How to Pay for Assisted Living
When you think about growing up you consider paying for a house, insurance, a couple cars, and saving for your kids’ college. However, you might not always be thinking of the cost of your loved one’s assisted living. Being faced with the cost of assisted living can be daunting. It is essential you don’t put off your loved one’s care due to financial issues. Making the choice to put your loved one in long-term care can already be an extremely difficult choice, and finances can make it that much more pressing. Knowing that there are methods to affording your loved one’s care can take a huge burden off your shoulders during this stressful time. Here are a few popular options in paying for long-term care:
Using a personal income or savings is the first, and easiest, way to pay for assisted living. However, it is expected there are many more costs in your life than just a loved one’s long-term care.
Included in your income and savings, it can be useful if you, along with other children, grandchildren, etc. pool your savings/personal income together to help pay for your loved one’s care. It’s nice to know you’re not doing it all alone and have not only financial, but emotional support from other family members.
Check to see if your loved one has invested in long-term care insurance. According to assistedliving.com, only 3% of Americans have chosen the route of long-term care insurance. Though there are other ways to cover assisted living, long-term care insurance can nearly cover all of the costs. If your loved one is without long-term care insurance, you may want to consider investing for yourself or other family members now, as it can be a huge burden lifted later.
Medicaid can help cover assisted living costs in almost every state, though it will not cover all of the expenses, it can be of help. Elderly with very few assets qualify for Medicaid, so this may be one of the last options for some families. States that do not allow Medicaid to cover long-term care include: Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and West Virginia. (bankrate.com)
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs can help cover assisted living costs for both veterans and their spouses. Be sure to check that your loved one was in service for at least 90 days, one of which had to have been during wartime. There will also be a medical qualification test ran for approval.
If one spouse requires long-term care but the other is doing well, a reverse mortgage can be the move to make. If you are 62 are older, you may qualify for a reverse mortgage, which can ultimately help you in converting some of the equity in your home. Though a reverse mortgage requires the home to still be lived in, this can be a perfect option for spouses/families who only require the care of one person. Say a husband gets around well and is in good health but his wife is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Though the decision to place his wife in care can be very difficult, he has the peace of mind in knowing he can still be comfortable in his own home while also having a method to pay for the care his wife needs.
Consider all the factors that go into paying for long-term care. No matter how it is being paid for, it is essential your money is going towards the right facility that will give your loved one the highest quality of care. Understand that the cheapest option in your area, is usually not the best. Though at the time of financial instability it may seem easier to go with the cheapest assisted living unit, it is important to ask the right questions and do research into how the facility is run. How many nurses are on staff? What kind of activities are run weekly? Is there an outdoor space for residents to enjoy? Making sure you choose a safe facility with responsible and experienced staff is just as important as choosing an affordable one. You should see every penny you pay reflected in the quality of care your loved one is receiving.
Paying for long-term care can be both emotionally and financially taxing for those requiring care and all their loved ones. It is vital to explore all your payment options and make sure you are choosing a home that uses your money in all the right ways. When you choose the right place and find a way to pay for it, you can rest in peace knowing your loved one is being well cared for and well loved in a safe environment.