Ensure Mom Has the Care She Needs
This Mother’s Day, as you look back at the many years your mother cared for you, consider the possibility that someday she may require care herself.
Long term care insurance can help ensure your mother will receive the care she needs, should there come a time when she requires help managing some of the activities associated with independent living.
Millions of Americans require long term care during their lifetime,1 which includes assistance with simple tasks like bathing, eating, and dressing—trivial things we do every day without a second thought. In reality, the type of care needed to provide assistance with these activities can be expensive and is generally not covered by traditional health plans or Medicare.
It’s also important to keep in mind that women, in general, live longer than men. This means women may be more likely to need care at some point in their lives than their male counterparts.2
Take a closer look
When visiting mom this year, pay attention to some common behaviors that can help you determine whether she is having difficulty performing everyday activities. It's important not to focus on the behavior itself, but rather the change in that behavior compared to what is considered normal for her. Noticing changes in behavior that may be due to an emerging physical or cognitive impairment is an important first step.
Things to look for:
- Cleanliness of the home: Is there clutter, stacked mail, or dirty dishes?
- Social interaction: Is she engaged with friends and family and continuing social interaction at a normal level?
- Personal hygiene and care: Are regular activities like bathing, dressing, and grooming taking place?
- Level of independence: Has reliance on a family member increased?
- Financial health: Are bills being paid on time, or piling up unpaid?
- Mental sharpness: Is she participating in conversations and staying up-to-date on current events?
- Nutritional balance: Is she maintaining normal eating habits?
Based on what you observe, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) may be worth considering when developing your family’s plan for long term care.
If her behavior is mostly unchanged
The best time for you and your family members to consider long term care insurance is long before it’s needed. Because the FLTCIP is medically underwritten, it’s important to apply while you are in good health to avoid the risk that a future illness or condition may prevent you from obtaining coverage.
If her behavior has started to change
If you’re already a FLTCIP enrollee and recognize some of these behavioral changes in a loved one, contact the FLTCIP’s care coordination team to gather important information about the different care options that may be available. The FLTCIP, unlike most long term care insurance plans, provides certain care coordination services to qualified relatives of enrollees at no cost.
Start the conversation today
Certain family members of Federal employees, such as spouses, domestic partners, parents and parents-in-law, are eligible to apply for FLTCIP coverage, even if you don’t. To learn more, visit LTCFEDS.com
1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Long Term Care Services in the United States,” www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nsltcp/long_term_care_services_2013.pdf (accessed September 2017).
2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Who Needs Care?,” https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/who-needs-care.html (accessed September 2017).
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