After an injury or hospital stay, the first thing many people think is, “when can I go home?” Home is a comfortable, familiar place. A person knows where his things are, has his favorite place to sit and read a book or watch TV and can control his surroundings. The draw of home is a powerful force. Yet, home can be an unsafe environment under certain circumstances.

Home care is a great option for some seniors to retain independence and stay in their home longer than they would be able to do so on their own. Home care comes in many varieties. Some families choose to hire a caregiver to come to the home a few times a week for companionship and light housekeeping. Others need a daily visit for help with bathing and managing medication. Still others require round-the-clock care from a registered nurse.

Home health can be a fantastic solution for someone recently released from a rehab facility, who many not be as steady on her feet as she should be. Home health care also helps ease isolation and loneliness, two factors that can hasten mental deterioration. Importantly, home care should not be overlooked in instances where an adult child or family members is serving as a full-time caregiver. Home health caregivers can also provide a welcome – and necessary – respite for that child or family member.

All that said, home health is not a good solution in every circumstance. Dementia, in particular, presents its own challenges. When a person is at risk of leaving the residence or is a danger to himself (i.e. forgetting to turn off a gas stove), many home health companies require that the person receive 24/7 care. He is simply not safe otherwise.

One final challenge is the cost of the home care. Many companies require a four-hour minimum visit, with cost of over $20/hour. If a loved one needs daily assistance, the cost to stay at home can add up quickly. The good news is that families who choose to plan in advance have several options to set aside funds for long-term care. Many permanent life insurance policies now contain provisions allowing for a policy holder to make withdrawals to pay for long-term care. (These withdrawals reduce the death benefit of the policy.) Additionally, certain veterans may be eligible for assistance with their medical costs, such as home health care.

Planning for long-term care is a vital part of any comprehensive estate plan. Contact Balmos Law with questions about planning for your family’s future.