It is becoming more acceptable to travel for medical or dental care, both for access and saving money. Many travel to India for heart surgery, Singapore and Thailand are destinations for all sorts of medical care, and my clients who winter in Arizona have most if not all dental work done in Mexico.
But traveling for LTC? It is starting to happen! Central and South America as well as Asia can be very inexpensive places to receive LTC services. The problem is, how do you convince mom or dad to move there? And how often will you be able to visit, especially considering the air fare and possible political unrest? It is, however, being done by some.
Most of us want to be cared for near or in our homes. We want to be near our families, neighbors, church, etc. There are a significant number of adaptive systems designed to make that possible. There are systems that monitor the opening of refrigerator doors, medicine cabinets, bathroom doors, etc. These can develop “normal” patterns and notify a loved one if changes occur, such as not opening the refrigerator for a day or more.
Other adaptive devices for the home can open and close blinds by remote control, lower upper kitchen cabinets to reach items there, and central vacuum ports that open to sweep floor debris directly into. There are even track systems installed in ceilings that can lift and move someone out of bed, to toilet, tub, and finally wheelchair without any human lifting.
Of course paying for such systems is not cheap and a Social Security check probably will not cover the cost. Nor will it cover the cost for in home people providing bathing, dressing, meal preparation, shopping, etc. That is where LTC insurance comes in, if purchased while healthy in preparation for when one is not. Once care is needed, or a medical condition is diagnosed in the doctor’s office and becomes part of the medical record it will be too late to purchase such insurance coverage. Often when one hears the words “I’m writing a prescription for….” it’s too late.
There are some alternative strategies using home equity or savings to stretch available dollars in paying for care, but the LTC insurance is the least expensive way to handle these costs. Are you prepared for a bill that can easily run from $25,000 a year to 4 times that amount? Few of us are. That is why I have LTC insurance. Perhaps you might want to investigate it as well. www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com has lots of useful information.