How To Prepare For Long-Term Care

How to Prepare for Long-term Care

1 July 2015 by JacksonWhite Elder Law  |  Category: ALTCSArizona Republic Column ArticlesEstate Planning

Richard A. White JacksonWhite Law, Mesa Arizona
Question: I am 55 years old and I have spent the past year helping my father transition into an assisted living community. The process has been difficult, not to mention expensive. Along the way, I learned about the Arizona Long Term Care System program, and I wish I would have known about it from the outset. What can I do now to help me prepare for ALTCS in case I need long-term care myself?
Answer: One of the difficult things about ALTCS is that it has strict medical and financial requirements that must be met concurrently in order to qualify.
This being the case, even if you engaged in planning to meet the financial requirements now, you would not be eligible unless you also met the medical requirements.
The fact that you are only 55 does not disqualify you from the program, but the fact that you are presumably healthy will prevent you from qualifying.
As a rule of thumb, it makes sense to start planning for ALTCS if and when you have a medical need that might necessitate long-term care.
Despite being strict, the financial requirements typically do not present an insurmountable barrier to those with a real medical need. Accordingly, waiting until the need for long-term care is actually foreseeable is most often the best approach.
If you want to be more proactive than this, there are long-term care insurance products that might be able to help.
It is worth pointing out that even where it makes sense to delay ALTCS planning, speaking with an attorney who is familiar with the ALTCS process could help you in the long-term.
Everybody should have their affairs in order, and given that the expenses associated with long-term care are so burdensome, it helps to have an understanding of what you will need to do when the time is right.
Richard White is an elder law attorney at JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law. For more information on Elder Law at JacksonWhite, please visit www.ArizonaSeniorLaw.com.