Estate planning is often misunderstood. You definitely want to make sure that your assets are transferred to your loved ones effectively, but there is another piece to the puzzle.
A properly constructed estate plan will address circumstances that you may face toward the end of your life. Some people don’t like to think about these things, and this is understandable. At the same time, if you accept these facts of life, you can make the right preparations.
We have all heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but many people are surprised when they find out how widespread it has become. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 10 percent of all seniors have the disease, and it strikes one third of folks that are 85 years of age and older.
This disease causes dementia, and it is not the only cause. In fact, most people in nursing homes experience some type of cognitive impairment. Seniors can live with these conditions for extended periods of time in some instances, and a high level of care is often necessary.
Sandwich Generation Challenges
People are having their first children at later ages than they did a couple of generations ago. On the other end of the demographic spectrum, baby boomers are reaching their senior years. This has caused an unprecedented aging of the population.
The two factors have combined to create the “sandwich generation.” These are middle-aged adults that are simultaneously assisting their elder parents while they are still caring for their own children.
Many people that are relied upon from these two directions also have their own work responsibilities, and there are only so many hours in the day. We can empathize with our neighbors that are in this situation because it touches so many of us in one way or another.
It is important to admit your limitations and seek help from other family members and friends if possible. However, even if you do all the right things, at some point, professional assistance may be necessary.
Nursing Homes and In-Home Health Aides
There are licensed professionals that provide in-home services for people that require nursing care, but it is very expensive.
Here in the Naperville area, the median charge for an in-home health aide is over $50,000 a year. The figure rises to $100,000 or more for full-time residence in a nursing home. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover home health aide or nursing home expenses.
Medicaid and the Home and Community Based Services Waiver
Medicaid will pay for a stay in a nursing home, and the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver will cover in-home care. These are need-based benefits, so there are income and asset limits that you have to stay under to become eligible.
People will typically give gifts to loved ones so they can gain eligibility. This takes careful planning, because the gift giving must be completed at least five years before the application is submitted.
Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association
If your family has been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, you may want to check out the Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. They have been around since 1980, and they facilitate education and support groups. The chapter can also point you toward all available community resources.
We Are Here to Help!
Humbly speaking, our firm is another resource that you can tap into if you need legal assistance as a caregiver or someone that is putting an incapacity plan in place.
You can schedule a consultation appointment right now if you call us at (630) 568-8611. If you would prefer to send us a message, simply fill out our contact form and we will get back in touch with you promptly.