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Planning For Long-Term Care For Dummies

Book Description

Expert advice on planning for your own or a relative's future care needs

As we live longer and healthier lives, planning for the long term has never been more important. Planning gives you more control, but it's not easy to find accurate information and answers to your questions. That's where AARP's Planning For Long-Term Care For Dummies comes in.

This comprehensive guide gives you questions to ask yourself and others about how best to achieve your goals, whether you have immediate needs or can take some time to sort out the possibilities. The book

  • Covers home modifications so that you can stay at home safely for as long as you like

  • Lays out the opportunities and costs associated with independent living, assisted living, and other options

  • Gives you a range of driving and transportation alternatives

  • Sorts out the various sources of care at home

  • Helps you navigate the healthcare system

  • Reviews the legal documents you should prepare and update

  • Helps you determine whether you need long-term care insurance

  • Offers checklists and other resources to help you make decisions

  • Gives you guidance on how to talk to your family about sensitive issues

  • If you're looking for trusted information on how to prepare for the future care needs for yourself or a relative, this sensitive, realistic, and authoritative guide will start you on the right road.

    Table of Contents

      1. Introduction
        1. About This Book
        2. Foolish Assumptions
        3. Icons Used in This Book
        4. Beyond the Book
        5. Where to Go from Here
      2. Part I: Getting Started with Long-Term Care
        1. Chapter 1: Looking Ahead: The Big Picture
          1. Planning for the Long Term Starts with You
          2. What Is Long-Term Care?
            1. Looking at long-term services and supports
            2. Using Medicare as a starting point
          3. Navigating the Roadblocks
            1. Reasons for resistance
            2. Benefits of planning
          4. How Care for the Long Term Is Changing
            1. Looking at why changes are being made
            2. Keeping up with insider language
          5. Meeting Your Changing Needs
            1. Location, location, location
            2. Timing and flexibility
          6. Getting Professional Advice
        2. Chapter 2: A Personal Inventory of Needs and Preferences
          1. Looking at the Present — and the Future
            1. Healthcare needs
            2. Family, friends, and professionals
            3. Personality characteristics
            4. Attitudes about money
          2. Creating a Long-Term Care Plan Based on Your Profile
        3. Chapter 3: Researching Options for Services
          1. Finding Information and Reading Between the Lines
            1. Organizing your research
            2. Federal government programs
            3. State and local programs
            4. Federal and state regulations
            5. Community-based organizations
          2. Taking Your Research to the Next Level: Site Visits
        4. Chapter 4: Making Decisions: A Family Affair
          1. Holding Family Meetings
            1. Who should be included?
            2. When should you get together?
            3. What should be on the agenda?
          2. Being Considerate of Others
            1. Allocating responsibilities
            2. Bringing in the outer circle
          3. Dealing with Conflict
            1. Mediators and counselors
            2. Consensus and compromise
      3. Part II: Long-Term Care in Different Settings
        1. Chapter 5: Aging in Place
          1. What Is Aging in Place?
          2. Dealing with Two Major Hazards
            1. Preventing falls
            2. Preventing burns
          3. Modifying a Home for an Aging Person
            1. Categorizing types of home modifications
            2. Checking out accessibility
            3. Finding a contractor
            4. Getting help paying for home modifications
          4. Seeking Help at Home
            1. Allocating tasks to family
            2. Searching for services
            3. Finding help for other chores
            4. Putting technology to use
          5. Preparing for an Emergency
            1. Making an emergency plan
            2. Putting together a disaster kit
        2. Chapter 6: Independent and Assisted Living and Other Group Settings
          1. What Is Assisted Living?
            1. Interpreting industry and government language
            2. Getting to know what assisted living offers
            3. Checking out healthcare services
            4. Finding more information on assisted-living facilities
          2. Evaluating the Cost of Assisted Living
            1. Choosing from the menu of cost plans
            2. Asking questions to create a monthly budget
          3. Beyond the Brochure: What To Look For When You Visit
            1. Making notes about the common areas
            2. Checking out the residential units
            3. Investigating continuing care
          4. Pitfalls to Avoid
            1. Unnecessary trips to the ER
            2. Additional costs or discharge from the facility after a hospitalization or change in condition
            3. Exclusion from social activities or dining room seating by other residents
            4. Failing to read the contract
