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Long-term care planning can provide options when the time comes

Time can easily sneak up on Washington, DC residents. The need for long-term care could present itself in what seems like "overnight," even though the signs have been there for some time. Because it is nearly impossible to predict when aging family members will need it, long-term care planning is essential.

Without advance monetary preparations, a family may be limited in its choices when looking for a place that provides the services needed by its family member. Medicaid typically does not pay for assisted living centers, and many people do not qualify for Medicaid until and unless they have already spent most, if not all, of their money. However, planning can open up other, and sometimes better, options.

Depending on the challenges facing an aging family member, facilities provide different levels of care. Some people only need minor assistance such as the availability of meals, housekeeping and nursing services in case of emergency. On the other hand, some require around the clock care. Everyone wants what is best for his or her loved ones, and finding the right facility could make the difference in the quality of life experienced.

Long-term care insurance, Medicare and Medicaid provide Washington, DC residents with some options. However, they may be too limited to provide the type of care a family wants for its loved one. Long-term care planning could include provisions for an alternate income stream at this crucial time in a person's life. Having the freedom to choose from more options could give everyone peace of mind that an aging family member is receiving the best care possible.

Source: Sun Sentinel, Take time to find the right long-term care facility, Kimberly Lankford, Jan. 6, 2014

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