Long-term memory care requires advanced planning

May 17, 2021 | Medicaid Planning

After receiving a dementia diagnosis, planning ahead becomes compulsory. The Alzheimer’s Association explains that people with the disease will likely eventually need skilled care services in a residential facility such as a nursing home. Care planning should involve a medical professional who can explain available medical and nonmedical treatments and services that are available in the area.

Part of assessing options includes evaluating what the costs are and what they may be in the future. Next comes evaluating all the resources that may be available to meet the costs of care.

Financial resources

Assets, investments, retirement accounts, real estate and other property may be resources to include in the long-term care plan. For example, it may be wise to put the real estate, investments and other significant assets into a trust that provides a regular income but will not one day count against Medicaid eligibility restrictions.

Insurance resources

Those who have already purchased long-term care insurance may be able to collect benefits at a certain level of impairment. After receiving the diagnosis, it may be too late to qualify to purchase this type of plan. Other forms of insurance may be helpful, though, such as health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance.

Government assistance

Government assistance may include Medicaid, veterans benefits, Social Security Disability Income and tax credits. These types of benefits have income restrictions or other factors that affect whether they will cover long-term care.

For example, Medicaid eligibility involves a strict income and asset limit, and the applicant has to have met the restriction for the five years prior to applying. However, an applicant who placed assets in trust more than five years previously would not have to worry about this limitation.

With early planning, there are likely to be many more options. Estate planning tools are also important for those facing future memory loss.