          5. Other Options for Group Living
            1. Independent living for seniors
            2. Affinity or niche communities
            3. Cohousing arrangements
            4. House sharing
            5. Group homes
        3. Chapter 7: Under One Roof: Generations Living Together
          1. Multigenerational Living: Everything Old Is New Again
            1. Why different generations are living together
            2. Defining family households by generation
            3. Considering family reactions beforemaking a decision
          2. Where Should We All Live? Considering the Options
            1. Having a relative move in with you
            2. Preparing to move into your parent's home
            3. Making fair financial arrangements
          3. Making the Move
            1. Getting started
            2. Planning ahead
            3. Sorting and packing
            4. Settling in
          4. Checking In over the Long Haul
        4. Chapter 8: Beyond Your Home: Living in a Community
          1. Understanding Why Community Matters
            1. Defining age-friendly communities
            2. Looking at livable-community initiatives
          2. Taking a Walk Around Your Community
            1. Looking at sidewalks and surrounding areas
            2. Checking for places tostop, shop, and chat
            3. Rating your community
          3. Finding Community Services
          4. Creating Special Communities for Older People
            1. Navigating NORCs
            2. Living in a Village
        5. Chapter 9: Getting Around: Transportation Options
          1. Judging Whether Driving Is Still Safe
            1. Watching for warning signs for older drivers
            2. Starting the conversation and evaluating needs
          2. Adapting a Car for Older Drivers
            1. Increasing safety with new technology
            2. Making adaptations for disabilities
          3. Knowing When It's Time to Give Up the Keys
          4. Finding Alternatives to Driving
            1. Public transportation options
            2. Private options
      4. Part III: Legal and Financial Planning for Long-Term Care
        1. Chapter 10: Unraveling the Rules of Medicare and Medicaid
          1. The Distinction between Medicare and Medicaid
          2. Taking a Look at Medicare Basics
            1. Are you eligible for Medicare?
            2. What's included in original Medicare
            3. What you get with Medicare Advantage plans
            4. Prescription drug coverage
            5. Durable medical equipment coverage
            6. Home healthcare services
          3. Getting Medicaid Ground Rules
            1. Are you eligible for Medicaid?
            2. What services Medicaid offers
            3. How Medicaid works with home- and community-based programs
            4. Medicaid-managed long-term care
          4. Coordinating Benefits
            1. PACE programs
            2. Coordination with other health insurance
        2. Chapter 11: Paying for Care: Long-Term Care Insurance and Other Options
          1. Reviewing the Ups and Downs of Long-Term Care Insurance
            1. Buying long-term care insurance
            2. Continuing to pay rising premiums
            3. Getting your claims paid for
            4. Seeking out hybrid policies
          2. Utilizing Disability Insurance
          3. Selling Your Policy: Life Settlements
          4. Considering a Reverse Mortgage
          5. Receiving Money through Annuities
        3. Chapter 12: Financial Matters: Money Management, Wills, and Trusts
          1. Managing Money
            1. Opening joint bank accounts
            2. Granting financial powers of attorney
          2. Where There's a Will. . .
            1. Taking inventory of your assets
            2. Considering types of wills
            3. Choosing the executor
            4. Taking the final steps
          3. Settling the Estate with Probate
          4. Reviewing the Rules on Estate Taxes
          5. Establishing a Trust
            1. Pros and cons of living trusts
            2. Special-needs trusts
          6. Looking into Guardianship
      5. Part IV: Managing Your Health for the Long Term
        1. Chapter 13: Choosing Good Geriatric Care
          1. Checking on the Special Medical Needs of Older Adults
            1. Identifying common chronic conditions
            2. Dealing with multiple ailments
          2. Finding the Right Specialist to Manage Care
            1. Considering the need for a geriatrician
            2. Finding a geriatrician
          3. Navigating Hospitals
            1. Where to go for emergencies and non-emergencies
            2. Being admitted to the hospital
            3. Planning for a hospital stay
          4. Polypharmacy: Too Many Drugs?
            1. Using caution with certain drugs
            2. Getting medications right
            3. Other risks and questions
        2. Chapter 14: Demystifying Home Care
          1. Examining the Many Varieties of Home Care
          2. Services from a Home Care Agency
            1. Different kinds of home care agencies
            2. Choosing a home care agency
          3. Paying for Home Care
            1. Looking at Medicare's rules for eligibility for home healthcare services
            2. Understanding Medicaid home care
            3. Other kinds of insurance
            4. Hiring home care workers on your own dime
          4. Working with Home Care Aides
