As long-term health care costs continue to rise, how do you decide which is the best option for yourself or your family member? This is such an important topic to discuss with your spouse, your family members, and your financial advisor as you prepare for your later years. There are plenty of different options for you to choose from at different levels of care and cost. There are so many factors to consider when deciding if in-home care, a community and assisted living facility, or a nursing home is the right choice for you, or your loved one.

Not only that, but what can you actually afford? As people are tending to live much longer than previous generations and as many baby boomers are reaching retirement age every single day, long-term care facilities and home care workers are in high demand. According to a 2020 government census and the Department of Health and Human Services, “The world’s population is aging at a faster rate than ever before and people are living longer. Every day until 2030, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65a and 7 out of 10 people will require long term care in their lifetime.”b

Wow, 10,000 baby boomers a day turn 65! Do you have a plan in place for long term care? 

Some questions you will need to ask yourself as you make this decision are:

  1. What kind of care will I need?
  2. What cost am I willing, or able to pay for long term care? Are you putting money aside now for this possibility?
  3. Do you want care in your home, a daytime facility, or a live-in facility?
  4. What happens if you or your spouse dies, and one of you needs long term care?
  5. Do your parents have a plan for their long-term care?
  6. Do you have a family member that can take care of you so that you can age in place at home?
  7. Does your home have low maintenance features as well as provide for all of your safety concerns – ie, low-step showers, easy access baths, wider hallways, railings, hallway lighting.
  8. Do you want to be surrounded by nature?
  9. Do you want to be close to family members?
  10. What kind of hobbies and interests do you want to pursue in your aging years? Which facilities provide these options?
  11. Have you considered a 55-plus active adult community? Or, a community that provides aging in place options for every stage (55+ housing community plus an assisted living on the property for your later years so your spouse can live close by) Check out The Village on Blackwell Creek a local 55+ community in North GA (next to Big Canoe) with an assisted living being built now.
  12. Do you want a community around you if you do not have family who can take care of you? Having a community of people in a place such as an assisted living facility can be really good for your mental health. But, you should also consider your support and community where you currently live as well, because moving to a new place and having to make new friends can be a huge adjustment and can be equally as stressful on your mental health.

Some of these questions are hard to answer, because you might not know what kind of care you will need. But, you can at least consider the options and make the best plan you can with the information available. The chart below lists some of the more traditional long term care options.

If you live in the Atlanta area based on the cost of care trends survey and Genworth calculator here are some comparative numbers for the different long term care options in 2021. Cost of care is rising at an exponential rate and it most likely will be a huge factor in your decision making, especially if you are not prepared for the costs.

table-long-term-care

a “2020 Census Will Help Policymakers Prepare for the Incoming Wave of Aging Boomers” https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/12/by-2030-all-baby-boomers-will-be-age-65-or-older.html

b 2020 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need

For more information on cost of care trends – https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care/cost-of-care-trends-and-insights.html