Nursing Home Assistance in Maryland
Long Term Care for Elders
Approximately 70 percent of Americans require some type of long term care services during their lifetime. Long term care generally refers to the medical care and personal assistance that is provided by a nursing home, assisted living facility, or even in the patient’s own home. This need can arise for a number of reasons, including being injured in an accident, acquiring an unexpected illness, suffering a disability, or simply from the natural progression of aging.
The Challenges of Long Term Care
Long term care is expensive, oftentimes more than $100,000 per year. On average, it costs $8,000 each month to pay for a nursing home. In-home health care may be even more expensive. The cost depends on a number of factors, including the specific facility used, the types of services provided and the location of the facility or home. Medicare generally does not pay for long term care services. However, Medicaid may be able to assist with the payment of such services. Unfortunately, many families are not prepared for the reality of long term care. Elderly individuals may believe that their spouse or adult child will take care of them. However, this is often not feasible due to the family member not being able to provide medical service due to a lack of funds or other important responsibilities such as maintaining a career or caring for one’s own children. Additionally, unexpected events such as death, divorce, or a long-distance move may mean that this plan may not work.
Long Term Care Planning
An elder law attorney can help families start planning for future needs today. One important consideration is that of long term care insurance. This insurance product helps pay for long term care expenses if the need arises. Since the majority of people will require some level of long term care need, it is often prudent to purchase such a product. An elder law attorney can review possible options related to long term care insurance and make recommendations to an elder’s family. Additionally, he or she can ensure that this insurance is in place well before any actual need for it arises to avoid unnecessary denials.
Another important consideration is Medicaid. Medicaid may pay for a substantial portion of nursing home care. Medicaid is a needs-based program, so not everyone qualifies. Additionally, there are strict resource guidelines so if a person owns property that is too valuable, he or she may not qualify for Medicaid. Some individuals may start to dispose of this property or gift it away in order to become eligible for Medicaid. However, there are also strict guidelines pertaining to the transfer of ownership of property. The government can look back several years for any transfers of property, which may cause a person not to be eligible for nursing home care if the need arises.
Long Term Care Assistance from Elder Law Firm in Maryland
An elder law attorney in well-versed in these areas. He or she can suggest certain planning techniques so that a person can qualify for Medicaid without having to lose all of his or her property. Due to the look-back period, it is far preferable to start planning well before a crisis arises.
Every state’s Medicaid system is different from the next one so it is important to choose an elder law attorney who is experienced with the state Medicaid program that a loved one is using. It is also important to rely on the services of an attorney who has had ample experience with elder law. For more information on how a loved one can begin planning for the potential need for long term care services, contact Hammond and Associates at 301-861-4555.
Our principal office is located in Bethesda, but for the convenience of our clients, we can arrange for conference rooms for client meetings in additional locations. If you live outside of the Bethesda area and would like to meet with Hammond and Associates, we can set up a meeting in the following locations: Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Fulton, Bowie, Columbia, Frederick, National Harbor, Annapolis, Pikesville, Owings Mills, Towson, and Hunt Valley.