How to Afford Elderly Care
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest concerns facing any family with elderly relatives in need of care is the money issue: Whether it is in the senior’s home or in the home of a family member, elderly care can often place significant financial burdens on a family.
However, providing the care and support needed by these precious members of your family is important. Neighborly Home Care works with state waiver programs to provide reduced-cost services whenever possible, and also has a number of suggestions for reducing the costs associated with extended care.
Five Tips for Making Elderly Care Affordable
1 – Benefits Checkup
Your first stops should be BenefitsCheckup and BenefitsCheckupRx. These non-profit websites are maintained by the National Council On Aging, and are aimed at ensuring every senior is claiming every medical benefit they are eligible for under Federal and State laws. Given the complexity of Medicare benefits, it is easy for an applicant to receive less than they qualify for. These websites can significantly reduce the financial burden of elderly medical care.
2 – SSI and Medicaid
Among those who qualify for social security benefits -which include most elderly Americans- many also qualify for Supplemental Security Income, which provides additional money needed to ensure month-to-month expenses are paid. Supplemental Security Income should be investigated early in the process, as it can potentially provide hundreds of dollars per month towards expenses.
Likewise, Medicaid is usually available for anyone who qualifies for SSI. Medicaid policies vary from state to state, but can often eliminate the fees associated with Medicare insurance coverage.
3 – Food Stamps
Food stamps are another form of public assistance any family looking at elderly care should investigate. Many seniors on fixed incomes will qualify for food stamps, and thus greatly reduce the monthly outlay for food. The money saved can help defray other expenses, like medicine or in home care visits.
4 – Life Settlements
Life settlements allow a senior to “cash in” on a life insurance policy early. In short, an elderly person will sell his/her life insurance policy to an investor, who provides cash up-front against the eventual payout from the policy. Life settlement is an especially good option for elderly people whose children are already financially independent with no need for an insurance payout.
5 – Reverse Mortgages
While something of a last resort, reverse mortgages can make years of care affordable for those who own their own home. They are given a loan which is similar to its mortgage value, but there is no repayment on the loan while the resident lives in the home. Instead, the homeowner receives monthly payments while they live in the home, and eventually the loan is paid from the sale of the home, or from the owner’s estate.
Discuss this option carefully, as some fees are associated with it. The owner is allowed to keep the title, so he/she is still responsible for home insurance and taxes. In addition, depending on the duration of the loan payouts and changing interest rates, the loan cost could total an amount equalling the value of the house, so the home may have to be sold to cover the end cost. In this case, it would be unlikely that the home would be kept by the family of the owner.
Need More Advice?
Neighborly Home Care wants to see every senior receive the elderly care they need. Contact us today for more advice on the cost of in home care.
Neighborly Home Care is a leading provider of in home care for seniors in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Delaware County. Our caregivers are all certified nursing assistants, or they have received equivalent training and passed a nurse aid skills assessment test.
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