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Aging Wisely long-term care Archives - Aging Wisely

LTC in Florida


LTC, or long-term care, is something more and more people understand they need to plan for in their retirement, insurance, and health planning. However, very few really understand what LTC is or how to approach planning for it. We’ll share some key LTC facts and Florida LTC costs and let you know about a great workshop coming up where you can learn from one of our area’s foremost LTC experts.

What is LTC?

Long term care is the type of care many people need for some period of time as they age. It is not acute medical care (i.e. surgery and immediate after-care or treatment for an injury or illness) but the type of “custodial care” that includes help with getting around, safety support and assistance with ADLs and iADLs.

Long term care isn’t a place (i.e. a nursing home) but can be provided at home, in day time settings (adult day care/programs), at an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), nursing home and sometimes in other settings. It can be provided by family members, and families do provide millions of dollars worth of unpaid care each year. However, many people will also need paid assistance at some point and the costs (as you can see below) can be quite staggering if you have to pay “out of pocket” (from your income and savings).

What does LTC in Florida cost?

Here is some general data from Genworth’s 2015 survey of long term care costs. Join Linda Chamberlain for our upcoming LTC workshop to learn more specifics about budgets, options and resources to pay for LTC.

Home health aide costs for Florida LTC (in-home care)

Florida LTC home health aide costs

Florida ALF costs

florida LTC ALF rates

Nursing home costs in Florida for LTC

Florida LTC nursing facility costs for 2015

To understand more about the various options for long-term care and the true costs involved, we encourage you to attend our upcoming LTC workshop. Linda Chamberlain, Aging Wisely founder and Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, has worked in LTC and Medicaid planning for 25 years. She will share valuable information and planning tips, as well as answering your questions.

Want to understand what Medicare covers? Confused about Medicaid v. Medicare? Considering buying LTC insurance or worried about how you’ll cover costs from your retirement savings? Want to understand why planning is worthwhile and how you can maximize your choice as you age? This workshop is for you!

How to Pay for Long Term Care

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

1:00-2:30 PM

1180 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 700, Clearwater, FL 33756

Click here for the LTC workshop flier and RSVP to hold your seat today (space is limited!). You can call us at 727-447-5845 for reservations or questions.

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Long Term Care Insurance, Medicaid, Planning…What You Need to Know


long term care, Medicaid planning

Do you and your family have a plan in place for what you would do if you need ongoing care when diagnosed with a chronic illness? Do you have the legal documents needed to handle your affairs? Do you understand Medicaid, Medicare and long-term care insurance? Do you have an understanding of the costs and options for long-term care? Do you know what’s involved with paying privately for care options versus your choices under Medicaid?

Long term care can be defined as the range of services or support that a person receives to meet their personal care needs, which may include medical, social services and various support services. One of the keys to long-term care preparation is to start planning early!

Linda Chamberlain, Medicaid planning attorney

This Aging Wisely educational series brings you expert advice from Linda Chamberlain, Board Certified Elder Law Attorney and founder of Aging Wisely and EasyLiving home care. Linda has been practicing elder law in Clearwater since 1991, and has achieved Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating as an AV® Preeminent™ Attorney. She specializes in Medicaid planning, Medicaid applications, and long-term care issues.

Make plans to join us for the first class in this series on October 27th from 1:00-2:30 pm.

What you should do before you get sick:

If you are nearing retirement age, it is crucial to start planning now. While specific decisions depend upon your unique personal circumstances, there are a number of steps that everyone can take, regardless of their circumstances. This is the time to ask questions about expected potential long-term care costs and options, to understand Medicare versus Medicaid and what is covered. This is prime time to gain control over your choices in the future, should you need assistance.

Click here to get the Aging Wisely educational series long term care flier. We invite you to share this great resource with anyone you know who might be interested!

Call us at 727-447-5845 for any questions about long-term care issues, to RSVP or to get information about future events. Sign up for our newsletter for all the latest educational events and news.

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Questioning the Quality of Long-Term Care Services in Florida


nursing home caregiver

Are Florida’s elders getting shortchanged? As a state with a high elderly population (Florida’s 65+ group makes up over 18% of the population whereas the U.S. average is 13%), many people assume Florida will be at the cutting edge of long-term care services and programs for the elderly and disabled. But, a recent study suggests otherwise.

The scorecard on long-term care services ranks Florida 43rd overall on five measurements, including nursing home affordability, quality of care and support for family caregivers.

States that have more generous Medicaid benefits (the primary benefits program available to help with long-term care costs; Medicare does not cover long-term care), and that spend more on home-based care, did best in these rankings. Florida spends 23.5 percent of its long-term care budget on home-based care, earning it a rank of 40th in the nation. And only 49 percent of low-income disabled Floridians receive Medicaid benefits (39th in the nation).

Minnesota ranked #1 in the study and some examples of what they are doing include:

  • Additional protections for workers who take time off to care for a sick family member
  • More help to enable people in nursing homes who are capable of going home to do so
  • Allowing professional home health aides, to do more medical-related tasks (thus potentially saving costs when nurses are required to do these tasks only).

Each state faces different priorities and challenges, but families are often unaware of this great variation and have very little knowledge of what the options are in their state. It can be quite a shocking process when facing long-term care needs for a family member.

What can you do?

  • Get a basic understanding of what your state offers and how programs work here. Follow local experts’ blogs and publications that cover long-term care and health issues to stay updated.
  • If you have a loved one who needs long-term care or may need help in the near future, get information sooner than later. Begin to understand what is available and the process you will need to go through to access help. Read up on the diagnosis and managing various eldercare issues (hint: we have loads of great senior care links, home care information and free eldercare downloads for you). Even if you think family members can handle everything, knowing what support is available and having good information will better enable you to care for your loved one.
  • Speak up if you have concerns. This might be on an individual or policy level. Don’t take no for an answer without doing some research and finding out if there are alternatives. Hiring an independent advocate (like our expert care managers!) can be a worthwhile way to understand the big picture and find creative solutions. Consider sharing your thoughts with your legislators. Your story and input can help them understand how policy decisions are really affecting constituents.
  • Get help. Florida is offering more and more options, though families sometimes find the system very confusing to navigate. Get some help so you can understand the best options for your family. Little things can become roadblocks to getting services. If you don’t understand timing, forms, and procedures you may be denied an option that could really help. It’s also useful to have an outside party analyze your individual situation to help you look at pros and cons of different choices.

You can sign up to get our monthly Wise Words newsletter for more long-term care and eldercare information, timely news articles and more! Or, contact us for a free needs analysis today.

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