There are many important decisions seniors will need to make in their lifetime. One of the important is how to plan for future health care services and expenses, such as private duty home care. The options and decision-making process can be overwhelming. Here is a breakdown of some of the resources available to seniors to help them make sound decisions regarding their care.
Aging life care professionals (also known as a geriatric care managers)
Aging life care professionals specialize in advising and facilitating the appropriate care management of seniors. They can have experience in any number of fields related to care management, including nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology with a focus on issues related to aging and elder care. Aging life care professionals can assist in areas such as:
- Housing: helping families evaluate and select the appropriate level of housing or residential options
- Home care services: determining types of services that are appropriate for the client and helping the family to engage and monitor those services
- Social activities
- Legal support: consulting with elder law attorneys or providing expert opinions for court hearings determining level of care
- Financial: overseeing bill payment or consulting with accountants or the Power of Attorney
- Entitlements: providing information on federal and state entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid
- Safety and security: monitoring the client at home, recommending security technologies, observing changes and potential risks of exploitation or abuse
To find an aging life care professional in your area, visit the Aging Life Care Association.
Certified senior advisor
The Society of Certified Senior Advisors educates professionals on how to work more effectively with senior clients by understanding the key health, social, and financial factors that are important to seniors and how those factors affect one another. Certified senior advisors (CSAs) focus exclusively on people, so any professional who works in an industry dealing with seniors can benefit from this certification.
CSAs are trained to identify and accurately serve the complex and diverse needs of the aging population. They are professionals in an industry that serves seniors, and have the certification that qualifies them to advise seniors on health, social, and financial issues.
Elder law attorneys
According to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, elder law and special needs law is defined by the clients served. Attorneys who practice elder law or special needs law work primarily with people as they age and people with disabilities. Elder law attorneys can assist with estate planning and advise clients about planning for incapacity with alternative decision-making documents such as Power of Attorney and other advanced directives. Elder law attorneys can legally protect seniors against exploitation and abuse, and can also assist clients in planning for possible long-term care needs, including home care or nursing home care.
Long-term care insurance
Forty years ago, people could purchase long-term care insurance policies that mainly covered nursing home care. Today, there is an increase of seniors living over the age of 90. What’s more, the number of people over age 90 is expected to quadruple by the year 2050.
Helping these seniors live at home as long as possible will not only reduce the strain on financial resources, it will also prolong a sense of independence and promote a better quality of life.
Today, long-term care insurance is more diversified than ever. Home care, nursing home care, adult day care, physical therapy, and nursing care are some of the services covered. The prices and coverage vary per policy and can include restrictions based on physical and mental health.
Cost for long-term care insurance varies by age, with prices increasing as a person gets older. It is best to consult with a long term care insurance professional about the type of policy that fits your needs and budget.