per year, and the median cost of nursing home care is well above average at $99,280, according to MarketWatch.com.
Although the task of planning and preparing for long-term care may seem overwhelming, there are a wide range of resources and options available to help create a plan that works for your circumstances. To discuss the type of care you want and create a plan for financing it, contact a certified elder lawyer experienced in helping clients plan for their long-term care.
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