Monday, January 16, 2017

What are Senior Living and Elder Care?

By: Tom Callahan
       Only Seniors, LLC
       Crisis Manager and Consultant

We hear the terms senior living and elder care thrown around and everyone seems to have a different opinion and answer for what they are.  So in order to get a clearer understanding of the concepts, we must first ask more questions:
  1. What is a senior?
  2. At what age does "senior living" start?
  3. Why should I be concerned or think about it now?
  4. Elder care - that's a nursing home, right?
  5. How much does it cost?
  6. That's covered by Medicare, right?
Senior Living and Elder Care is an industry - SURPRISE!  It is an industry dedicated to providing a lifestyle and support to people as they get older.  It is comprised of many different parts, styles, age groups, socio-economic levels and care needs.

To better understand it, let's break it down according to the question:
  1. What is a senior?  Typically, a senior is an older person who is retired and collecting a pension, (which can include social security). 
  2. At what age does "senior living" start?  The Senior Living and Elder Care Industry includes anyone who is pre-retirement, aged 55 and older in this category. 
  3. Why should I be concerned or think about it now?  Because, whether we like it or not, we age everyday.  Putting off thinking about or planning for the inevitable means that you may not save enough money or have enough insurance when you do get to be a senior.  A wise man once said, "Failure to plan is a plan to fail." 
  4. Elder Care - that's a nursing home, right?  Yes and no.  A nursing home is merely one component of elder care.  There is also Home Health Care, Assisted Living, Memory Care Communities, Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, (NORCs), Continuing Care Retirement Communities, (CCRCs) and the list goes one. 
  5. How much does it cost?  How much do you have?  Well, that's probably not enough.  Yes, I know it’s not much of an answer, but it is the truth.
  6. That's covered by Medicare, right?  No, not all of it.  Medicare covers doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital stays and rehabilitation.  It does not cover senior living.  See - I told you that you didn't have enough.
In the next coming months, each of these topics will be explored in much greater detail.  Professionals from each aspect of senior living will be interviewed and give their insight on what you can do to be better prepared to face the future of your aging.  We will have insights from financial advisors, elder care attorneys, assisted living and nursing home administrators.  We will explore topics such as Medicare/Medicaid, wills, trusts, Long Term Care insurance, and Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. 

Our goal is to make you an educated consumer when it comes to senior living and elder care.  We all have questions.  So let’s explore the answers together.

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