How am I going to afford assisted living or home care?

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Ruby Care Senior Living Advisors

Posted on

Mar 28, 2023

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Texas - Dallas, Collin, SE Denton & Rockwall Counties

How am I Going to Afford Assisted Living or Home Care When I Need It?

Working with many seniors and families over the years from many different backgrounds and socioeconomic situations, makes this a somewhat scary and serious topic for many.  Will I have enough money to afford care? I don’t want to be a burden on my family. I planned to stay in my home till I die. Social Security and Medicare should cover my costs for care, right?  Let’s talk about the costs, misconceptions, and options for paying for Assisted Living and Home Care. Knowing what to plan for and expect before you need it will provide peace of mind for not only you.

Cost of Home Care and Assisted Living

Let’s start by talking about the big elephant in the room.  The need for a caregiver, Assisted Living, and Memory Care is expensive!  The average in Home Caregiver charges $25-$35/hr., which can up quickly. Once one needs 24/7 it can be upwards of $18,000/mo.+ for a private caregiver. This is where Senior Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities can provide 24/7 care needed in a safe environment at a more affordable rate, typically ranging from around $4,000-$9,000/mo. in the DFW area depending on the location, community, type of room and level of care needed. When one ages significantly or has a medical condition that warrants care, many find that they are not fully prepared for the care that may be necessary long-term. 

Medicare Misconception

We often hear the question: “I have Medicare and a supplemental insurance. Doesn’t that cover the care I need?”  This is a common misconception.  While Medicare and supplemental insurance like AARP cover your medical needs in the hospital, rehab, and Home Health (Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy), it does not cover Home Care/Caregiving Assistance which provides the individual assistance needed for Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs include things like bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, meal preparation, feeding, etc. 

Payment Options

There are several options available when looking at paying for Senior Living and caregiving expenses: How to Pay for Assisted Living: 10 Ways to Cover the Costs (seniorht.com)

1.     Personal Savings – Savings and Investments put aside for retirement.

2.     Social Security Income – Income and retirement $

3.     Pension Plans & Retirement Benefits – Company pensions and retirement benefits are great resources to have.

4.     Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC) – These plans are costly but are designed to cover the costs of Assisted Living and when ADL assistance is needed.  There are many different types of LTC plans. Make sure to look over carefully and read the fine print when choosing the right one for you. 

5.     Veteran’s Benefits – If one qualifies for veteran’s benefits and meets the criteria for pension and/or aid and attendance can receive financial assistance.  You may be able to even receive care in a VA Medical Facility or “VA Facility”, but the challenge many faces is that they are already full due to overwhelming demand. There is often a waiting list to get in. 

6.     Medicare – Covers 100% of the cost of care up to 20 days at a skilled nursing facility and approximately 80% of the cost up to 80 more days. This care must be after an overnight inpatient hospital stay and for recovery. Cost of room and board or personal care in assisted living is not covered, but it will pay for the medical costs, such as physical therapy, incurred while in assisted living. So, this is important to understand when looking at needs for ongoing care.

7.     Medicaid – This would be for those that have spent down or do not have significant assets and income of no more than $2k/mo. This happens to more than you realize as the assets and saved retirement $ is gone and one has only Social Security. Note there is a shortage of Medicaid beds, and one must need skilled nursing in addition to low income to even qualify.

8.     Supplemental Security Income - Anyone can apply for SSI and there is no charge. Check out if you’re eligible through an online screening you can find at https://ssabest.benefits.gov/.  Different states have different rules, and the amount is nominal but can still be beneficial to check.

9.     Reverse Mortgage – This option allows seniors to borrow against the equity in their home. This works great if one is able to/wants to stay in their home but can present a significant challenge when care needs become too great, and a transition is needed. 

10.  Life Insurance Policy – This is a not so commonly known resource that could be available to help pay for Senior Living costs.  Note that these options would potentially reduce or eliminate any payout or benefit to beneficiaries once the policy holder dies.

a.     Some policies have a living benefit options (accelerated death benefit), that allows the policyholder to take a portion of their death benefit early when they have a terminal illness or serious chronic illness. 

b.     Sell Your Life Insurance Policy – Many policies can be sold to a life settlement company for a lump sum that can be used toward senior living and care expenses.

No matter how you decide to plan and pay for your “Golden Years” in retirement, talking with a financial planner, estate/elder law attorney, and having those discussions with trusted family members is recommended. Knowing what to plan for and expect before you need it will provide peace of mind for not only you, but for your loved ones too.  Ruby Care Senior Living Advisors has helped countless families transition into Senior Living Communities throughout DFW with our personalized complementary services that aid families in finding a community that is a right fit based on budgetary, care, family, and geographic needs. We are passionate about helping seniors and their families navigate the overwhelming options and choices when it comes to senior living and ensure the best care, environment, resources, and quality of life for you and/or your loved one. 

 Britt Hemsell – Ruby Care Senior Living Advisor & Blog Contributor

Resources: 

Senior Home Transitions  https://seniorht.com/pay-assisted-living/

Veteran’s Services Offices

Collin County - https://www.collincountytx.gov/veterans

Tarrant County - https://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/veteran-services.html

Dallas County - https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/veteran-services

 

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Ruby Care Senior Living Advisors

Housing Placement & Resource Specialists 5960 West Parker Rd Ste 278-215, Plano, Texas, 75093

When Its Time for Senior Living, We Help You Find the Perfect Community for You! With over 900 senior living options in the DFW area, Ruby Care helps families make informed decisions. We provide complimentary assistance to find the most appropriate living community including Indepenent Living, Assisted Living, Residential Care Homes, Memory Care & Nursing Home. Our ExperienceIf you've been searching for senior housing for you or your loved one, you know there are hundreds of senior living communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Let Ruby Care help you.  We do the legwork at no cost to you and help you find the place that is perfect for you and your family.Our professionals are well-known in the communities they serve.  In order to help you best, they network with health care providers, such as home health, hospice, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, physicians and other senior service providers.Collectively, our team has over 50 years of experience in healthcare and we are trained to listen to your needs so that we can work to find the best options for you...at no cost! Why Us?We know this can be a stressful time for you as you choose your next  home.  When you work with us, you will be assigned a Senior Living  Advisor (SLA) who knows the community and has first-hand knowledge of  the communities you are considering.  Your SLA will meet with you in person and will listen to your wishes, wants and needs in order to help guide  your next steps.  Your SLA will also help you with senior living community tours and  preparation to help guide you through the selection process.  We serve as your advocate and help make this a smooth, seamless transition.  Once you have selected a community, we continue to follow up for at least the next thirty days to make sure things are going well and there are no outstanding concerns. possibilities.  placement.  peace of mind.