Have you considered what would happen if you were in a life changing incident that affected your day-to-day health? Imagine if you needed additional hands on support each and every day after that incident. Would you prefer to have a group of caregivers come into your current home each day to assist you or would you prefer to be in a facility setting outside of your home and reside there, while getting the appropriate care and support from the trained staff there? This is only one of many questions you should begin to ask yourself, related to long-term care planning. It is your responsibility to be proactive versus reactive in your future healthcare needs and important to discuss preference when it comes to planning. Starting the conversation with your loved ones early is a critical aspect in having power of your own future care needs.

So where do you start? The conversation surrounding long-term care planning can and should be a positive one! Take advantage of this opportunity to plan early and research different care and resource options within your community. Your local library or senior center are great places to start to gather some information and learn what your community offers.

The task can be a daunting one but here are a few places you can start your research:

1.) Local Area Agency on Aging

Find out information about different assistance programs that exist in your community whether it be for transportation or nutrition. Some locations even offer Caregiver Training Programs. Typically, these organizations receive Federal and State Funding under The Older American Act.

2.) Local Senior Center

Offers social networking and allows seniors to learn more about resources available to them in their community.

3.) Local Recreation Center

Living an active and healthy lifestyle helps seniors remain active and independent. Your local recreation center may offer senior discounts for gym memberships or Silver Sneaker classes. Some Medicare Plans may even cover the cost of Silver Sneakers.

4.) Non-Medical Home Care Options

Search online and read reviews of companies in your area, once you have narrowed it down to 2-3 companies, call to compare price options. Most home care companies charge an hourly rate that may depend on the type of hands on care an individual requires.

5.) Home Health Care Options

Again, search for a few companies in your area and read reviews to narrow down your search. Home health care companies also charge an hourly rate and services can sometimes be covered, at least in part, by Medicare and other health insurance programs- when the individual is home bound and it is considered medically necessary.

6.) Hospitals

Discover hospitals in your area that are in network with your health insurance. This is very important to not only help lower your out of pocket medical costs but also ensures that you are familiar with what different hospitals offer or specialize in. For example, not all hospitals are equipped for a psychiatric-related emergency.

7.) Independent Living Communities

Find a few 55 and over senior living communities near your home and call to schedule a tour! Seeing a building with your own eyes can help make moving into a long-term care community a lot less daunting. Generally, this type of setting has a monthly rate that can range depending on how much assistance one needs in their day-to-day care.

8.) Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities

Most assisted living and memory care communities are private pay which means they are in no way covered by medical insurance programs. Planning early and finding a few options within your area can be beneficial in seeing what different communities may have to offer. No two communities are exactly alike in the unique programming they offer to their residents.

9.) Skilled Nursing Facilities and Rehab Facilities

These facilities provide 24-hour care. Find out if you qualify for Medicare to cover the first 100 days of your stay at a skilled nursing facility. Medicare may cover and pay for an inpatient rehab stay if you have been hospitalized for at least 3 days. Find out what rehab facilities are in network with your medical insurance in your community.

While one cannot predict the future, it is important to take control and exercise your right of choice when it comes to long-term care goals. Start your research early in order to have a clear understanding of the care options in your community. You will not only be doing yourself a favor but it is also a gift to your loved ones when there is a set plan in place regarding these tough decisions.

Start your research today! If you find that you have additional questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Denver Senior Care Consultants for support and guidance.