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.
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.
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
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
Dementia and OCD Lead to Compulsive ShoppingTavis SchrieferCEO @ teleCalm, Phone service for Alzheimers & dementia, both at home and in senior livingMarch 1, 2024Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects about 1.2% of U.S. adults. People with OCD experience unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that cause them anxiety or distress. They also perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions) to try to reduce or neutralize their anxiety. For example, someone with OCD may have a fear of germs and compulsively wash their hands or even develop a compulsive shopping disorder.OCD can be a chronic and disabling condition that interferes with daily functioning and quality of life. Unfortunately, some people with OCD may also be at a higher risk of developing dementia, a group of brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, and behavior. Dementia is more common in older adults, especially those over 65 years old, and it can cause cognitive decline, confusion, and personality changes.How OCD is linked to dementiaAccording to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry , people with OCD are more likely to develop dementia than people without OCD. The study used data from a large insurance database in Taiwan and followed 1,347 people with OCD and 13,470 matched controls without OCD for an average of 11 years. The researchers found that:People with OCD had a higher risk of developing Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia, and unspecified dementia than people without OCD.People with OCD developed dementia about 6 years earlier than people without OCD (70.5 years versus 76.7 years).People with OCD had a higher rate of early-onset dementia (before age 65) than people without OCD (1.7% versus 0.1%).The exact reasons why OCD is associated with dementia are not clear, but some possible explanations are:OCD may share some genetic or environmental risk factors with dementia, such as the APOE gene or chronic inflammation.OCD may cause chronic stress or damage to the brain over time, which may increase the vulnerability to dementia.OCD may make it harder to detect or treat dementia symptoms, as some cognitive impairments or behavioral changes may be attributed to OCD rather than dementia.How OCD and dementia affect compulsive shoppingOne of the possible consequences of having both OCD and dementia is compulsive shopping, which is the uncontrollable urge to buy things that are not needed or wanted. Compulsive shopping can cause financial problems, family conflicts, and emotional distress for the person and their caregivers.Compulsive shopping can be triggered by different factors in people with OCD and dementia, such as:Obsessions: People with OCD may have obsessive thoughts about buying certain items or completing certain collections, which may drive them to shop compulsively.Compulsions: People with OCD may use shopping as a way to cope with their anxiety or to perform rituals related to their obsessions, such as buying multiples of the same item or checking prices repeatedly.Memory loss: People with dementia may forget what they have already bought or why they bought it, which may lead them to buy the same things again or buy things they dont need.Impulsivity: People with dementia may lose their ability to control their impulses or plan ahead, which may make them more prone to buy things on a whim or fall for marketing tricks.Boredom: People with dementia may feel bored or lonely due to their cognitive decline or social isolation, which may make them seek stimulation or comfort through shopping.Compulsive shopping can be especially problematic when it involves purchasing products from home shopping channels and other ads on TV. These sources of shopping may be more accessible, appealing, or persuasive for people with OCD and dementia, as they may:Provide constant exposure to new products and offers that may trigger obsessions or impulses.Use high-pressure tactics such as limited-time deals, scarcity cues, testimonials, or guarantees that may exploit cognitive biases or vulnerabilities.Offer easy payment methods such as credit cards, phone orders, or online transactions that may bypass rational decision-making or budgeting.Deliver products directly to the home without requiring transportation or social interaction that may deter or limit shopping.How teleCalm service can helpIf you have a loved one who suffers from both OCD and dementia and engages in compulsive shopping from home shopping channels and TV ads, you may feel frustrated, worried, or helpless. Fortunately, there is a service that can help you manage this issue: teleCalm.teleCalm is a phone service that is designed specifically for seniors with dementia and their caregivers. It works with any existing phone and phone number, and it offers several features that can prevent or reduce compulsive shopping, such as:Blocking unwanted outgoing calls to home shopping channels and TV adsBlocking ALL incoming calls from telemarketers, scammers, and any other numbers you choose.Allowing only trusted callers to reach your loved one, such as family, friends, doctors, or emergency services.Viewing your loved ones phone activity and alerting you of any suspicious or unusual calls, such as repeated calls to the same number or calls at odd hours.Providing you with a dashboard on an app where you can control and customize your loved ones phone settings, such as call blocking, call filtering, or call scheduling.By using teleCalm, you can protect your loved one from compulsive shopping and its negative consequences, while also preserving their dignity, independence, and connection. You can also reduce your own stress and worry, knowing that your loved one is safe and supported.If you are interested in learning more about teleCalm, please visit teleCalmProtects.com or call 1-888-701-0411.
