If you’ve recently checked the price of senior care – assisted living, nursing home, home care – you’ve noticed that it’s not inexpensive. Unfortunately, when it comes time to pay for senior care, many seniors and their families discover they weren’t prepared financially. In fact, only about a third of seniors have set aside any money for long-term care needs.
The sooner you begin planning for senior care, the better off your senior and your family will be when a greater level of care is needed. Here are seven ways you can plan to pay for the cost of senior care.
1. Consider Long-Term care Insurance
Like life and health insurance, the best time to buy long-term care insurance is when you’re younger and in good health. Insurance companies are not inclined to take many risks when issuing long-term care policies, and monthly premium prices can become prohibitive after age 60.
It’s also challenging to qualify from a health standpoint when applying for long-term care insurance. For example, if you or your senior have pre-existing physical conditions, insurance companies become very reluctant to issue a policy because of the possibility of having to pay a long-term claim.
2. Make a List of Your Assets
No one likes the thought of having to sell things that have meaning to them, but a senior’s assets are taken into account by nursing homes when payment arrangements are being made. Personal assets must often be “spent down” before Medicare begins to pay benefits. Assets to consider are property, collectibles, savings accounts, retirement accounts, etc.
3. Decide on Compromises
Even with some advance planning, there is a good possibility that you’ll need to make some compromises when it comes to future senior care. You probably have the perfect scenario in your mind about nicely furnished living quarters, a big pool to enjoy, and fabulous meals served.
Will you accept not having a pool, new furniture, and gourmet meals when the time comes? Setting realistic expectations based on your current rate of savings will help with evaluating care and facilities.
4. Keep an Eye on Average Costs
Looking at current costs and factoring in the annual increase in healthcare costs can give you a target dollar amount to plan on. While it’s impossible to know what future inflation is going to be and what the median cost of senior care will be in one, five, or ten years, talking with a home care agency or assisted living facility about their price history can serve as a good indicator for the future.
5. Know Your Options
Senior care costs are going to vary from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood. Senior care in Bradenton will be less expensive than in New York City or San Francisco. Many people find themselves priced out of facilities they’d accept and decide home care is a better option and has all the needed services.
6. Research Available Benefits
Along with your personal savings, assets, or insurance, you might qualify for government assistance. There are special programs for veterans and seniors that you can investigate and see if they can help pay for home care, medications, or housing in a senior institution.
7. Begin Saving as Soon as Possible
Though it may be too late to begin saving for the senior in your life, perhaps there’s time for you to dedicate a portion of your income and put it aside to pay for long-term care insurance or fund a savings account earmarked for your future senior care needs.
First in Care Can Help Your Loved One
First in Care has supported families in Bradenton and Manatee County, Florida for over ten years. We’ve been their preferred option over senior care institutions because our services allow their loved ones to stay at home and receive care. Contact us today at 941-269-3428 and find out how we can meet your family’s home care needs.