The elder law and estate planning attorneys here at Anderson, Dorn, and Rader assist people that are planning ahead to address the eventualities of aging. We also work with concerned family members, and these collaborative efforts are often the most fruitful. Washoe County is a great place to live for many different reasons, with a seasonal climate, a vibrant economy, beautiful nature nearby, and a caring community. That final piece is key, and there are in fact many resources available for elders in our area.
Washoe County Senior Services is a fantastic hub that you can tap into if you would like to gain an understanding of the various different resources that can solve problems and enhance your life. This entity has been around for nearly 40 years at this point, and they are not slowing down anytime soon. Let’s look at a couple of the issues that they help people address on a daily basis.
As senior citizens reach an advanced age, they often lose loved ones along the way. Of course, they are no longer working in most instances, so they don't have regular interactions with coworkers. As a result, loneliness can set in, and the familiarity that their homes provide can be extremely important to them.
At the same time, the majority of elders will someday need living assistance. This often results in the need for residence in an assisted living community or a nursing home. Although these facilities provide the needed care and the appropriate surroundings, having to leave your home after you have already lost so much can be challenging to say the least.
The good news is that you have options in many instances. If you were to need living assistance, you could potentially modify your home to accommodate your physical limitations. This is going to come with somewhat of a price tag, but staying in an assisted living community can be extraordinarily expensive. So relatively speaking, you could be saving money in the long run by modifying your place of residence.
As for assistance with your day-to-day needs, there are home health aides and homemaker/companions that can be brought in at a price that is affordable considering the high cost of full-time long-term care. Living assistance is just one of the things to consider when you are planning for the future. To formulate a long-term plan that prepares you for all the eventualities of aging, don't hesitate to take action and arrange for a consultation with our firm.
You have to consider all the possibilities when you are serious about planning for the latter portion of your life. Not all of these are especially pleasing to think about, but challenging situations are all the worse if you make no preparations in advance. With this in mind, you would do well to understand the value of incapacity planning, especially in light of how common dementia is among our nation's elders.
The leading cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. While you have certainly heard of this disease, you may not be aware of how widespread it has become. The Alzheimer's Association tells us that some 40 percent of people who are 85 years of age and older are suffering from the disease. Lifespans are getting longer, and in fact, the portion of the population that is 85 and older is growing faster than any other age demographic subset.
When you put it all together you see that it is becoming increasingly likely that you will live into your mid-to-late 80s and beyond. If you do, Alzheimer's induced dementia is a very real possibility. If you make no plans in advance to appoint representatives to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to make them on your own, you could become a ward of the state. A court-appointed guardian would handle your affairs, and you may have no input into who would serve this role.
You can circumvent the above possibility by planning ahead intelligently. Through the execution of durable powers of attorney, you can appoint individuals of your choosing to make your decisions for you should you become incapacitated. There are also local resources that can assist Alzheimer’s patients and their families, and they are memory care centers in the area. You can explore the possibilities if you contact the good folks at Washoe County Senior Services.
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When you are planning for your retirement and the ultimate distribution of your assets to your loved ones after you pass away it is important to make accurate projections with regard to anticipated expenses during your post-work years. We all like to stay positive and expect the best, but if you want to plan intelligently you must do so while being prepared for less than pleasant contingencies as well.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that about 70% of people who reach the age 65 will someday require long-term care either in the home or at a nursing home or assisted living facility. So the reality is that it is likely that you will someday need this type of care, and the costs are considerable. According to the annual MetLife Mature Market Institute survey the national average for a yearlong residence in a private room in a nursing home was $83,500 in 2010. A year in an assisted-living facility would run you about $40,000 on average.
As you can see, these expenses are an important factor to project into your long-term budget. Below are a few of the ways that people approach the costs associated with long-term care.
Long-Term Care Insurance
You can purchase insurance that will pay for long-term care should you need it at some point in time. The premiums are expensive but the younger you are when you obtain the coverage the more affordable it is.
It is possible for seniors who need long-term care to qualify for Medicaid while still retaining possession of their homes, vehicles, and personal valuables. If you are married and your spouse needs long-term care there are strategies that can be implemented that can enable you to maintain your standard of living and retain your personal assets while your spouse utilizes Medicaid to pay for his or her long-term care needs.
Of course, the obvious way to pay for long-term care is to simply take out your checkbook and a pen and write a check. For some people it may take some careful planning to be in this position, but if you are interested in building wealth throughout your life and you get the right advice long-term care expenses should be something that you can absorb. If long-term care insurance has been part of the planning, however, you can both prepare for the need for long-term care and not adversely affect your hard-earned estate.