a women with her parent dissing long term care in ascension parish/baton rouge louisiana
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Seeing your parents age is more than just emotionally upsetting — it can be financially stressful. Effective planning is crucial, yet it can be tough to get started, and that means you could end up in the middle of a crisis with fewer options for your parents. It’s important to start today to be able to offer them the care they need when they need it. 

Weighing All the Options

The first thing you need to do is understand the various options you have as well as what your parents would prefer.

The majority of people prefer at-home care. This can be an option for people who can still take basic care of themselves and continue to live safely on their own. In some instances, partial care may be necessary.

Long-term facilities are another choice, with a number of options catering to the needs of those with dementia or other cognitive issues. Other facilities focus on offering help to those with limited physical capabilities. 

Continuing care retirement communities are often a preferred option. They offer different levels of care, so if mental or physical health deteriorates, a resident can be moved up to a higher level without having to leave the community. 

Understanding the Costs and What’s Viable

Direct costs are usually what people focus on when thinking about long-term care, but there are a lot of indirect costs that often go overlooked. For example, although home care offers the lowest direct costs, the indirect costs can be emotional labor and expenses for medical equipment. 

Once you have some clear numbers on what each option will cost, you need to compare the expenses with your means of paying for it — and don’t forget inflation. The cost of long-term care rises more rapidly than most other non-medical expenses. 

You also need to have a good idea of the state of your parents’ finances. In some cases, you might need to turn to a lawyer for help in getting an accurate picture. 

What About Medicaid?

While Medicaid does pay for long-term care, there are very low-income thresholds that your parents would have to meet to be eligible. A few options, however, can help manage that. 

One option is to purchase Medicaid annuities for long-term care. The process of applying for these is complex, so you always want to have a lawyer helping your parents as they consider the annuities. 

The annuity has to be specifically compliant with Medicaid to be able to provide the necessary help. With this strategy, one of your parents buys the annuity in the healthy spouse’s name using their assets. This depletes the assets but offers the healthy spouse an income they can rely on. 

Another potential option to help your parents maintain Medicaid eligibility is setting up irrevocable trusts. With this kind of trust, your parents simulate a gift, naming their children as beneficiaries and trustees and funding it with assets, like their home. 

As long as your parents have made contributions to the trust fund for more than five years before they apply for Medicaid long-term care benefits, they’ll not be penalized for that transfer of assets. 

Contact Kallio Law Firm for Medicaid Planning 

Having a conversation with aging parents about their long-term care isn’t simple, but it is necessary. The sooner the family begins looking at the options available, the sooner you can start setting the solutions in place. 

At Kallio Law Firm in Prairieville, and serving all of Ascension, Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes we offer Medicaid planning services to help with eligibility. Call us today to help get your parents the care they need as they age.