My siblings and I would like to purchase a long term care policy for my Mom and pay for it. How do we talk with her about it? - AgingCare.com

My siblings and I would like to purchase a long term care policy for my Mom and pay for it. How do we talk with her about it?

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She's healthy now and we want to give her the options a long term care policy will afford her. She will own the policy and have full control. We will just pay the premiums.

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Dennis, you could try telling your mother this: we, as a family, tried over the course of nearly ten years to get our mother to concentrate on making plans for her old age. She didn't want to talk about it. She got what she was given. Serve her right.

So perhaps asking her how she would like things to go - backed up, I totally agree, with a few costed options which you have behind your back ready to whip out at a moment's notice - is the way to start? Time and tide, after all...
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Get all your ducks in a row. Find a couple of policies you'd like her to consider, get prices, and call a meeting. I love the way you phrased it: "We want to give mom the options..."

In my area (Chicago suburbs), nursing homes vary in price all over the place. The one I have chosen for mom (should she have to be placed) is $8,200 a month. A friend's brother is in another that is only (only, ha!) $6,000. I would NEVER put my mom there. It's a warehouse.

Great move. I wish you good luck.
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That is a very wise move, instead of waiting too long, preparing for your mom's future long-term care needs is the best course of action. However, discussing it with her might not be that easy because long-term care is not a pleasant topic, usually, the elders misconception about long term care is all about nursing homes. I suggest that you conduct a simple gathering with a light mood and begin the discussion by asking your mom if she has alternate source of funding should the need for care arises. Maybe you can cite a situation or scenarios comparing the differences of being insured and not.

Once you convince her, you should also be able to lay out plans on which type of policy she should get and discuss about the payments, to make sure that the policy won't lapse in case of a cognitive impairment and she forgot to make payments for the premiums.

Also, it is advisable to choose the long-term care insurance companies wisely. Here's a helpful list of the top providers of ltci: http://www.infolongtermcare.org/ltci-learning-center/top-long-term-care-insurance-carriers/.

In addition, seek the aid of an expert, an elder care lawyer would be a good start so you can discuss things like advance directives and POA for your mom.

Good luck!
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Dennis why not just bring it up either when the family is together or appoint one of you and just raise it. Follow all of the above advice but it wont be easy given her age and if she is accepted the cost could be over a thousand a month.
you may have already picked out a policy that you like and of course the agent is eager for you to apply BUT untill Mom is assessed you don't know if your favorite company will accept her and what the cost will be.
I spent a couple of years doing assessments for various long term care comapnies and it is quite an involved process.
The medical questions were fairly straight forward and the only physical assessment I did was blood pressure and pulse.
There was a mini mental evaluation which included remember ing about six words and putting them in a sentence later.
I also had to make certain observations about the environment which the applicant was not aware of. I woulf ask the person to get up out of their chair and walk across the room. I had to note if they had to use the chair arms to get up and how they walked. How were they dressed, was it suitable for the season, were they clean and well groomeded. Was the house neat and clean or were there piles of junk everywhere. i had to list their medications and note if the yard was well kept. I used to ask to use their bathroom even if I didn't go and used that as a barometer of how they were functioning. The whole thing took about an hour and a half and to get the job I had to have experience caring for older people.
So Dennis your mother is 65 and you say healthy but is she taking medication for for instance high cholesterol or maybe osteoporosis? These will all count against her and put the cost of the premiums up.
As others have said getting the company to pay when the time comes may be a problem, they may pay ------------ eventually. You need to make sure it will pay for both nursing home and home care.
Another idea is to set the money aside you would have paid in premiums and keep it in a seperate account. If you have enough for six months of care when mother needs it if she does it will be easy to have her admitted to a N/H and then when the money is gone to apply for Medicid. If you save for ten years your would have at least $120,000 available. it is worth thinking about.
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Had that conversation years ago and it was Mom's idea. She wanted to preserve resources so there would be an inheritance. Her mother was in a nursing home for years and had been on Medicaid for about seven years when she passed at 101. My Mom saw how expensive it would be and wanted to pay for it somehow. But, there was nothing left. You could also approach it from terms of "if it is needed" and having a way to pay for it.
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My problem is not in picking a policy, it's just talking to mom about her good old and needing help. So we'd like to have some ideas as to how we can approach her in a non-threating way. We don't want it her to hear things like we just want to put her away when she needs help. Please let me know if you have had a conversation with your mom about her long term care needs way before she needed it and how you approached it.

Thanks,
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Dennis, I think you're getting really helpful answers about how to pick and operate a good LTC policy; but your question is how to bring the subject up with your mother? What's the problem? Why would she not be pleased that you and her other children are making co-operative plans to care for her in the future? Does she have other ideas about how she'd like things to go?

Insurance is a funny thing: you can insure pretty much anything (except a certainty) if you go about it the right way. So it's not impossible that you and sibs could insure yourselves against care costs for your mother without even needing to consult her, if you really had to. Call a specialist broker and see what they advise if you're interested; but first of all try the easy way and involve her.
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I believe you are not correct regarding asset protection.

First, if anyone buys long term care insurance make certain someone is designated to receive notification if premium payments are not being made. Policies can be reinstated but only for a specified amount of time so this is very important.

Second, you are likely speaking about Partnership policies which provide a level of asset protection should someone exhaust their long term care insurance policy and need to apply for Medicaid. There a very good explanation at http://www.aaltci.org/partnership.
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Dennis, you are smart to take care of payments for her. In my Mom's case she purchased a policy some years ago. When she started to develop Alzheimer's she either decided to stop paying or FORGOT! She had paid into it for many years. And now Medicaid will allow retaining assets up to the value of the policy. So the face value is actually double what is stated. If the policy pays out $200,000 the actual value because of the ability to retain assets is $400,000. Found this out at a Senior Law Fair that was put on by the State Bar Association a few weeks ago. If there is a similar fair in your area I highly recommend it!
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This is done more often than you think. Most companies stop offering policies after age 75 (2 do go to 80) but your mom will have to meet health qualifications. Costs can vary quite significantly from one carrier to another and so the American Association for Long Term Care recommends working with a professional who is "appointed" with multiple companies. Appointed is insurance industry jargon which means they can actually sell the policy. If they only are appointed with one insurer -- guess which one they'll push. The Association has some consumer guides worth reading and there's no sign-in required to access them at www.aaltci.org/guides Hope that helps.
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