While it slipped under the radar this year for many families, the first Sunday after Labor Day is Grandparents Day. As explained this week in the Daily Local, the holiday has been the topic of a presidential proclamation every year since 1978. More recently it has been used as a time to raise awareness of the continuing needs of many grandparents in nursing homes and the importance of helping our elders conduct long-term care planning. Considering that the majority of area seniors remain concerned about their future quality of life, our New York elder care attorneys know that all occasions are good ones to discuss these long-term care issues.
The non-profit association which champions Grandparents Day each year explained how the group has been working to help families take steps that will keep their elders in their own homes, instead of nursing homes. Efforts to transition away from nursing home care are growing in popularity nationwide. Our New York elder law estate planning lawyers have long recognized that most area seniors would prefer to “age in place,” receiving the additional care that they need without being forced to move into a nursing home or other long-term care facility.
However, the financial realities of these situations often mean that it is only those who have taken steps to prepare for this time in their lives that ultimately have the freedom to stay at home. For example, residents who visit a professional early enough to discuss these matters often decide to invest in long-term care insurance (LTCI). This insurance can ensure that the resources will be available when necessary to pay for at-home care when a senior is in need of extra assistance with day-to-day tasks. It is difficult to put a price tag on the peace of mind that comes with knowing one has done everything in their power to ensure that their quality of life will remain as high as possible no matter what the future holds.
When learning about their options in this area, some resident decide to combine LTCI with a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). The MAPT is a tool that protects assets in the event that public assistance will be needed to cover long-term care costs. Combining LTCI with a MAPT often allows one to purposefully underfund the insurance plan (at considerably savings) while protecting assets in the event that nursing home care cannot be avoided. All local residents are encouraged to talk with professionals about these matters to determine what is best for them. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to these issues, but it is undeniable that some planning is infinitely better than none.
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