Growing older and “elder care” comes with many questions. What financial concerns do you have to take care of? What legal issues will you have to take care of? What can you do about health insurance? What about living and care options? We’ll discuss those questions here.
When you become a senior citizen, you’ll probably have less income if you’re no longer working. If you worked, you probably have money set aside in a 401(k) or pension funds from your employers. You may also be able to draw quite a bit for Social Security. Still, you may need to find ways to save money. Luckily, many businesses offer senior citizen discounts. They’re usually small but can add up quickly. Loved ones who need assisted living will have to figure out if they can afford it with their income.
As you get older, you may start thinking about different legal matters. You’ll want to draw up a will that spells out who receives what when you die. You also need to name someone to take care of your estate. This person will be responsible for making legal, medical and financial decisions if you’re not able to, or if you have to be put in assisted living.
Another legal issue that may arise is whether your loved one is being discriminated against. The biggest issues that come up with seniors in this area are age discrimination in the workplace and elderly abuse by a caregiver. If you feel they are, you should consult an attorney.
When seniors quit working, they’ll lose their health insurance. If your loved one develops health issues as they get older, they’ll need health insurance. Most seniors qualify for this when they turn 65. They can start applying for Medicare three months before their 65th birthday. They have seven months, including the month of their birthday, to apply. So, if their birthday is in April, they can start enrolling in February, and they’d have until August. Seniors who enroll after the enrollment period are subject to a penalty.
Living and Care
Senior citizens have three main options when it comes to living:
- Live at home, whether they live by themselves or with a caregiver
- Live in a senior living apartment
- Live in assisted living.
The first option is the best one for seniors who can take care of themselves. They can live on their own and take care of all their needs. Some seniors may have a caregiver who lives with them, whether it’s a relative or live-in nurse. If they can’t or don’t want to live alone, they can move into a senior living apartment in a retirement community. These communities can be very diverse, depending on the senior’s needs or hobbies. Finally, if they have health issues that require frequent care, they may need assisted living.
These are just some issues that may come up when a loved one becomes a senior citizen. If you think your loved one may need assisted living, you’ll need to determine if they have enough funds to pay for the care, and what legal issues may arise when they’re put in assisted living.