Saturday, March 27, 2010


AARP reports that there are 43-million caregivers taking care of elderly family members in the US.  When illness strikes a parent, it is most often the siblings upon whom the care giving falls.  They can divide up the responsibilities, write up a contract as to who handles finances, daily care, research, and all other immediate and anticipated future needs.  Elder care mediators are available and website or blogs can be set up for each sibling to record daily events so all siblings are “on the same page” and up to date on care provided.

When a caregiver’s own finances are at peril, the family can get together and each compensate the care giving sibling who lives in with or nearby the elderly parent.  Author Francine Russo calls this period in a family’s life, “The Twilight Transition.”  Read the reviews and perhaps you will find this book helpful regarding sibling issues.

The new health care plan includes The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, otherwise known as CLASS.  CLASS provides for a national insurance program to help cover the cost of long-term care -- something 70 percent of people over 65 will need at some point along the way. The premiums will be much lower than those for private plans, and you won't get screened out because you've already had some health problems. Once vested after five years, enrollees unable to care for themselves will be able to claim cash benefits for as long as needed.   Nursing homes will face more transparency requirements.

There are 16,000 Nursing Homes in the US, with about 1.5-million people living in them.  The US News & World Report article on Best Nursing Homes explains the rankings, with 11 homes that have received perfect ratings for four consecutive quarters.  The article also directs you to Nursing Home Compare, on the Medicare site, to find a local nursing home.  A family can find a Geriatric Care Manager to help. 

As the benefits of the CLASS program become clear, you will read about them on this blog in the near future. Licensed Advisor/Independent Insurance Agent Marilyn Jacobs can provide details about Long Term Care Insurance and explain what Medicare, Medicaid and the newer Long Term Care Partnership (which protects a portion of assets) can and cannot do to help with expenses. 

No comments: