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Long-Term Care Options for Elderly Adults in Florida

Long-Term Care Options for Elderly Adults in Florida
Estate Planning and Probate
Jason Neufeld
April 18, 2024

Long-term care for the elderly - it's one of those things you don't really think about until you absolutely have to. Your parent or grandparent isn't moving around like they used to. Daily tasks are getting tougher. You start worrying about their safety and well-being constantly.

If this sounds like your situation, you're definitely not alone. The good news is there are options out there to get them the level of care and support they need while still preserving their independence and dignity as much as possible.

Maybe it's bringing in a home health aide a few times a week so they can stay put in their house. Or looking at assisted living communities where they can socialize and get daily help with meds, meals, etc.

Making sense of all the long-term care choices can feel overwhelming. That's why we’re breaking it all down in this guide - the different living situations, payment options, staffing, etc. With Elder Needs Law by your side, you can determine the best fit for your family member's needs.

Understanding Your Long-Term Care Needs

Before exploring the care options available, you must understand your or your loved one's potential care needs. The level of care required often depends on an individual's ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), like bathing, dressing, eating, and mobility.

Chronic health conditions like Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other cognitive impairments can also impact the type and level of care needed. It's crucial to assess these factors carefully, as they will guide you in selecting the most appropriate long-term care solution.

To help you determine your potential need for long-term care, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you or your loved one struggle with ADLs like bathing, dressing, or grooming?
  • Are there concerns about safety due to cognitive impairments?
  • Is there a need for medication management or specialized medical care?
  • Are there mobility issues or a history of falls?

By honestly evaluating these questions, you'll gain a better understanding of the level of care required, which will aid in choosing the most suitable long-term care option.

Paying for Long-Term Care

One of the primary concerns about long-term care is the cost. Fortunately, various options are available to help cover the expenses associated with these services.

Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is a policy specifically designed to cover the costs of long-term care services. These policies typically cover skilled nursing care, assisted living facilities, and home health care services.

When purchasing long-term care insurance, it's essential to consider: 

  • The daily benefit amount
  • The elimination period (the number of days you must pay out-of-pocket before benefits begin)
  • And the policy's duration

Premiums for these policies can vary depending on your age, health status, and the level of coverage desired. We recommend purchasing a policy well before you anticipate needing care, as premiums can become expensive as you age or develop health conditions.

Other Insurance Options

In addition to traditional long-term care insurance, there are alternative options worth exploring:

  • Life insurance with long-term care riders — Some life insurance policies offer riders that allow you to access a portion of the death benefit to pay for long-term care services. This can be a cost-effective way to leverage existing policies for long-term care needs.
  • Long-term care annuities — These products combine a fixed annuity with long-term care benefits. They can help preserve assets while providing a stream of income to cover long-term care expenses.

Public Programs

For those with limited financial resources, public programs like Medicare and Medicaid can provide some assistance with long-term care costs:

  • Medicare — While Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care, it can provide coverage for skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and limited home health services under specific circumstances and time limitations.
  • Medicaid Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that can cover long-term care costs, including nursing home care and certain home and community-based services. However, eligibility is based on strict income and asset limits, which vary by state.

It's important to note that relying solely on public programs like Medicare and Medicaid may limit your choices and flexibility regarding long-term care options.

Long-Term Care Options in Florida

Florida offers a variety of long-term care options to meet the diverse needs of its aging population. From in-home care to residential facilities, we'll explore the choices available and their associated costs.

In-Home Care

Many individuals prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, and in-home care services allow for just that. These services range from companionship and homemaker assistance to skilled nursing care and hospice support.

In-home care providers in Florida can be hired through agencies or independently. When hiring independently, it's crucial to thoroughly vet the caregiver's credentials, background, and experience. Agencies, on the other hand, handle the vetting process and provide additional oversight and supervision.

The costs of in-home care in Florida can vary depending on the location and the level of care required. According to, the average hourly rate for a home health aide in Florida is $25, and it can increase or decrease based on the city.

Community Services

In addition to in-home care, Florida offers a range of community-based services designed to support aging adults and their caregivers:

  • Adult daycare programs — These programs provide social, recreational, and health-related services during the day, offering respite for caregivers and opportunities for socialization.
  • Transportation services — Many local organizations offer assistance to help seniors access medical appointments, grocery stores, and other essential services.
  • Meal delivery services — Programs like Meals on Wheels provide nutritious meals delivered to seniors' homes, ensuring they have access to adequate nutrition.
  • Senior centers — These community hubs offer a variety of activities, educational programs, and support services tailored to the needs of older adults.

Using these community-based services can help aging adults maintain independence and remain integrated within their communities for as long as possible.

Residential Facilities

For those requiring more comprehensive care or supervision, residential facilities offer a range of options:

Assisted Living Facilities 

These residential communities provide housing, personal care assistance, medication management, and other supportive services. Assisted living facilities in Florida offer various levels of care and amenities, ranging from around $3,000 to $6,000 per month, depending on the location and services provided.

Nursing Homes

Also known as skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes offer 24-hour skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, and assistance with all activities of daily living. In Florida, the average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is over $7,000 per month.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

CCRCs are a unique type of residential facility that offers a continuum of care, from independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing care, all on one campus. These communities typically require an entrance fee, which can range from $100,000 to $1 million or more, as well as monthly fees for the specific level of care received.

While CCRCs can be a comprehensive solution for long-term care needs, it's essential to carefully review the contract terms and financial obligations to ensure they align with your long-term plans and resources.

Find Your Long-Term Care Solution With Elder Needs Law

Planning for long-term care is a journey that requires careful consideration, informed decision-making, and a proactive approach. By understanding your or your loved one's potential care needs, exploring the various payment options, and familiarizing yourself with the long-term care options available in Florida, you can embark on this path with confidence and peace of mind.

Remember, the costs and specific services can vary greatly depending on your location and circumstances. To ensure you make the best choices for your unique situation, we encourage you to contact Elder Needs Law. Our team of attorneys guides families through long-term care planning in Florida.

Together, we'll ensure you or your loved one receives the care and support needed to maintain a high quality of life.

Jason Neufeld

Jason Neufeld is the Founder and Managing Partner of Elder Needs Law, a Florida estate planning and elder law firm he created in 2017. With more than 15 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including Medicaid planning, estate planning, elder law, probate, Medicare, and life insurance.

Jason received his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami — School of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar and the Broward County Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named a Rising Star and Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers and among the Florida Legal Elite by Florida Trend in 2024.

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