Odds are high that someone in your family will need a nursing home sooner or later. More than two-thirds of people over age 65 will require some type of long-term care services during their lifetime, and over 45 percent of people will need a period of care in a nursing home, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The cost of that care can financially cripple a family. But there are steps you can take – whether a nursing home is needed now, next month or next decade – to minimize the strain.
Ideally, financial planning for long-term care should occur long before the need arises, says Wendy Boglioli, a spokesperson for insurer Genworth Financial. Long-term care insurance, Medigap and employer-provided or private health insurance plans can offset the cost of long-term care. But if these policies aren't in place before a major health event occurs, they are usually no longer available to consumers.