Caring for a loved one who is older or living with disabilities is never easy. There may even come a time when you realize you can’t keep doing everything all on your own. This is a realization thousands of caregivers of seniors and family members with special care needs come to every day. If you are making long-term care decisions for someone you love during the pandemic, you should keep the following in mind.
Long-Term Care Can Come with Many Costs
Money can be a source of stress for seniors, people with disabilities, and family caregivers, and long-term care expenses can add to this tension. On average, seniors who need only minimal care in their lifetime will be faced with up to $250,000 in costs. Financial pressures brought on by the pandemic can make dealing with these extra costs even more nerve-wracking.
If your loved one is currently a homeowner, selling the home to pay for care may make the most sense. Do your homework to see what comparable homes are listed for, what your loved one could potentially make off the sale, and how quickly you can expect the home to sell. To give your loved one more peace of mind, help them connect with a Realtor who can provide answers to their most pressing questions.
Insurance Rarely Helps with Long-Term Care
There are many potential choices for covering long-term care costs. You could sell the home or even use the equity built into the home to take out a reverse mortgage or home equity loan. Long-term care insurance, VA benefits, and HSA funds are all other practical solutions. But relying on health insurance is rarely one of them.
Many caregivers and seniors mistakenly believe that their policy will help with these expenses, only to find out later that their coverage is limited or even non-existent. This is true for Medicare and Medicaid, which many seniors depend on in retirement. So, it’s best to have a backup plan.
Care Providers Are Taking Extra Precautions
Apart from costs, you may also be concerned about how the pandemic will impact your loved one’s access to safe long-term care. Since seniors and those with underlying conditions can be at a higher risk for severe illness and complications due to COVID-19, facilities and professionals that are providing their care should be exercising extreme caution right now.
You should read the latest CDC guidelines on your own so that you will be better prepared to ask questions. Any provider you utilize should be practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings, and many nursing home facilities may be barring visits to reduce infection risks. This can be heartbreaking for families and caregivers but know that it is for your loved one’s safety.
Caregivers Should Also Take Steps to Stay Healthy
Your main concern right now is the health and well-being of your loved one, but you cannot forget to look after yourself as well. The pandemic has increased the risk of burnout for family caregivers so remember that you can’t care for others if you’re running on fumes. You need to make time for self-care.
With coronavirus risks still relatively high, part of that self-care should be taking the necessary steps to decrease your chances of severe illness. Staying at home is a good choice but if you do need to take a loved one to an appointment, remember to wash your hands, stay six feet away from others, and wear face-covering — especially if you’re at a higher risk.
Finding long-term care can be a stressful process. Notably so during a global pandemic. Know that you have options for paying for care, as well as finding safe and compassionate care for your loved one. Also remember to take care of your own mental and physical health.
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