While many older adults would prefer to live independently for the duration of their lives, the truth is that most of us will require some type of additional support with basic daily tasks. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Urban Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70% of adults 65 and older will need long-term care during their lifetime. There’s a wide variety of long-term care options, but many older adults find that assisted living communities offer the support they need while also allowing them to maintain some independence. Assisted living communities are designed for older adults who need additional support in their day-to-day lives. These communities offer help with daily tasks such as eating, taking medication, bathing, housekeeping, preparing meals, and monitoring medicine. In addition, medical care is accessible around the clock in the event of an emergency. But many older adults and their families struggle with how to pay for the high cost of assisted living. Fortunately, there are many different ways to make assisted living an affordable long-term care option.
The cost of assisted living can seem overwhelming at first. However, compared to in-home care and nursing facilities, assisted living is one of the most affordable long-term care options, especially when considering the amenities included. According to Human Good, people over the age of 65 spend roughly 77% of their retiree income on housing, health care, food, clothing, and transportation. However, choosing assisted living can help you cut down on these expenses. Many assisted living communities include the cost of meals, medical services, and activities in the monthly rate, which allows older adults to cut down on other out-of-pocket expenses. Despite the shocking cost of assisted living, there are many different ways to make it more affordable, from long-term care insurance to Medicaid and personal wealth.
Paying out of pocket
Many older adults cover a majority of the expenses of assisted living through their assets and retirement savings. These could include selling or refinancing a home, taking distributions from retirement accounts, or using investment income or pension funds to cover monthly fees.
Long-term care insurance
If you plan, long-term care insurance can be a good way to prepare for the cost of assisted living or skilled nursing care, in case you ever need it. Long-term care insurance helps older adults pay for healthcare options such as assisted living, skilled nursing, and specialized care and caregivers. While traditional healthcare insurance policies and Medicaid help pay for immediate medical expenses, such as a doctor’s visit or surgery, long-term care policies cover basic needs over an extended period. This is important, especially for people who have been diagnosed with chronic illnesses, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, and qualify for assisted living services. It’s important to note that long-term care insurance policies do not reimburse you if they go unused. Because most long-term care policies are purchased before they are needed, it’s important to be familiar with your coverage to ensure you use what you’re entitled to.
Veteran’s retirement benefits
There are a variety of benefits for senior veterans and their family members, all of which have service requirements to qualify. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, eligible veterans can receive monthly payments that can be used to help with daily activities and long-term care. Most retired veterans who have served at least 90 days of active duty, including at least one day during wartime periods, are eligible for senior care benefits. Two benefits can be used to cover the costs of long-term care, the VA Aid and Attendance benefit and the Housebound benefits. The VA Aid and Attendance benefit provides income for veterans and their spouses who are receiving care at home or a senior living facility. The Housebound benefits are designed for veterans who are confined to their homes because of disabilities. Veterans can file their claims and learn more about eligible benefits on the VA website.
Medicaid can be used to cover a portion of assisted living costs, however, it’s important to note that the exact services covered vary by state. Generally, Medicaid programs will pay for personal care services, house management, case management, transportation, and personal emergency response systems. Long-term care Medicaid is available to older adults who meet a specific income and asset limit and also have a doctor’s written agreement that qualifies them for assisted living. It’s important to note that Medicaid benefits for long-term care can only be used at assisted living facilities that accept Medicaid as a payment option.
Our assisted living community at Maplewood Senior Living empowers older adults to live more independently by providing assistance based on individualized goals and needs. Our robust amenities and inclusive services allow older adults to get the care they need without worrying about the future. Day-to-day services include enriching cultural and educational programming that caters to and inspires passions, an array of health and wellness offerings, and inspired nutritious, flavorful dining. To learn more about our offerings or to schedule a tour, please contact us.
We encourage you to read our FREE guide, Is It Time for Assisted Living? It will help walk you through things to consider while looking for assisted living communities, help you understand the benefits, and assist you in determining if it is the right time.
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