As an active and healthy senior or a person of any age, do I really need to do any long-term care planning? In fact, what exactly is long-term care planning in Florida? Long-term care is the type of healthcare people receive when their care needs extend beyond acute care or hospitalization. The traditional cycle of illness, going to the doctor, receiving a diagnosis and care protocol, going home and getting better is called acute care. In a hospital setting, after a serious injury, surgery or other medical event, people who are hospitalized receive treatment, a short round of therapies and then they are up and on their way as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, however, the need for long-term care for seniors may arise when one or more of the following scenarios occur. 

  • Seniors do not recover from an acute illness.
  • Seniors are unable to independently leave the hospital or rehabilitation facility. 
  • Seniors receive a healthcare diagnosis that predicts there will come a time in the future when they will not have the mental capacity or physical ability to care for themselves. 

Long-term care addresses the needs of seniors who lose their ability to independently perform their Independent Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) or Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Let us tell you more about them below in our blog.

Independent Activities of Daily Living include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cooking
  • Doing laundry
  • Cleaning the house
  • Paying bills or managing finances

Activities of Daily Living include, but are not limited to, the following actions seniors would need to be able to take for themselves:

  • Feeding 
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Walking

This type of long-term care is often called custodial care and the costs for this care is something most insurance policies, including Medicare, do not pay for outside of a specific timeframe. It then becomes the burden, both financially and emotionally, for the senior in need of care and his or her loved ones. The cost of long-term care varies by state, region, and the type of care needed. You can learn more about the cost in our state by using this link to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

If you have already created your estate plan, you know that you planned for a time when you will not be able to make decisions for yourself and, ultimately, decide the legacy you want to leave. Long-term care planning addresses similar challenges and relies heavily on your advance preparation. By working with an experienced Florida elder law attorney, your attorney can advise you on:

  • How to find the type of care you need,
  • The type of decision-maker you need in place to support you,
  • The estate planning documents your chosen decision maker needs,
  • Community and state programs such as Medicaid to help you afford the cost,
  • How to qualify for assistance programs since they are based on health, income, and asset eligibility standards.

The sooner you can plan for your long-term care needs, the better. We know this article raises more questions than answers. At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.