Everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but its ubiquitous nature takes many people by surprise when they hear the facts. The Alzheimer’s Association is an extraordinary source of information about this disease, and you should certainly pay their site a visit to educate yourself. There is a treasure trove of useful research to be found there, and there are a couple of statistics that immediately grab your attention.
One out of every eight senior citizens has contracted the disease, and this equates to about 13 percent of everyone that is 65 years of age or older. As you might imagine, the figure increases as the years pass. Somewhere between 40 and 45 percent of the “oldest old” are Alzheimer’s sufferers. Within the geriatric community, this term is utilized to describe individuals that are 85 years of age and older.
The average lifespan in the United States is almost 79 years at the time of this writing. However, this includes Americans that pass away at all ages, so the expected lifespan increases as people get older. There is a tool on the Social Security Administration website that you can use to plug in the numbers and find out what your lifespan is at any given time in light of your age.
Using this calculator, the life expectancy for a man that is celebrating his 68th birthday is 85 years. The lifespan for a women of this age is 87. According to the United States Census Bureau, the segment of the population that was between 85 and 94 grew faster than any other between the last two censuses. These figures are quite telling: If you expect to live long enough to become eligible for your full Social Security benefit, it is likely that you will live into your 80s and perhaps beyond.
There are different stages of Alzheimer’s, but at some point in time, many people that have contracted the disease are going to require nursing home care. You may assume that Medicare will pick up the tab for long term care. Indeed, if you pay into the program sufficiently over the course of your working career, you will qualify for Medicare when you reach the age of 65 under currently existing laws.
Unfortunately, there is an enormous gap in Medicare coverage that is quite relevant to the matter of Alzheimer’s and nursing home care. The Medicare program will pay for convalescent care if the patient is going to recover, but it will not pay for the custodial care that Alzheimer’s patients receive in nursing homes.
Writing checks to pay for a stay in a nursing home is not a very appealing proposition when you understand the facts. Our elder law offices are in Connecticut. Long term care is expensive everywhere, but it is particularly high in our state. Genworth Financial conducts a great deal of in-depth research on an annual basis that is very useful for people that are interested in long term care costs around the country.
According to their research, the median monthly charge for a private room in a nursing home in Connecticut was $13,505 a month in 2017. That is over $162,000 per year, and the median cost for a semi-private room was $150,198. One year can be quite a burden, but when multiple years of nursing home care are required, the overall expenses can be overwhelming for many families.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
There is a nursing home asset protection strategy that we can help you implement if you are concerned about potential future long-term care expenses. The Medicaid program will pay for a stay in a nursing home, but there is a low income limit because it is intended for people with sparse resources.
However, many things that you own do not count, including your home. If you take the right steps in advance with the benefit of professional guidance, you can intelligently divest yourself of assets in the right way and at the right times. A Medicaid trust can be a good choice for many people to protect accumulated assets, but there are other possibilities.
We Are Here to Help!
Our doors will always be open if you need to discuss any elder law matter with a local attorney. You can click this link if you would like to get in touch with us electronically, and our firm can be reached by phone at 860-548-1000.