Hospice Care in San Mateo Suggests Planning Long-Term Care Early
No one wants to think about putting a loved one in hospice. It can signify a letting-go, placing your faith in the next step of the life cycle. However, having an honest discussion with your loved one and their medical team early on can start the hospice process early. This is key to keeping the lines of communication open and ensuring the best possible hospice care in San Mateo.But it goes beyond planning for the actual care; in addition, it involves planning for the high long-term costs associated with hospice. It also means planning for long-term care in your own home to ensure a high quality of life. Starting now will ensure a smoother transition later.
But it goes beyond planning for the actual care; in addition, it involves planning for the high long-term costs associated with hospice. It also means planning for long-term care in your own home to ensure a high quality of life. Starting now will ensure a smoother transition later.
There’s no better time to explore these issues than fall. October is Organize Your Medical Information Month and Long-Term Care Planning Month.
So how do you go about planning long-term care early on? We offer some tips.
Importance of Planning Ahead
According to AARP, the odds of needing long-term care increase as we age, with more than two-thirds of people over the age of 65 requiring some type of long-term care over their lifetime. Most need to plan for at least three years of long-term care services. Others will never need it, and as many as 20 percent will need more than five years. Knowing which bracket you or your loved one will fall into is difficult. That’s why it’s best to plan ahead anyway.
Here are some more stats to consider: One out of every two individuals turning age 65 will need a long-term care solution during their lifetime, according to a study by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Think Advisor. The current national average for full-time long-term care services ranges from $2,860 per month to more than $14,000. The exact number will depend on the required level of care and where you live. Forbes has a more sobering look at the possible cash outlays facing a retired person in terms of future long-term care costs: they say those costs can hit $1 million or more.
Long-term care spending is one of the most eye-opening spending shocks impacting retirees today, generally referring to any care related to physical, mental, social, and medical needs. A solid retirement plan, in place already hopefully for many years, will be your primary means of paying for long-term care costs, in addition to Medicare and Medicaid assistance. However, even the strongest retirement plans can be derailed by the fact that we as Americans are simply living much longer than we used to, and we’re sicker too. That means higher healthcare costs as our physical and cognitive abilities decline. That cash you set aside for enjoying in your retirement may be sifting through your fingers as you face those high long-term care costs.
Managing these finances as the adult child of an aging parent is even more frustrating. You may see the savings accounts draining but are powerless to stop it. After all, there’s no denying that your loved one needs the care they’re receiving. However, with your own family to worry about, you are not in a position to provide sustained daily assistance for your parents’ medical needs.
A big part of planning ahead for long-term care costs is staying organized — both for yourself and for your loved one. As we said earlier, this month happens to be Organize Your Medical Information Month. This is a perfect time to acquire, understand, utilize and store important medical information in an effort to become a more informed participant in our own medical care, points out Everyday Health.
Being organized offers a host of benefits, translating to fewer medical errors, shorter hospital stays, better overall outcomes, better preventive care and better negotiation skills when it comes to navigating today’s complex healthcare system.
Planning ahead gives families peace of mind. It also gives you more time to make more informed decisions based on your priorities rather than rushing into something as serious as long-term care and eventually hospice.
The American Heart Association says the process of anticipating future scenarios and making your preferences known is called advance care planning and can include:
- Knowing what health decisions you will have to make in the future
- Thinking about your goals and preferences or those of your loved one
- Discussing the future with your family and doctor
- Documenting your plan in writing
As the need for hospice approaches, knowing which care options you want for yourself and your loved one is key. In the event of advanced heart failure, for instance, care options could include turning off an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) or mechanical heart pump, as well as how the transition to hospice will take place.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
We can help with those crucial end of life decisions here at Pathways Home Health and Hospice. Please call us at 888-755-7855 to learn more about how we can help you and your family plan ahead for hospice in San Mateo.