The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to the entire world, but no population has been hit as hard as the elderly. By some estimates, 40% of the deaths from COVID-19 in the United States have occurred in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
Assisted Living Or Care At Home?
Decisions surrounding how to care for elderly loved ones are never easy, even in normal times. During a pandemic that disproportionately impacts the elderly and that spreads easily in community living situations, elder care decisions have truly become existential. Well-meaning loved ones no longer have to weigh just the financial costs of assisted living against the benefits such facilities provide. Now the potential for exposure in a facility combined with the impact of not being able to have visitors must also be weighed against the difficulty of providing care at home, the isolation of being quarantined alone in their own homes, and the potential of exposure from younger relatives who may be asymptomatically carrying the virus.
Many families have decided to remove an elderly relative from an assisted living facility because of the dangers posed by the pandemic, but they do so knowing that their spot may be gone when they want to return. Others way the risks and benefits and decide that, despite the virus, assisted living facilities are still the safest places for their loved ones to live.
The Impact On The Elder Care Industry
Facilities are also finding that they need to hire more staff to meet the heightened safety requirements because of the pandemic, which leads to more expenses, which results in higher costs for the residents. And, because there are so many residents leaving assisted living facilities, and a smaller than average number choosing to move in at this time, many facilities could be in danger of closing because of the pandemic and the lagging economy. And that means that, even when the worst of the danger from the virus has passed, there may not be places for elderly people who need care to go.
It is nearly impossible to predict what the future will hold, with the virus or with eldercare. No one knows how long the pandemic might last or if it will lessen or worsen. In uncertain times like these, it is very important to prepare as much as is possible. Estate planning has never been more important and can help put your mind at ease. Call us today at (281) 885-8826 and let us help you sort through your options and make a plan for what your future may hold.