Many people expect to stay in their homes as they get older but have not made plans to accomplish this goal. To ensure a secure retirement, consider long-term care insurance; home modifications; and financial strategies to age comfortably at home.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most Americans underestimate the risk of developing a disability and needing long-term services and supports (LTSS). An estimated 52% of Americans turning 65 today will develop a disability serious enough to require LTSS. Although most will need assistance for less than two years, about one in seven adults will have a disability for more than five years.

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 8% of Americans have long-term care insurance. Insurance of this type helps with expenses related to activities of daily living and personal care. Most Americans pay for these services out of pocket, since Medicare only pays for skilled or rehabilitative services.

Because mobility decreases with age, accessibility modifications may gradually be needed. Safety enhancements accommodate changing physical needs and can include anything from grab bars and nonslip rugs to more costly options such as installing a chair lift or a walk-in tub.

Financial strategies are necessary to prioritize expenses arising with increasing needs. Home modifications; increased healthcare expenses; and in-home caregivers can be expensive. Investigate options such as an annuity (a contract with an insurance company to allocate money that is later distributed back to the person over time) or a reverse mortgage to assist with future expenses.

Contact a Community Resource Specialist to find help with long-term care insurance questions; home modifications; and financial strategies: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Lung Cancer Screening

Medicare Part B covers lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) if the individual meets all the following criteria:

  • Aged 55 to 77
  • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Current smoker or quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • Tobacco smoking history averaging one pack per day for 20 years (“20 pack-years”)
  • An order from a doctor or healthcare provider

Take advantage of these preventative services offered by Medicare by asking for them for yourself or your loved one. In this way, older adults can reduce their risk of developing substance abuse disorders or mitigate its effects to maintain healthier lifestyles.

References

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, July). Substance use in older adults drugfacts. Substance Use in Older Adults DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov)
  2. gov. (n.d.). Preventive & screening services. preventive services (medicare.gov)

 

This project was supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $94,686 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.