Did you know there are financial assistance programs available to veterans who need assisted living care? Our veterans made numerous sacrifices to uphold the freedom we enjoy today while their families kept the home fires burning. They are entitled to many benefits in appreciation for all they endured for America.Veterans benefits for senior living are available for qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses, as long as the veteran served at least 90 days of active duty, including at least one day during a wartime period, and received an honorable or general discharge.Veterans Aid and Attendance for assisted living careOffered through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Aid and Attendance is a monthly pension benefit that can help cover the costs of assisted living care. It is available for wartime veterans and their spouses who have limited income and require the regular attendance of a caregiver.Aid and Attendance is designed for individuals who need assistance from another person to complete everyday activities such as bathing, dressing and assistance with other daily activities. A veterans need for this benefit does not need to be the result of their military service.Funds received from Aid and Attendance benefits can offer a monthly benefit to help pay for assisted living and long-term care for a qualifying veteran and their spouse. The actual monthly benefit is determined by the veterans assets, income and medical expenses and conditions.Contact your local county Veterans Services office with questions on how to apply by visiting www.benefits.va.gov/vso.MedicareMedicare will pay for short-term care at nursing and rehabilitation facilities for seniors who need these services after an illness or injury that requires hospitalization. Medicare does not cover the cost for assisted living, home care or other senior living services.Long-Term Care BenefitsThe Veterans Administration provides both short- and long-term care in skilled nursing settings for veterans who cannot care for themselves. This benefit does not cover assisted living or home care.Housebound BenefitsVeterans confined to their homes and requiring assisted living care may be best suited to receive Housebound benefits. This program provides an increased monthly pension amount for those confined to their home due to a permanent disability.Applying for BenefitsThe Veterans Administration has regional offices that provide Veteran Service Organization representatives who may be able to answer simple questions about assisted living benefits, as well as provide free, basic advice on the application process.Many veterans seeking advice on applying for assisted living benefits hire a qualified attorney accredited by the VA or an accredited claims agent, who has passed a written exam about VA laws and procedures.The application process for assisted living benefits is often very lengthy. It is important to be thorough when completing the application and have all required documentation gathered and ready to submit.There are additional financial options to pay for assisted living care for individuals who do not qualify for veterans benefit. Click to find out more about financial options for senior living.Country Meadows offers affordable assisted living or personal care on its nine campuses in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Maryland. Our friendly co-workers are always available to help! Contact us today for more information.
Navigating the Extra Day: A Journey Through Leap YearsLeap years, those quadrennial anomalies in our calendar, have intrigued and puzzled people for centuries. While the concept may seem simple, the implications of leap years are far-reaching, affecting the lives and experiences of individuals across generations.The Earth's orbit around the sun takes approximately 365.25 days. To account for this fractional day, our calendar includes an extra day, February 29th, every four years. This additional day is what we commonly refer to as a leap day.The leap year calendar, also known as the Gregorian calendar, is the most widely used calendar system in the world. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582 to reform the Julian calendar and correct inaccuracies in the calculation of leap years.Under the Gregorian calendar, a leap year occurs every four years, except for years that are divisible by 100 but not by 400. This rule helps synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, making it a more accurate representation of the Earth's orbit around the sun. Imagine reaching the remarkable milestone of 100 years old. Those fortunate enough to celebrate a century of life would have experienced numerous leap years. By the time someone reaches the age of 100, they would have witnessed 25-26 leap years. If you were born on February 29, 1924, and you want to count the leap year in which you were born, then you would experience 26 leap years by February 29, 2024. This includes the leap year of your birth in 1924 and all subsequent leap years every four years, up to and including 2024. The baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, has experienced a varying number of leap years depending on their current age. As of 2024, the youngest baby boomers would be around 60 years old, having experienced 15-16 leap years. Those born in the mid-1940s would be in their late 70s, with 19-20 leap years under their belts. The number of leap years increases with age, contributing to the diversity of experiences within the baby boomer generation.For individuals aged 55 and above, leap years hold a unique significance. These extra days serve as reminders of the passage of time, providing an opportunity for reflection and celebration. Leap years often coincide with major life events, such as milestone birthdays or anniversaries. The occurrence of an extra day in the calendar can be seen as a symbolic bonus, a chance to appreciate the gift of time and the memories accumulated over the years. Leap years, with their irregular but predictable cadence, add a layer of complexity to our understanding of time. For centenarians, baby boomers, and those in the 55+ age group, these extra days contribute to the tapestry of memories and experiences that shape their lives. As we navigate the twists and turns of our temporal journey, let us embrace the quirkiness of leap years and appreciate the additional moments they provide for reflection, celebration, and gratitude. Happy Birthday to all the Leap Day Babies!
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.