COLUMBUS - Long-term care can be a costly prospect and a topic that many families fail to properly address until there is an immediate need.
October is National Long-term Care Planning Month, and the Ohio Department of Aging hopes all Ohioans will use this opportunity - and a couple of valuable free resources - to start, or build upon a solid plan for the future.
“Three in five people over age 65 will require long-term care services at some point in their lives,” said Barbara E. Riley, director of the Department of Aging.“Unfortunately, most people don’t consider the types of care they’d prefer or how they are going to pay for it until they need it - and by then it is often too late to plan effectively.”
Ohio’s 12 Area Agencies on Aging offer free long-term care consultations. A professional consultant (most often a nurse or social worker) will meet with you and your family for a free in-home evaluation of your current situation and future options. He or she will explain services available, discuss eligibility requirements and financial resources required, and help determine your needs and wishes.
Call 1-866-243-5678 to be connected to the agency serving the county from which you call, or visit www.goldenbuckeye.com for more information.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) offers a free toolkit titled “Own Your Future” that helps consumers create a roadmap for the future that not only ensures their medical needs and preferences will be met, but also helps them maintain the lifestyle they prefer. A booklet and audio CD guides consumers through several important planning stages, including assessing finances, understanding long-term care insurance, developing clear legal directions, getting someone to help, finding resources in the community and evaluating living situations. The kit can be downloaded or ordered from the National Clearinghouse for Long-term Care Information (www.longtermcare.gov) or by calling 1-866-PLAN-LTC.
“Don’t put off planning for the future one more day,” Riley added. “Knowing what care is available and how you can pay for it puts you in the driver’s seat, with choice and control over your future - isn’t that what we all want?”