Whenever I sit down with clients to plan ahead for Medicaid eligibility we spend a lot of time walking through the worst-case scenario of permanent nursing home placement, thereby triggering approximately $12,000 per month in nursing home fees (Connecticut is the 2nd most expensive state in the U.S. when it comes to nursing home care). But it's also important to at least consider the possibility that the client will never actually need to be placed in a nursing home.
There is no "crystal ball" to use and nothing can be guaranteed but there are factors to consider when trying to determine the odds that you will need permanent nursing home placement at some point in the future.
Is there a history of dementia and/or Alzheimer's Disease in family? It seems like these are the types of conditions that most often trigger the need for long-term, permanent nursing home placement and they are very hereditary. Other issues like diabetes, a heart condition, a bad hip etc. can usually be handled adequately at home.
Do children, grandchildren and other family members live nearby or are they beyond driving distance from your home? The larger the local support network (usually a family-based network) the less likely that you will need to be permanently institutionalized.
How extensive are your liquid assets? Even if you don't have long term care insurance in place, the more you have in investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, etc., there is a greater possibility that you will be able to provide yourself with home health care and/or companionship to keep you in the community.
I always advocate for planning for the worst (in this context, permanent nursing home placement) and hoping for the best. However, you need to realize that future nursing home placement is not a "given", and if the chances of requiring institutionalization are remote based on your own set of personal circumstances then you should factor that into your planning.
DISCLAIMER: This blog does not offer legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog.
It's not too late to sign up for a 3-part webinar series on Alzheimer's Disease and Tools for Caregivers. This is being presented by the Administration on Aging (AOA), which is part of the Department of Health & Human Services.
The first webinar (5/9) goes over what, exactly, Alzheimer's disease is, as well as the latest updates on treatment and research.
The second webinar (6/13) reviews some helpful online tooks for Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers.
The third webinar (7/12) discusses how Alzheimer's patients and caregivers can participate in research opportunities.
I'm already registered for the first webinar. Click here to get all the details, including registration information.
If you are elderly and living in the community, or if you have a loved one who is elderly and they are feeling the pinch of recent increases in food prices then it may be worth it to check out the eligibility rules for Connecticut's food stamp program.
As of October, 2007, the monthly gross income limit for a couple is $1,484, and for a single person it's $1,107.
But the limit for liquid assets (not including the house) is only $3,000.
If you qualify, the monthly benefit is close to $300 for a couple and $162 for a single person.
Chuck Norris' latest message to the U.S. electorate: John McCain is too old to be president. He even offered up some hare-brained math formula as scientific evidence to prove that Senator McCain would, in fact, die while in office.
Suffice it to say that I found Mr. Norris' message to be...how shall I say...underwhelming. And disappointing. Such ignorant and benighted comments are the reason that American society considers the word "old" to be pejorative. Personally (and perhaps this is because I have more daily exposure to seniors than the average person because of the concentration of my law practice), I find the experience and reflective thought that seniors bring to our everyday life to be highly beneficial to America and it's hard to imagine where our country would be without the counsel of the over-65 crowd. In other words, I do not think words like "old", "senior" and "elderly" are bad words. In fact, I honestly look forward to the day when I can draw on such an enormous wealth of wisdom and experience to apply to my personal and professional life.
No, seniors may not have the physical stamina and endurance that they once had (although I have many clients who are inspiring exceptions to that general rule). But I would argue that the wisdom and insight that seniors bring to leadership positions, whether in government, the private sector or charitable and community organizations, more than makes up for any physiological shortcomings.
In any case, Mr. Norris will be happy to know that I don't plan to vote for Senator McCain if he ends up being the Republican nominee in November, but it most assuredly will not be because I think he is too old for the job.