Plan Ahead for Life’s Next Journey

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A lifestyle change can be hard to accept. Yet if you think you’re putting too much of a burden on friends and relatives, it might be time to consider community help, hiring a home care service worker, or checking out assisted living facilities.

Whichever you choose, the important thing is to make the decision while you’re still in charge of your own self-care.

Here’s an overview of what to expect in the way of services and potential costs.

Community service programs vary according to location. Local resources can include bus transportation to the doctor’s office or the grocery store, volunteer assistance with shopping, adult day care for companionship, and meals on wheels. Fees usually depend on your income.

Licensed home care services provide aides that come into your home to assist with certain tasks such as meal preparation and housekeeping. You pay out of pocket, and hourly rates vary depending on which state you live in. A general rule is to plan for costs of $13-$32 per hour, according to the MetLife Mature Market Institute. The 2012 national average tops out at approximately $21 an hour.

Assisted living facilities are more expensive, but offer more services, such as three meals a day, recreational activities, and assistance with personal care if you need it. Some states cover payments if you qualify for a Medicaid waiver program. Otherwise, you self-pay through a long-term care insurance policy or with your own funds. Rates for 2012 ranged from $2,000-$6,000 per month.

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