One of the realities of growing older is the increased likelihood of needing some form of living assistance. As we age, everyday activities such as toileting and bathing may become more difficult. The problem is compounded by neurological degeneration diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Millions of senior citizens in Indiana and across the United States are contemplating the costs of long-term care. Many believe that Medicare will assist in the often-hefty price tags of assisted living. However, according to WebMD, Medicare does not cover the costs of long-term care.

Medicare will cover skilled nursing home care in the immediate aftermath of an accident, illness or other issue requiring more than 3 days of hospitalization. Additionally, if an injury or illness has left you homebound and a doctor recommends in-home assistance, Medicare will cover the cost for in-home assistance for a certain number of hours per week depending on the doctor’s recommendations. Finally, Medicare will cover hospice services.

However, in terms of long-term care Medicare will not cover these costs. If you are low income, you may want to look into Medicaid, which works specifically with low-income individuals. If your income is too high for Medicaid assistance, depending on your situation you may wish to turn to disability insurance, selling off other assets to pay for long-term care, or tapping into veterans benefits if you are eligible for them (or if you are married to somebody who is).

It is important to understand your options when it comes to securing long-term care. Be aware that Medicare will not cover these costs should they become necessary for you.