When I woke up today, I had a massive spring in my step. As I went along running errands and finishing up my household chores, I paused, just for a brief moment, to consider life and where we’re all headed with it. Today I am young, I have the energy and the vigor to pull through almost anything. But when you reach the crux of life, and you’re smack in the middle of it all, you wonder, what the future has in store for the older version of the you today.
Alas, one cannot stop the incessant ticking of that grandfather clock. And there will come a day when you realize that age, that abominable yet inevitable monster you’ve been dodging has finally caught up with you. Yes, age. That pitiless and rebarbative shadow you see growing every time you look behind. And make no mistake, the metamorphosis is rapid. And then you can’t help but wonder where you’ll end up. Me, I would never want to be a burden on my children; or anyone for that matter. I don’t see myself as that metaphorical impediment in my child’s race to be at the top of the food chain. So, what do I do? I prepare myself for a comfortable nursing home stay, mentally and financially. I start looking at statistics and costs. Yeah, that’s a big one. And one must consider bracing oneself for staggering costs that come with nursing home stays and caregivers.
Nursing homestay costs can vary from person to person. The government has left no stone unturned when it comes to providing comfort and care for its baby boomers. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at least 45% of American people over the age of 65 will need prolonged medical care and attention in a nursing home at some point in their lives. This can burn a massive hole in your pocket if you are under prepared to bear the cost. I would consider it wise to plan for such events well in advance to avoid panic caused by a financial crisis at the eleventh hour. This is where Medicare plays an important role for future admissions into nursing homestays for the elderly.
Nursing homecare has been broken down into two major categories: Custodial Care or assisted living and Skilled nursing care or convalescent care. Each come with a different set of caregivers and care techniques. While custodial care, includes help with daily activities like eating, bathing and other living activities, it is not usually eligible for Medicare Coverage. You can however purchase a private insurance that covers both categories under the homestay umbrella. The cost of hiring a home care provider can vary from $20 to $25 per day depending on the patient’s need. This works out to approximately $60,000 annually.
Learn more about Medicare and nursing home coverage
Skilled Care: Medicare will bear the cost for certain skilled nursing care programs for the first 100 days of your stay at the nursing home. You are not required to pay anything for the first 20 days. For the next 80 days you are liable to co-pay $167.50 per day. You will have to bear the entire cost of your stay at the nursing home after the 100 day period lapses. Hiring a Registered Nurse Practitioner or Therapist can cost you an average of $220 per day. They help with medical care needs such as medication administration, speech therapy, mental health reinforcement, sterile dressing, wound care and a whole range of other medical necessities.
Room Rent: A Private room can cost approximately $275 to $300 per day. A semi private room costs nothing less than $225 per day. Now, you do the math.
So while we all want to thrive and live a happy healthy life, it is paramount that you consider saving up for a time when your body will no longer support you. The process of aging occurs at warp speed and well, we all know that in this day and age, 50 is the new 70. So it’s time to come to grips with the facts there IS no “Placebo Effect” and that the wheel of time will churn beyond time indefinite. So buckle up, because it’s time to safeguard that Act Three in the story we call ‘Life’.