          5. Paying Family or Friends to Provide Care
          6. Is There a Doctor in the House?
        3. Chapter 15: Understanding the Role of Nursing Homes in Long-Term Care
          1. Nursing Home Basics
            1. Defining nursing homes
            2. Moving from hospital to short-term rehab
            3. Comparing nursing homes for a long stay
          2. Visiting Nursing Homes for a Long Stay
            1. Checking off important points
            2. Noting policy details
          3. Checking Out New Models of Nursing-Home Care
            1. Eden Alternative
            2. Green House Project
            3. Beatitudes
            4. Culture change
          4. Responding to Residents’ Problems in Nursing Homes
        4. Chapter 16: Moving Toward Advance Care Planning
          1. Thinking about Advance Care Planning
            1. Realizing the importance of advance planning
            2. Making wishes known with advance directives and living wills
          2. Dealing with the Rules of Advance Directives
            1. Finding the forms for advance directives and living wills
            2. Putting your wishes down on paper
            3. Choosing a healthcare proxy
            4. Adding do not resuscitate (DNR) orders
            5. Keeping your advance directive accessible
            6. Choosing Physician’ Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
          3. Understanding Care Options for Serious Illness: Palliative Care and Hospice
            1. Palliative care
            2. Hospice
      6. Part V: Special Populations
        1. Chapter 17: Services for LGBT Older Adults
          1. Recognizing LGBT Aging and Health Issues
            1. Physical conditions
            2. Mental health risks
          2. Knowing Legal Protections and Their Limits
            1. U.S. Supreme Court and DOMA
            2. Presidential memorandum on hospital visitation
          3. Keeping Legal Documents at the Ready
          4. Finding LGBT-Friendly Providers and Facilities
            1. Finding healthcare providers
            2. Considering independent- or assisted-living and nursing homes
            3. Looking at LGBT-specific options
        2. Chapter 18: Planning for Veterans
          1. Getting into the VA System
            1. Comparing VA to other healthcare systems
            2. Eligibility for VA healthcare
          2. Supporting Veterans and Their Families
            1. Shared decision making
            2. Caregiver support
          3. Noting VA Options for Older Veterans
            1. Receiving pensions
            2. Using Aid and Attendance and Homebound programs
          4. Finding the Right Residential Setting or Nursing Home for Veterans
            1. Veterans’ medical foster homes
            2. Community living facilities (Nursing homes)
            3. State-operated veteran homes
            4. Domiciliary program
            5. TRICARE For Life
          5. Using Other Resources to Navigate the VA System
        3. Chapter 19: Services for Family Caregivers
          1. Defining Family Caregivers
            1. Family caregivers by the numbers
            2. What family caregivers do
            3. Family caregivers’ rights and obligations
          2. Becoming a Family Caregiver
            1. Identifying yourself as a family caregiver
            2. Readying yourself for negotiation
          3. Checking Out Different Types of Family Caregivers
            1. Family caregivers who are employed
            2. Long-distance family caregivers
            3. Multicultural caregivers
          4. Looking for Help
            1. Family and friends
            2. Federal programs
            3. State programs
            4. Community-based organizations
            5. Internet resources
      7. Part VI: The Part of Tens
        1. Chapter 20: Ten Myths about Aging and Long-Term Care
          1. Serious Memory Lapses Are Normal in Older Adults
          2. Older People Fall: Not Much You Can Do about It
          3. All Over-the-Counter Drugs Are Safe
          4. Americans Dump Their Older Relatives in Nursing Homes
          5. Medicare Pays for All Long-Term Care
          6. Hospice Is Just a Place Where People Go to Die
          7. Millionaires Take Advantage of Medicaid
          8. Long-Term Care Means a Nursing Home
          9. Assisted-Living Facilities Are Regulated Like Nursing Homes
          10. Long-Term Care Insurance Covers All Your Needs
        2. Chapter 21: Ten Resources with State-by-State Information
          1. Identifying Local Services through Area Agencies on Aging
          2. Assessing Assisted-Living and Rehabilitation Facilities
          3. Finding Community Services and Housing Options through Eldercare Locator
          4. Getting Support for Family Caregivers
          5. Modifying Your Home with Rebuilding Together
          6. Getting Information on Medicaid in Your State
          7. Calculating Costs
          8. Finding Your State's Advance Directives
          9. Solving Problems through an Ombudsman
          10. Resolving Complaints through Quality Improvement Organizations
      8. Part VII: Appendixes
        1. Appendix A: Glossary
        2. Appendix B: Resources
          1. AARP
          2. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
          3. Administration for Community Living
          4. Other Resources
      9. About the Author
      10. Cheat Sheet
      11. More Dummies Products