Long Term CareCanadians are living longer today than previous generations. While this is positive, it presents a greater responsibility for financing the long term care required by elderly Canadians.
Nursing facilities and home care costs are expensive, and it is difficult to budget for unknown lengths of time. What happens if the person requiring care needs facility care for longer than 5 years, as is the case with 20% of nursing home residents?
All Canadian provinces impose user fees for nursing homes, so while you may think care is covered by the government, in reality, the funding for care is paid partially by the resident or their family. User fees range from just under $12,000 annually for a private room in Alberta to as high as $57,000 in Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, private homes can charge according to market conditions. In Ontario, a privately owned facility can cost over $40,000 annually. Add to this the costs of incidentals that may not be covered under government plans, such as wheelchairs or special therapy costs, and an elderly Canadians finances may not last the length of time needed.
These issues are particularly taxing to the sandwich generation, the baby boomers who are juggling the costs of caring for elderly parents, and providing educations for their children, while planning for their own retirement.
What is the solution?
There are options available:
- Purchase long term care insurance, which provides a daily or monthly benefit amount to fund the cost of either a nursing home or home care.
- This is an affordable solution which protects savings, assets and financial security from the cost of long term care
- Provides the flexibility to choose a suitable facility or to receive professional care in the home
- Benefits are paid directly to the insured, regardless of government aid
- Benefits can be used to fund care, and/or out-of-pocket medical expenses not necessarily covered by government, such as wheelchairs, or physical therapy.
- For those already needing care, an annuity or guaranteed income plan can be purchased to provide a specified monthly income which will continue no matter how long the income is required to fund nursing care.
- The costs of care can be funded from the elderly persons estate, unfortunately, these assets are usually limited, while the costs will continue which may lead to financial difficulty for the elderly person or their family.
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