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As lifespans increase, so does the need for long-term care

Due to advances in medical care, more people in New Jersey and across the nation are living longer than ever. However, not everyone is lucky enough to be able to take care of themselves on their own until their dying day. It is more likely that, as a person ages, he or she will need help with daily activities and will have health care needs. Therefore, more people can anticipate needing in-home health care or needing to reside in a nursing home. This makes long-term care planning more important than ever.

Long-term care planning can help people shape their futures should they be unable to live independently. Some people will have a loved one help them out or even live with them. Others will choose professional in-home health care, which will allow them to stay in their homes as long as possible. And, others will decide that their needs would best be taken care of if they reside in a nursing home.

Of course, the question comes up of how one will pay for these services. Medicaid may be an option for some. However, in order to obtain Medicaid benefits, a person's income and assets cannot exceed a certain threshold.

Another option that a person can plan for while they are still young is long-term care insurance. Keep in mind, though, that insurance companies are businesses and expect to make a profit. As people live longer and with the rising cost of medical care, long-term care insurance becomes more expensive.

Deciding how to pay for long-term care is important, but it can also become complex. For those who want to take advantage of Medicaid benefits, there are steps they can take to qualify for benefits. And, if a person is interested in long-term care insurance they should do their homework to ensure their policy will meet their needs. In the end, it is possible to plan ahead for long-term care, so that a person can get the help they need when they need it.

Source: Investopedia, "What Will Your Long-Term Care Look Like?," Bob Rall, Dec. 8, 2017

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