One of the biggest concerns facing any family with elderly relatives needing care is finances and how to afford elderly care. Whether in the senior’s home or a family member’s home, 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 essential. Therefore, Neighborly Home Care works with state waiver programs to provide reduced-cost services whenever possible. In addition, our agency has several suggestions for financial assistance in reducing the costs associated with senior care services.
Five Tips to Help Families Afford Elderly Care
Below are 5 activities that could help you afford elderly care for you senior loved one. You will want to do some research to determine if they are right for your situation.
1. Benefits Checkup
Your first stop should be BenefitsCheckup. The National Council On Aging (NCOA) maintains this non-profit website. The website aims to ensure every senior is claiming every medical benefit seniors are eligible for under Federal and State laws. Given the complexity of Medicare benefits, an applicant can easily receive less than what they qualify for. As a result, these websites can significantly reduce the financial burden of elderly medical care.
2. Supplemental Security Income
Among those who qualify for social security benefits (which include most elderly Americans), many also qualify for Supplemental Security Income. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals with limited income and resources. The program’s money can help ensure you and your loved ones can afford elderly care and pay month-to-month expenses. Therefore, you and your loved ones should investigate Supplemental Security Income early in the process to receive up to hundreds of dollars per month toward costs.
3. Medicaid & Medicare
Medicaid is usually available for anyone who qualifies for SSI. However, Medicaid policies vary from state to state. For example, those who qualify for Medicaid in Pennsylvania may not be eligible in Delaware. The program can often eliminate the fees associated with Medicare insurance coverage.
If you are on Medicare, you may be able to get help with the cost of elderly care. Medicare is best for those with limited options and eligible for coverage. For example, if your loved one has severe cognitive impairment and needs constant attention and supervision they may qualify as disabled under Medicare rules.
If your loved one does not meet these conditions but still requires help from time to time with daily tasks such as bathing or eating meals, they may qualify for home health services paid through Medicare’s Home Health Program (HHP).
4. Food Stamps
The families we serve keep saying great things.
I just wanted to tell you how grateful we are that Neighborly Home Care stepped in & took over taking care of my Dad when we really needed it, no questions asked. Our caregiver has become part of the family and we know we can depend on her being there every day & taking great care of my Dad. He misses her when she’s not there!
— Daughter of an NHC Client
Food stamps are another form of public assistance any family looking at elderly care should investigate to help them afford elderly care. Many seniors on fixed incomes will qualify for food stamps and thus significantly reduce the monthly outlay of money for food. The money saved can help defray other expenses, like medicine or home care visits.
5. Life Settlements
Life settlements allow seniors to “cash in” on a life insurance policy early. In short, an older adult will sell their life insurance policy to an investor, who provides cash up-front against the eventual payout. A life settlement is an especially good option for older adults whose children are already financially independent without the need for an insurance payout.
6. Reverse Mortgages
While something of a last resort, reverse mortgages can make years of care affordable for those who own their own home. A person is given a loan similar to their mortgage value. The difference is that there is no repayment on the loan while the resident lives in the house. Instead, the homeowner receives monthly payments while living in the home. Eventually, the loan is paid by selling the home or the owner’s estate.
The most common type of reverse mortgage is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). These loans allow you to turn your home equity into cash, using the difference between its value and the amount owed. A HECM is similar to taking out a loan against your home. However, you are paying down the principal balance over time instead of paying back with interest.
Discuss this option carefully, as some fees are associated with it. The owner can keep the title, so the owner 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 equaling the house’s value. So the home may have to be sold to cover the cost. In this case, the chance that the owner’s family would keep the house is slim.
Contact Neighborly Home Care for More Advice on How to Afford Elderly Care
Neighborly Home Care wants every senior to receive proper elderly care. Contact us today for more information on the cost of in home care and how your family can afford elderly care for your loved ones. Neighborly Home Care is a leading provider of in home care for seniors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Our caregivers are all certified nursing assistants or have received equivalent training and passed a nurse aid skills assessment test.
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