Not only is America’s population of seniors growing at a rapid rate, there has also been a significant increase in older adults with chronic illnesses. According to a recent study, 1 in 5 seniors have 5 or more chronic conditions, and 2 in 5 seniors will require long term care, also known as elder care.
What is Elder Care?
Elder care is medical and personal care tailored to meet the needs of seniors who are disabled or suffer from a chronic or terminal illness. It can include skilled nursing care, as well as help with everyday living. The care can be provided at home, by community agencies or at a facility.
One of the goals of elder care is to enable a senior to maintain his or her quality of life as best as possible for as long as possible. Home care in particular can help reduce stress, and may even lead to fewer hospital visits and improved health.
Elder care at home is either provided by family members or caregivers such as nurses, home health aides and personal aids. Nurses and home health aides will administer medication, check vital signs and manage the senior’s health care needs. Personal aids will help the senior with bathing, dressing, hygiene, meal preparation, errands and transportation. Many times the duties of a nurse and home health aide will include personal assistance. Home health care workers are hired directly by the family or through an agency.
Community programs such as adult day care centers are another form of elder care. At an adult center, seniors receive whatever help they need throughout the day in a supportive environment. Programs can include social as well as therapeutic activities. Adult day cat centers generally operate during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.
An independent living facility is another option for elders, especially individuals with minimal health care needs. Apartments or condominiums at these facilities can be purchased or rented. They enable seniors to live on their own in an environment with an abundance of recreational and social activities.
If a senior cannot live independently, elder care can be provided at an Assisted Living Facilities (ALF). These facilities are for seniors with health conditions who need help with daily tasks such as personal hygiene, getting in and out of bed, dressing and bathing. Also known as adult foster car or residential care, most ALFs will have health care workers such as health care aides on-site.
Elders with serious health problems may need the services of a nursing home. At a nursing home, seniors will receive 24/7 care by a licensed health care professional. They may have a private room or share a room with another resident. Some nursing homes will only provide basic care, while others are staffed to help elders with severe and worsening health conditions.
Other types of elder care include hospice care for seniors with a terminal illness, and dementia or memory care. Dementia (Alzheimer’s) is a very specific health care issue. Due to its progressive nature, various types of dementia care may be needed over time. It is estimated that as many as 5 million Americans have the disease, and 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another similar type of dementia.
Financing Elder Care
Caring for an aging elder can be difficult emotionally and financially. According to a 2011 study, almost 40 million people over the age of 15 provided some type of unpaid care to a person over 65 with an age-related condition.
One of the best ways to provide for an elder’s medical and personal needs, is by converting their life insurance policy into a Long Term Benefit Care Plan. The policy can be converted in as little as 30 days for significantly more money than its cash surrender value.
Elder Care Funding can help you with financing issues related to long term care. To find out if you or a family member qualifies for a Long Term Benefit Care Plan, complete the form below or call 1-844-814-6511 for assistance.