How Can I Pay for Assisted Living?

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As you weigh senior care options, cost is likely a top factor. Depending on the care you or your loved one needs, assisted living could be much more affordable than nursing home care or long-term, in-home care. If you or your loved one does not need close medical attention, assisted living might be your best bet, financially speaking.

Now, how will you pay for assisted living? Here are a few creative ways to afford it that you may not be aware of. IMPORTANT NOTE: Medicare or Medicaid will not pay for assisted living.

Veteran Benefits
If you are your loved one is a veteran, you’re in luck when it comes to residential care. Veteran benefits can be used to pay for residential care in a variety of situations. One set of benefits is available to those with service-related injuries or disabilities; another set of benefits, known as Aid and Attendance, is available to any veteran (or surviving spouse) who is disabled and whose income is below a certain limit. To qualify for and access these benefits, you’ll need to go through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which can be tricky and time consuming. It’s extremely helpful to work with a network of veteran benefits experts who specialize in knowing the ins and outs of the benefits process.

Long-term Care Insurance
If you or your loved one bought long-term care insurance, you’re one of the lucky ones. Long-term care insurance policies apply to most assisted living care; all you need to know is how to collect on it. Most policies require a nurse be available 24/7 and you or your loved one will need help with a pre-determined number of assistance of daily living skills, such as bathing, eating, dressing, grooming and help with medication. The key is to check with the long-term care policy to see what it will help with.

Your Home
The family home can be an important resource. Selling is an option as well as keeping the home and renting it out. Your house is cherished and family members may not be ready to make the decision to sell, in this case renting is not an option. The income from renting the home out can pay for assisted living. Selling your home or renting your home is not an easy decision, but when assisted living care is needed, your home will give you the cash you need to pay for this care.

If you are looking into assisted living and are concerned about how it can be paid for, sit down and calculate what your current monthly expenses are. Include any mortgage or rent being paid, property insurance, property taxes, maintenance inside and out, utilities (gas, electric, water, sewage, garbage), groceries, housekeeping services and car expenses (gas and insurance). After calculating what it costs to live at home each month, compare it to the cost of living in assisted living, which includes an apartment of your choice, utilities, meals (three daily), housekeeping, laundry service, activities, help with medication and, not to mention, making new friend or catching up with old ones.

Interested in assisted living options in Bosque County? Lutheran Sunset Ministries allows you to optimize your independence and focus your energies on enjoying life by freeing yourself from the worries of daily tasks. The supportive environment of College Hill, where we offer the highest quality of assisted living services, is designed for residents who need help with the activities of daily living. Our caring, compassionate staff provides individuals with assistance in accordance with the level of their needs. A Registered Nurse is on duty or on call 24 hours daily, seven days a week, and an attendant is readily available when needed. In addition to the comforts of individual apartments, residents of College Hill Assisted Living enjoy a nurturing, enriching environment, where service exceeds their basic needs. They have access to services and amenities specially appointed for assisted living, as well as to those of the greater community of Sunset. For more information, visit www.lutheransunset.org or call 254-675-8637.

Article by Joann Baucom, Lutheran Sunset Ministries’ director of retirement and assisted living services.

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