This is a guest post, authored by DisabledParents.org, a site dedicated to assisting parents who have disabilities.
If you are one of the many Americans living with a disability, you know how important safe, efficient care is to your well-being. Effective care is essential, but it can also be expensive, and you are likely to only need more of it as you get older. To protect yourself from these costs in the future and ensure you always get the care you need, you need to get organized now. Here are a few ways to plan now for your future care.
Start Preparing Sooner, Rather Than Later
When you are planning for your financial future, it’s always best to start early. This will allow you to factor your medical care, as well as other financial goals, into your fiscal plans. Set savings goals for a variety of objectives. Do you know how much you will need for retirement? Would you like to set aside money in case you need long-term care? Setting these financial targets early will allow you to budget and plan to meet your goals. Thinking about your need for care early can help in another way as well. If you think you may need some form of long-term care, which most adults will, you can plan for other ways to pay for your care expenses. Long-term care insurance is available, and premiums tend to be less expensive when you are younger, but there are also other ways to pay for long-term care.
The AARP offers a wealth of information on retirement planning.
Factor Medicare Coverage into Your Plans
Medicare can be an invaluable resource as you get older. Seniors rely on this comprehensive medical coverage to offset their medical needs. However, understanding coverage and enrollment can be confusing. If you are working on your financial plan now, it pays to look into what kind of coverage you can expect in the future. If you have questions about what Medicare coverage you can receive in your state, you should start to research Medicare eligibility to see whether you qualify. Using this resource, you can simply click on your state to get access to websites and contact information for in-state organizations who can provide you with the information you need. Keep in mind, however, that Medicare typically does not cover custodial care costs. Custodial care refers to assistance with day-to-day tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and other aspects often involved with long-term care. So, it may be in your best interest to look into Medicare supplements that can cover other care costs and allow you to save for custodial care needs.
In addition to Medicare, there may be local services that can provide assistance. The Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Aging has established partnerships with numerous entities including APPRISE Counseling Services and the Philadelphia Older Adult Center. You can see a full list of partnerships and find links to numerous senior services here.
Plan for Changes to Your Home
If you are living with a disability, you may have already made some accessibility updates in your home. But as you age, you may need to make some additional changes to help ensure you are able to age in place. If you do not use a wheelchair now but may need one in the future, it’s helpful to adjust your care plans to include paying for modifications. You can find a good estimate of what these modifications may cost so you can factor them into your financial plans. The average for upgrades is around $9,000 but that total could grow if you need to add features such as a stair lift, walk-in tub, or an elevator. You can also look into alternative funding options to help you pay for your home modifications. If you are senior or will be one when the changes are needed, you may qualify for financial assistance from Medicare, veterans programs, or nonprofits and organizations that help seniors and those living with disabilities.
Early planning and research are the keys to living comfortably with disabilities. By taking the time to explore your healthcare coverage options and implementing preemptive changes to your home, you give yourself a better chance of enjoying a higher quality of life despite your age or abilities.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.