Long-Term Care - What you need to know


By Ryan Olschefskie
September 2017


Long-term care is defined as a range of support for your personal care needs and involves providing assistance with the basic tasks of everyday life also known as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).   These activities include, bathing, dressing, toileting, meal preparation, walking and continence.  A person’s ability to perform ADLs will determine what type of long-term care they may need, such as nursing-home care or in-home care as well as the health coverage the person may need, Medicare, Medicaid or long-term care insurance.

Medicare covers:
-Care in a long-term care hospital-a long-term care hospital treats patients who may have more than one serious condition but who may improve with time and care and return home.

-Skilled nursing care in a skilled nursing facility

-Eligible home health care services such as physical therapy, continued occupational services, speech-language pathology services and intermittent skilled nursing care

-Hospice and respite care

Medicare does not cover:
-Non-skilled assistance with ADLs also known as custodial care.  Nursing home care would be considered non-skilled assistance.

Long-term care insurance covers:
-Home care

-Assisted living

-Adult daycare

-Respite care

-Hospice care

-Nursing home care

-70% of individuals age 65 or older will need some form of care at some point in their lives.

-40% of individuals age 65 and older will enter a nursing home facility during their lifetimes.

-68% probability that an individual age 65 and older will become cognitively impaired or unable to complete at least two ADLs over his or her lifetime


The cost of long-term care
The following costs for long-term care needs were as of 2016 for Connecticut:
-Private room in a nursing home facility was $13,383/month

-Semi-private room $12,364/month

-Homemaker services $3,813/month

-Home health aide $4,195/month

-Adult day care $1,751/month

-Assisted living facility $4,950/month


How to pay for long-term care
You will need to weight what kind of care you or your loved one may need, for how long that care may be needed, and the frequency of that care.  In assessing the costs associated with the specific long-term care needed as well as revisiting your financial goals for your investments you can then determine the best way to pay for your long-term care needs.  You should consult with your financial advisor who will be able to go over your options and the costs associated with those options in detail.