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Planning for Long-term Care

We are all aging. And today, many of us will live longer than those who came before us. We all want to live the way we want to; so it's important to make plans for the future as soon as possible. That may mean planning for long-term care. There may come a day when we need help to take a bath, get dressed, walk and eat. Sometimes this help can be given at home, and other times, this help takes place elsewhere, like an assisted living facility or nursing home. Long-term care can be very expensive, so it's important to plan for it.

Long-term care is help that is required to meet health and personal needs. It's typically divided into two categories:

  • Activities of daily living (ADLs) - eating, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, walking/moving around your home
  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) - shopping, cooking, transportation, finances, housekeeping

Planning for your long-term care is very important. Being prepared will allow you to make informed decisions about where and how you want to live, should you no longer become able to live independently.

  • Long-term care is very expensive, and Medicare pays very little of your long-term care expenses.
  • Planning can help ensure that you're set-up to live the way you want to as you age.
  • Planning also will reduce stress on yourself and your family.
There are a number of options to help pay for your long-term care. But deciding on what will work best for you can sometimes depend upon your age and how much money you have when you start planning.
  • Long-term care insurance and Long-Term Care Partnership insurance are options for some. But their cost may increase with a person's age.
    • The Long-Term Care Partnership is an option in Minnesota where you can purchase a special type of long-term care policy that allows you to protect assets, if at a later date, you need to apply for Medical Assistance. Not all long-term care policies are partnership-certified. To find one, visit and search Long-Term Care Partnership policies.
    • You can also visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce to view their information about Long-Term Care Partnership policies.
  • Personal income and savings are another way some people pay for their long-term care.
  • Annuities and life insurance are options for some people.
  • Using home equity is another possibility.
Planning for your long-term care can be complicated, but the Senior LinkAge Line can help. The Senior LinkAge Line can help you understand your options, so you can make a decision that best fits your needs. You can reach them from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday by calling 800-333-2433.
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