One thing that sometimes happens to a person during their later years is that they develop an advanced chronic illness. Such illnesses can give rise to certain care needs for an elderly individual. Thus, when a person is developing an estate plan, one thing they may want to include in their estate planning are plans for dealing with the costs of potential future chronic illness care needs.
When one thinks of advanced chronic illness care, one's mind might go right to hospice care (such as home hospice care or institutional hospice care). However, not all elderly individuals who have chronic illnesses qualify for hospice care. Such individuals may benefit from other types of care, such as non-hospice home care.
A recent study indicates that non-hospice home care can have real cost and outcome benefits when it comes to chronic illness sufferers who do not yet meet the qualifications for hospice care. The study looked at a non-hospice home care program that a hospice care provider here in Michigan has.
The study looked at a group of patients who received home care from this program. Among the types of chronic illnesses these patients had were: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and cancer. The study found that the program generally led to: reduced costs related to a patient's care, lowered hospitalization rates, lowered hospitalization lengths and better outcomes.
Thus, the study indicates that non-hospice home care could be a real help to some chronic illness sufferers. One wonders if, here in Michigan and the rest of the nation, we will start to see more programs like the one the study looked at.
As this illustrates, there are multiple different types of care that may be of benefit to a person who has an advanced chronic illness. Each of these different care types can have different sorts of concerns attached to it when it comes to planning for the costs associated with it. Thus, care planning when it comes to chronic illness care can be quite complex. Estate planning lawyers can assist individuals with the various aspects of chronic illness care cost planning.
Source: mlive, "Home support for chronically ill cuts costs 44 percent, Michigan study finds," Sue Thoms, Nov. 25, 2014