According to the US 2010 Census, the 65 and over population in Tacoma, Washington is roughly 11.5% of the entire city's population. While many baby boomers are thinking about retirement, according to LongTermCare.gov, less than 1/3 of Americans 50+ have begun saving for long-term care. A reality check now may change the way we spend and save our money ensuring a better future for ourselves and our loved ones. Planning for the future begins by adding a couple line items to our traditional out of pocket expenses for retirement, namely long term care and healthcare costs. Fidelity Investments estimates that a couple age 65 retiring in 2013 will need $220,000 out of pocket to pay for medical expenses. That assumes that this couple is using Medicare and that there are no long-term care costs.
If this healthcare cost estimate doesn’t include long term care costs, then what do we mean by Long Term Care? When we talk about long term care, we are referring to a range of services that address personal care needs such as daily functional care (bathing, dressing, toileting, eating) as well as assistance with the everyday tasks such as housework, taking medication, managing money, caring for pets, shopping for groceries, transportation, and engaging in social activities.
One of the great myths is that Medicare will cover long term care costs. Our healthcare system divides care into three main categories: acute, chronic, and long term care. While Medicare may cover a short stay in the hospital after a stroke (acute care) or diabetes management (chronic care) it does not cover long term care such as medical and social services needed to live independently or facility care that may become necessary due to physical or mental limitations.
Whether you are planning for the future, or managing a recent crisis, Sound Options is here to help. Many people will begin with a one-hour consultation with a Geriatric Care Manager to assess the needs of your family and get you pointed in the right direction and asking the right questions. As an RN or MSW they are able to provide full-scale services which include care coordination, transition management, advocacy, mediation for families, medication management, development of care plans, etc. Give us a call today at 800.628.7649.