It is not unlikely that someone in your family is going to need some form of assisted living in their golden years. Today, those aged 65 have a nearly 70% chance of needing some form of long-term care and about 20% of those 70% are predicted to need this care for longer than five years according to data shared by LongTermCare.gov.
About 40 hours per week of in-home care costs about $4,800 on average, according to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey. By comparison, assisted living costs $4,000 per month on average. Since costs can vary widely based on your location and the amount of care needed.
What to Do When You Can’t Afford Assisted Living
The average cost of senior care today can be pretty expensive. In some cases the cost is so large it can cause a big hit to family finances making other expenses hard to cover. There is good news to taking care of the cost of senior living care, there are steps you can take to help pay for this care whether it is needed now, in the near future, or in the next decade or more.
The best course of action to help pay for the cost of any senior long-term care is to have financial plans in place before the care is needed, but there is still help out there for those who need to find assisted living services for a loved one right now.
Medicare usually covers the cost of rehabilitation care, but not long-term care. They most often cover up to 100 days of care in skilled nursing facilities during each benefit period. Medicare may also help in a situation where long-term nursing home care looks inevitable, but is not needed right away. While a senior is still able to live at home, Medicare can be used for up to 35 hours per week for home health services including: intermittent skilled nursing, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy for up to 60 days. Medicare calls this an episode of care. To receive this financial help the patient must be living at home and have a physician approved plan for care and used Medicare approved agencies. Medicare will only help with the cost of Nursing Home care.
If a person does not have the personal funds to cover the cost of long-term care, or if the cost of a stay has exhausted their assets, they may be eligible for Medicaid. To qualify for these state funded services, a person must meet the care criteria and financial eligibility requirements. Eligibility can be complex as there is more than one pathway to be approved. Some options can be chosen by the state while others are mandatory, some states can require a patient to contribute towards the cost in care. To qualify applicants must have minimal assets. They can possess no more than $2,000 in cash and cash equivalents like bonds and IRAs. Married couples can qualify with a spouse living at home having assets no more than $132,900 annually which is the Social Security cap.
Some seniors are tempted to make large gifts to family members to qualify for Medicaid, but this will not help if done within five years prior to applying. If the person applying owns their own home they should also be aware that if the patient passes away while receiving Medicaid, the government can take possession of the home. Families that want to avoid this may choose to pay care costs in a different way. A senior can keep a home in the family by adding a child’s name to the deed, but only if it is done five years prior to application. This should be done by an experienced lawyer.
Medicaid varies by state as to how a patient can use the help to pay for long term care. About 1 in 6 assisted living residents in the country use the help of Medicaid.
Veteran’s Administrative Aid and Attendance
VeteranAid.org says an A&A Pension can provide up to $1,794 per month to a veteran, $1,153 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,127 per month to a couple. A veteran filing to aid care for a spouse can receive up to $1,410 per month. This pension is dependable and paid directly to you by the Department of the Treasury. The benefit can be used for in-home care, board and care, assisted living communities, and private-pay nursing homes.
Relocating the Patient
In some cases a senior does not live near family or even in the same state and may benefit by moving to a state and a care facility closer to family. A move may not only help reduce costs but will also help family to visit their loved one more often. Before taking this option, though considerations for the overall health of the loved one and their current relationships with their doctors should be considered.
If you are considering a comfortable assisted living facility near Burien for your loved one please contact us right away.