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Senior Care Insurance - What it is and How it Can Benefit Your Elderly Loved One

Senior care is a growing sector in health care services. As the baby-boomer generation ages, the need for skilled care in many health areas will be greatly increased. In fact, by the year 2030 the number of people over age 65 will surpass those who are alive today. As a result, the need for senior care will increase significantly. Elderly care covers a wide variety of services that target the needs of elderly people. The most common of these services are custodial, personal care and therapeutic care.

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Custodial elder care refers to providing supervision, assistance with activities of daily living, and general supervision to an elderly person. Some forms of custodial elder care may include but are not limited to, live-in geriatrics care or assisted living. Caring for an older person on your own may include such things as shopping for groceries, cooking and shopping for food, light housekeeping, cleaning, laundry and companionship. Other forms of elderly care may include assistance with medical procedures or tasks, such as medical transcription, speech therapy, physical therapy, pharmacy or hospital visits, personal care products and medical equipment. This list is not comprehensive.

Personal care elderly care is the term used to provide assistance with such activities as bathing, dressing, eating, exercising, using the bathroom, shopping, and interacting with family members. It can also include companionship provided by trained and experienced individuals. Some forms of this type of senior care may include adult day care centers, home health care agencies, in-home care agencies and nursing homes. Medical assistants are often included in this category of senior care. A medical assistant is someone who provides a wide range of services to senior citizens in hospitals or clinics.

Home care is the term used to refer to the services of a personal caregiver who facilitates the senior citizen's daily living activities. Examples of these caregivers include but are not limited to, home health aides, personal care attendants, and aide caregivers. The most common tasks that are performed by a home care caregiver include bathing, feeding, changing clothes and grooming. In some cases, the patient may have little to do and the caregiver is responsible for these tasks.

Senior citizens often have an array of expenses and cannot plan ahead for all of them. Some of these expenses include medications, prescriptions, doctor's visits, braces or other orthopedic needs, hearing aids, blindness aids and other vision impairments, transportation, home furnishings and personal care items. Many seniors may not be able to purchase all of these items on their own. This is where an adequate senior care insurance plan comes into play.

There are many senior care insurance plans available today from several different insurance companies. A person interested in purchasing long-term care insurance should first determine what he or she wants the insurance policy to cover. If the senior care insurance is to cover for things like home health aides and personal care items then these items would be covered under the policy.

The policy must also contain a list of necessary services that will be provided to the senior citizen. It is important that the policy does not include any coverage that will extend the senior citizen's life expectancy. In other words, if the policy will insure the senior to live at least five more years then the long-term care insurance should not include anything that prolongs life. Many senior care insurance companies have guidelines that the policy must cover only those tasks which are likely to have an effect on the senior's ability to live alone. Unfortunately, this is often difficult to discern because there is often vague wording in the regulations that insurance companies use.

Some examples of these things may include, but are not limited to, the following: housekeeping, grooming, transportation, medical procedures, emergency or critical care, and the use of an assisted living facility or nursing home. If the elderly citizen will be receiving medical treatment that is likely to result in recovery, it is important that the coverage is specified. These treatments may include but are not limited to, dialysis, physical therapy, cancer treatments, and orthopedic surgery. As long as the daily living services provided for the elder are ones that would be provided by the family or that would be consistent with the senior citizen's lifestyle then the coverage can generally be assumed to be provided.