Long-term care refers to the custodial care needed by many individuals who are unable to perform daily activities, including bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, transferring, and continence. The term also refers to custodial care needed by people who experience cognitive impairment like dementia and Alzheimer's. Care can be received at home, assisted living, nursing homes, or memory care facilities. Various services are available depending on the situation. Personal financial assets, such as investments and savings, can be used to pay for long-term care, along with income sources like pensions and social security. Long-term care insurance helps cover the income gap for expenses and can also help to prevent a person or couple draining their retirement savings to cover the cost of care. According to a national survey by Genworth, the median monthly costs for 2021 were: In-Home Care - $5,148, Community and Assisted Living - $4,500, Nursing Home Facility - $9,034. By 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 daily, and 7 out of 10 people will require long-term care in their lifetime (Cost of Care Survey, Nov 2021. Medicare generally only covers skilled nursing care which doesn't apply to most long-term care needs. At most under certain circumstances it may cover part of qualifying costs for the first 100 days (medicare.gov, Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care, accessed 5/17/23).
Sandwich Generation planning:
It seems like every week we are talking to our clients about the stress they are experiencing in dealing with raising their families and at the same time assisting their parents with challenges inherent in the aging process. Besides the financial issues, the stress of being a part of the Sandwich Generation can lead to burnout, depression, isolation, and guilt.. Balancing relationships, work, and personal time becomes challenging. To manage this stress, we recommend to:
- Seek caregiving support as long-term care is complex and demanding.
- Stay organized by planning care with all family members involved.
- Prepare for financial challenges by consulting a qualified financial advisor.
- Find support through counseling and connecting with others facing similar challenges. (4 tips to manage sandwich generation stress: squeezed between parents and kids, 2021)
As parents age and experience a decline in functionality, it's crucial for their children to step in, provide support, and take a leadership role. Loss of functionality can be gradual and may include memory loss, physical limitations, or a decline in daily skills. Regular check-ins and awareness of their habits are essential. When it becomes evident that parents are declining, calling a family meeting involving all siblings is recommended. A designated sibling should take the lead in organizing the meeting and ensuring everyone is aligned on the actions to be taken for the parents' care. When the difficult discussion during the family meeting comes up, it will be important the parents see a unified front and that the concern for them is based in love.
is defined as the confusion or memory loss that is happening more often or is getting worse during the past 12 months. Signs of cognitive impairment include memory loss and trouble concentrating, completing tasks, understanding, remembering, following instructions, and solving problems. Other common signs may include changes in mood or behavior, loss of motivation, and being unaware of surroundings. (Definition of cognitive impairment-NCI dictionary of Cancer terms. HTTP://www.cancer.gov). It is important to know and recognize these signs as it is common among people as they age. Statistically, 8 percent of people aged 65 to 69, 15% of people ages 75 to 79, 25% of those age 80 to 84, and about 37% of people 85 years of age develop these symptoms. Due to the rise in life expectancy and the growth in the number of older persons, the incidence of mental health diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's continues to grow, leading to a further source of increased demand for long-term care. (Mild Cognitive Impairment: symptoms, Causes, Treatments and Tests, May 9th 2023)
“4 Tips to Manage Sandwich Generation Stress: Squeezed between Parents and Kids.” HumanGood, 16 May 2022, www.humangood.org/resources/senior-living-blog/sandwich-generation-squeezed-between-parents-and-kids.
“Cost of Long Term Care by State: Cost of Care Report.” Genworth, Nov. 2021, www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html.
“Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).” Cleveland Clinic, 9 May 2023, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17990-mild-cognitive-impairment.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Care, www.medicare.gov/coverage/skilled-nursing-facility-snf-care. Accessed 18 May 2023.
Jay Weyers is a registered representative and investment adviser representative of, and securities and investment advisory services are offered solely by Equity Services, Inc. [ESI], known as Vermont Equity Services in WI, NH, CO & MO, Member FINRA/SIPC, 1 N. Franklin Street, Suite 3450, Chicago, IL 60606. PH: 312-236-2500. Weyers McKeever Financial Partners is independent of ESI.