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My Spouse or Parent Needs Care Now

When your loved one needs care now, you are in a crisis and need answers fast. To help put this into perspective, there are several key aspects to know about, as follows:

  • What level of care will be needed?
  • Where will they get that care?
  • How much will it cost, and can they afford it?
  • What family or friends are available to help?
  • Can they make their own decisions, and if not what planning has been done in advance to name someone to make medical and financial decisions.

Here are some pointers, when you find yourself facing a care crisis, whether its for yourself, your spouse, your parent or another loved one. You’ll find that you’ll need good information and to find good help. Things happens quickly. Everyone’s situation is different. Having a trustworthy guide who knows the latest rules can make a huge difference.

The Care Continuum

At this point, the next step depends on the care needs. There are varying levels of care, including:

  • Home care
  • Independent living
  • Assisted Living
  • Memory Care
  • Nursing Home
  • Hospital

Many people proceed along this care continuum, starting off with small amounts of home care, but then proceeding to care outside of the home. Generally, if a person needs assistance with cooking and medications, as well as help with dressing they can go to assisted living. Memory care is a part of assisted living. Nursing homes provide both rehabilitation (to rehabilitate after a hospital stay) and long-term care.

Just finding care can be troublesome, much less paying for it. If you have some places in mind to start, that helps. Otherwise, you need to start visiting care communities and fast! The only way you’ll know if a community is right for you is to visit and talk to the administration, staff and other residents.

Paying for Care

The costs for care at each level are different. Generally, home care can vary from 1$17 to $23 per hour for care provided through an agency, depending on the agency and the type of care needed. Assisted living can vary from a few thousand dollars per month, to as much or more than a nursing home. Memory care will cost nearly as much as nursing home care. For nursing home care currently the state of North Carolina says that the cost of care averages $6,300. That is often too low.

There are really only a few ways to pay for long-term care, and they are as follows:

  1. Medicare
  2. Long-term Care Insurance
  3. VA Aid and Attendance
  4. Private pay
  5. Medicaid


About the author

The Elderlaw Firm

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