cost of long term care

Understanding the Rising Costs of Long-Term Care

No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s never too early to think about how you’ll spend your golden years. The senior years tend to be incredibly expensive, between rising healthcare costs and the need for long-term care. Research indicates that this may be an even bigger problem than previously thought.

Now, more than ever, it’s very important to plan for your future. The team at Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short is ready to help you with your estate plan and help you reach your goals. Call us at 334-560-1936 to get started.

More People Need Care

Every year, more and more people are entering the stage of life where they need long-term care. This puts an enormous strain on the industry, especially since many of those needing care don’t have the finances to pay for it upfront. The amount of middle-income seniors—those with too many assets to get Medicaid but too little to pay for it in full—who need long-term care is expected to double by 2029.

The industry as it stands is not equipped to meet that type of need. Not only does it need more care providers, but it also needs more facilities, more space within those facilities, and more medical professionals to meet the complex needs of residents. Without extensive planning and problem-solving by industry leaders, the problem will get worse before it gets better.

The Care Itself is More Expensive

The situation is even worse when you consider the actual expenses that come with long-term care. Nationally, care costs are increasing faster than average inflation rates. While Alabama fares slightly better in many areas, it paints a stark picture for seniors getting ready to enter long-term care facilities or seek in-home care.

Medical care often goes hand-in-hand with long-term care, and that too is in greater demand. With people living longer and longer, their healthcare needs are more complex. This means that they need access to a greater variety of specialists, different treatment options, and assistance with managing chronic conditions.

Care Providers Are Harder to Find

One of the hardest problems to solve is the question of care providers. There are more and more seniors who need long-term care, but there simply aren’t enough CNAs, PCWs, and other caregivers who can meet that need. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for home health aides is expected to increase 25% between 2021 and 2031.

That is much faster than the average for all jobs. On average, this works out to over 711,000 jobs per year over the decade. This is unsustainable. The work is physically demanding and often mentally draining. It requires overnights, weekends, and holidays. On top of that, many consider the payment to be far lower than what caregivers deserve.

When you consider all of these factors, it’s hard to imagine how facilities will meet the growing need for care providers. It’s perhaps the most important part of this equation, though, since it doesn’t matter how many rooms become available if there aren’t people who can care for the people in those rooms.

Planning Ahead is Essential

What does this mean for you? It means that you must plan ahead to ensure that your care needs are met when you reach that stage of life. There are ways to protect your assets so that you get assistance with long-term care and still have assets to leave your beneficiaries. However, if you don’t start the planning process early, you may run out of time.

With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can plan for the future, get references to financial planners if necessary, and make sure that you leave behind the legacy that you want.

Get a Head Start on Your Estate Planning with Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short

If you’re ready to start or update your estate plan, let’s set aside some time to talk about your goals. You can contact our office online or call us at 334-560-1936. We’re ready to help you look forward to the future, knowing that you’ve planned well for it.

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