When preparing for retirement, one often overlooked topic by people in Illinois is long term care planning. It can be painful to think about what life would be like if you were unable to care for yourself, but the truth is that approximately 70 percent of adults will need this type of service during their lives, according to the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. Disabling injuries and diseases do not just strike the elderly, as evidenced by the fact that patients under the age of 65 account for almost 41 percent of long term care services.
The first step in planning for your long term care is understanding what it is. This care is not meant to help you get well, such as after an injury or surgery, or any service that is performed in a hospital. Long term care is given if you are a nursing home, care facility or your home and is chronic care that you are expected to need for the rest of your life.
The type of services offered include everyday tasks that you may struggle to accomplish. These will be different for every individual, but can include the following:
- Washing your hair or body
- Getting in and out of the shower or tub
- Climbing out of bed
- Getting in a wheelchair
- Feeding yourself
If you suffer from Alzheimer’s you may also need supervision or placement in a memory care facility.
The need for long term care can arise from a disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis. It can also happen as the result of an accident that damages the spinal cord or as the result of a stroke. Since these things can happen at any point in your life, it is important to plan for long term care early. This article is meant to inform and should not be considered medical or legal advice.