Many people mistakenly think that Medicare will pay for nursing home care for their elderly parents or loved ones. Unfortunately, except under limited circumstances, they are mistaken and that mistake can be a costly one. Families of elders should seek advice when facing long-term care issues.
The population of the United States is aging rapidly. The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to increase dramatically from 46 million today to over 70 million by 2030. Known as the "baby boomers", the 65-and-older age group's share of the total population will rise from 15 percent to nearly 24 percent.
In the field of elder law in Florida, the CARES program is often discussed. The Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services (CARES) is Florida's federally mandated pre-admission screening program for nursing home applicants.
Clients often approach us as elder law attorneys explaining that their elderly loved-one needs to go into a nursing home. Because of the prohibitive expense of such care, they want governmental assistance to pay for the care. Specifically, they want to qualify for the Managed Care Long-Term Care Program offered through Medicaid.
As our population ages, providing long-term care becomes increasingly important. Long-term care can include everything from in-home assistance, assisted living facilities (ALF) and nursing home care. In particular, how to pay for long-term care can overwhelm both the elderly and their loved ones. Thinking about this issue should be considered in any estate planning process involving an elderly person.