What’s Next for You?

Suzanne Marlatt Stewart

I am finding a hot topic with many of my friends is,what is the next step as we age.” Some in our community have built casitas with the idea of having someone live on the property to care for them in the future. Others will use their savings and equity from their homes to pay the high cost for future independent living options, hoping they won’t run out of money. The last few years I have seen the trend of people living on cruise ships finding it is a lot less expensive than independent living facilities.

I am not just referring to independent living facilities in this article. There comes a time when a home is too much to manage, and these places provide meals and lots of social activities for people who are self-sufficient.

The following information refers to longterm care facilities in the U.S.

Medicare typically does not cover longterm care, which is also known as “custodial care” or “long-term services and support.” This type of care includes assistance with daily activities like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. If you need long-term care you usually must pay for it yourself unless you have Medicaid or private long-term care insurance.

According to Genworth’s 2023 Cost of Care Survey, the monthly median costs for long-term care services in the United States are:

In-Home Care: Homemaker Services $5,720, Home Health Aide $6,292

Community and Assisted Living: Adult Day Health Care $2,058, Assisted Living Facility $5,350

Nursing Home Facility: Semi-Private Room $8,669, Private Room $9,733

The Netherlands has incorporated an innovative district nursing and homecare model that is exciting global interest. Buurtzorg, which translates as “neighborhood care,” is seen by its many enthusiasts as a key part of the solution to challenges facing healthcare systems across the world. Nurses act as a “health coach” for the individual and their family, emphasizing preventive health measures but also delivering necessary care themselves or calling on others to do so. The golden rule is that nurses must spend 61% of their time in direct contact with the people they support.

The following is something to think about. Gail Minogue, who assists individuals and organizations to navigate the dynamics of change plus has wisdom gained from over 30 years in the business markets and the intensive study and use of intuitive spiritual systems, states the following:

“For all our caring, we are still indifferent to the aged in our society. Why are we still unmoved by the plight of our aged and fragile citizens? These are our family members, friends, and neighbors. Years ago, my Saudi friends wondered why we build “houses of death” for our aging family members. He couldn’t understand why family members would put their parents and relatives in these places. So far, in the United States, there seems to be no movement in this area to subsidize long-term care for the aged or regulate the major companies who control these places.

No one knows what the future holds … when making major changes, always consider having an advocate.

Rev. Suzanne, a resident of SaddleBrooke, is an independent writer and speaker. She was ordained non-denominational, representing all faiths, and her focus is inclusivity. Email her at [email protected].