October is Long-Term Care Planning Month

elderly man and woman with health care worker

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When we’re young, we don’t think about planning for long-term care. Many people don’t even understand what long-term care is, probably because it can mean different things to different people. But according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), long-term care is defined as a multitude of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. 

The most typical kind of long-term care is personal care, help with a person’s daily routine, like bathing, dressing and eating. Services might also involve tasks such as light housekeeping, running errands and meal preparation. Many companies refer to these types of long-term care services as private care, which is what we call it at the VNA.

Many people who receive long-term care are seniors and they receive the care at home. Usually, it’s provided by unpaid family members or friends. This can take a toll on the caretakers which is why it’s important to plan ahead. As we age, we become increasingly frail, and the longer we live, the chance that we’ll need additional help with daily activities becomes more likely. 

Planning for long-term care is particularly important if you would like to age in place and remain at home. But it can get expensive, particularly since it’s not usually covered by traditional insurance or Medicare, although sometimes it may cover short-term care after a hospital stay or in a nursing home. Enlisting the help of a financial advisor may be a good idea to help you formulate a realistic plan, and keep in mind that a variety of long-term care insurance plans are available. Incorporating long-term care into your budget is also particularly important if you’ve been diagnosed with a cognitive impairment, like Alzheimer’s, a chronic, progressive disease with no cure. In cases like this, you may want to plan for long-term care that includes housing and skilled nursing. 

Finally, providing home care is a relationship built on trust. Allowing professional caregivers to enter your home to deliver care is intimate. That’s why it’s important to think about your safety when exploring your home care options. 

At the VNA, delivering quality care to our clients means putting their safety first. VNA is a licensed and accredited organization that employs its staff. We require mandatory background screening, driving checks and random drug testing of our staff. Additionally, we provide onsite skills training and education for our clinicians.

In addition to safety and compassionate, quality services, we offer continuity of care. Meaning, if a person’s needs become more clinical, VNA can seamlessly add home health services (or hospice) that include skilled clinicians, such as registered nurses (RNs) and physical and occupational therapists – all offered from the comfort and safety of their home.

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