Long-term health care is an important part of an estate plan

LONG TERM CARE – DEALING WITH SENIORS’ DECLINING HEALTH

The issue of long term care often surfaces painfully, frequently traumatically. Perhaps mom falls and hurts herself. Or she leaves the stove on under an empty pan. Or dad is immobilized and suddenly confined to a wheelchair. Or they’re just plain lonesome alone in the big old house

Long Term Care Oxnard and Ventura

The discussion of long term care is difficult.  Our folks crave stability and the thought of moving can be unsettling.  And there may be more than one move to be made. My mother-in-law lived in three different facilities as her need of care increased.

The first step may not require a move.

Upgrade or remodel current home

These are some of the remodeling projects that will prolong elders’ ability to live in their own home as their mobility is reduced.

  • Replace step-over bath tub with walk-through
  • Alter height of counters, as sinks, cabinets and toilets
  • Install grab rails
  • Move sleeping area to ground floor
  • Install ramps
  • Provide room for a caregiver

 Move to a condo or apartment

If mom or dad has good mobility, condo living can reduce the effort involved in maintaining a house and yard. The elder will have a high degree of independence and could enjoy amenities such as spas, pools and a clubhouse.

Relocate to retirement community

Move to an area that has been built specifically for seniors. Some of the benefits might include:

  • Similarly situated neighbors
  • Quiet neighborhoods with limited number of visiting children
  • Clubs and activities on premises tailored to seniors
  • Built-in community feeling
  • Group travel
  • On site recreation

Independent living facility

These generally have these characteristics:

  • Private apartments
  • Some meals provided
  • Health care – level varies with the facility, but some provide life-long services
  • Allows health-challenged elder to remain near well spouse
  • Community activities, clubs, entertainment and local trips

Assisted living facility

Similar to independent living facility, but with additional services such as

  • Qualified personnel to assist with basic living needs – dressing, bathing, oversight of medications
  • Transportation to outpatient medical facilities, trips to doctor, dentist
  • Help with errands
  • More extensive meal service, even bringing it to the room when the elder is not feeling well

 

Skilled nursing facility

  • For those who require 24-hour care including complete nursing services
  • Physician on call

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

CCRC’s provide a spectrum of services in a single location, providing increasing care as health declines. Levels of care usually go from minimal assistance in an independent living setting for new arrivals to skilled nursing for those in decline. There is usually an “entrance fee” in addition to monthly fees.

Resources

The Ventura county Ombudsman has many resources to help guide the selection of services for elders.

 

Lynn B. Ryder, Attorney at Law

Affordable Estate Planning 

lryder@ryder-law.org
Office: 805.644.4707

Affordable Wills & Trusts Oxnard Ventura