Today’s guest post on “Pitfalls in the Aging Plan” is from Annalee Kruger, President of CareRight, Inc. in southwest Florida. Annalee knows first-hand about all the details of the 4 big aging transitions – housing, finances, health care, and transportation. In today’s post she recounts a story of an old long-term care policy that didn’t quite fit when it came time to use it. Finally, she points out how aging in place can be more complicated than we think.
Review Your Old LTC Policies
If you have a long term care insurance policy, YOU MUST REVIEW IT!!!!! Often, consumers bought these policies years ago and assume they have the coverage they now want/need.
Yesterday I met with a delightful couple who have finally made the decision to move to an assisted living. When I asked what their plan is, which facility, will they be able to age in place at the facility, does the facility have a waiting list, have they filled out the financial application yet, how they will pay for it, what is their time frame, what are the logistics for moving back north, what are they going to do with their home and belongings here, who will help them vacate their home here (it’s full of 25 years worth of stuff), what conversations have they had with their kids, etc……crickets.
So we brushed off the long term care insurance policy and low and behold…..it is 25 years old (prior to when assisted living centers were an option) and only covers home care and long term care (nursing home). It is a traditional policy and does not cover assisted living.
So we conference-called the long term care insurance rep and he suggested they just stay home with care or move into a nursing home!!! WOW!!
Aging In Place Not Always Best
Obviously I took the opportunity to educate the sales guy about seniors who stay at home often are more frail, they lack the socialization needed, they become more isolated, immobile (they tend to sit in a chair all day and watch TV), their same age friends are dying or also sick, they lose their ability to drive, they don’t eat healthy (as I noticed their entire kitchen counter is full of pop cans, bags of chips and several containers of cookies.) And, when they stay home too long in this condition, they WON’T qualify for assisted living, they will go straight to a nursing home (which is obviously what the sales rep was aiming for so the policy he sold them is usable).
The moral to the story? Aging is MUCH MORE COMPLEX than people think!! There is MUCH to consider that the general public doesn’t even know. Review the documents you have—are your legal papers up to date? The person you listed as your financial and/or health care agent are still alive and able and willing to be your agent? Did you even TELL the person you named that they are your agent? What instructions did you give them for your wishes and does your financial POA even know what your bills are and where your accounts are??
What is YOUR plan?????
President, Care Right, Inc.
27499 Riverview Center Blvd, Suite 112
Bonita Springs FL, 34134