Have a question for our experts? This line is open until Friday, October 1st. Barbara will then answer a few questions and we’ll post her answers right here and on the forums.

MfarringerQ: What does Medicare cover in long term care?


A: Very little. Medicare will cover up to 3 months of nursing home care when someone is coming from a hospital stay of 3 days or more. Most assisted living and nursing home care is covered by private payment, long term care insurance or Medicaid. Qualification for Medicaid looks at both the medical condiation certified by a doctor and the assets and income of the senior.

Q: Caring for my parent is affecting my job! What can I do?

You are not alone. First, let your HR department know of your situation. You don’t want your employer to think your absence or distraction is because you don’t care about your job. Ask about flex-time and also any elder-care help that your employer may offer. In many cases adult day care can be a help to those working outside the home by providing a safe, engaging place for their parent while they are at work.

Q: I see my friends spending time and money caring for their parents. My parents are fine right now, but what should I be doing to prepare?

A: The key is preparation and communication. Talk with your parents while they are NOT in a crisis situation about what they would like and not like. Make sure that a will, power of attorney and power of attorney for healthcare is in place–and that you know where these documents are located.