Posts Tagged Costs of Eldercare

Benefits to Caring for Your Parent at Home

home-care-2When your parent becomes more reliable on others for their every day lives it may be time to live together. There are some benefits to taking care of your elderly parent at home. Some of which are:

  • If you have children this gives them a better opportunity to get to know their grandparents in a way they wouldn’t have before.
  • Your parent’s will be able to help out financially. Before they move in it is a good idea to discuss what their monthly contribution to the household will be. Will they pay rent? Pay for food? Pay for care?
  • You will have the piece of mind knowing they are well taken care of and safe.
  • You will create a bond that you wouldn’t be able to have if they were living somewhere else.
  • If your parent is still relatively healthy they may be able to help in caring for your children, reading them bedtime stories, playing games and more.
  • Caring for your parent at home is much cheaper than placing them in a care facility.
  • Even while they are living with you they still can qualify for supplemental income through ALTCS.

When making this decision there are many factors to think about. We have listed a few below:

  • What are the expectations of care you are able to provide?
  • What will you do when you go on vacation?
  • Is your home elderly friendly with wheelchair or walker accessible, grab handles, bedroom on the first floor, etc?
  • If their care becomes more than you are able to provide what will you do then?
  • If your parent is ill, be prepared to learn everything you can about their illness and how to care for it?
  • Find a reliable place you may need to take your parent for respite care for the much needed breaks.
  • Discuss the arrangement with your spouse, children, brothers and sisters so everyone is on the same page and understanding of the care and expenses.

Why Should I Apply for ALTCS If I Already Have Medicare?

altcs-vs-medicareMedicare is a great program for seniors who need medical insurance and prescription drugs. However, Medicare does not cover the cost for assisting living. It may cover very short term (average of 27 days, but can be up to 100 days) in a nursing home facility.  They also do not cover the cost for non-skilled services which include assistance with activities that are done daily which include grooming, meals, etc.

Medicare is beneficial for the times before needing Assisted Living. It is immensely helpful for preventative measures and rehabilitation if you were to slip and fall. What happens when rehabilitation doesn’t work and you need constant assistance? That is when Medicaid, otherwise known in Arizona as ALTCS, will come into play.

If you are worried you have too much money to qualify for ALTCS you may want to speak to a knowledgeable advisor. At Legal Awareness for Seniors we specialize in qualifying individuals for ALTCS through different means. If you or someone you love is in need of Assisted Living – applying for ALTCS is the most affordable way.

What is Long Term Care Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Long Term Care Insurance1 out of every 2 people will need to have long term care at some point in their life. Long Term Care Insurance can help alleviate the costs when you are in need of long term care.

You must set up Long Term Care Insurance before you need it. Once you have been diagnosed with a long term care illness, you will not be able to qualify for the insurance. Obtaining this insurance is a preventative measure.

Most Long Term Insurances cover:

  • nursing homes
  • Alzheimer’s care
  • personal care in your home
  • assisted living facilities
  • hospice care
  • adult day care
  • respite care
  • home health care

Depending on the choices you make (such as the maximum amount the policy will pay per day in long term care, maximum amount of days it will cover, etc.) will depend on the cost of the premiums. Be sure to investigate the insurance company you decide to go with. It is a good idea is to check the company’s premium rate history. Many companies increase their premium rates regularly which can stick you with a high monthly cost. You may want to meet with a professional to help you choose the best plan for you.

How Do I Pay For Assisted Living?

When it comes time for your loved one to be in assisted living it can be a shock at the expenses that are involved in the day to day care. There are three ways that you can pay for assisted living.Pay for Assisted Living

  1. King Midas Approach (Private Pay)
  2. Long Term Care Insurance
  3. Benefits
    1. ALTCS (Medicaid)
    2. VA Aid & Attendance

King Midas Approach

This is also known as private pay. This can be the simplest route, but the cost of assisted living can quickly eat up any savings, 401K’s, IRA’s and other investments in your portfolio. Often paying out of pocket can only last for so long.

Long Term Care Insurance

Having this insurance can be very beneficial when paying for assisted living. However, this must be set up well before you are in need of assisted living. The cost of the insurance can vary as well and is usually based on your age, the amount the policy will pay per day, the maximum amount of years that will be covered, and any other optional benefits you choose. The insurance company may require medical underwriting as well.

It is very common for insurance companies to initially decline payment. In many cases you or the staff at the facility must contact the insurance company to discuss the situation in order to get approval. Most insurance companies will require that you will need help in at least two areas of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, toileting, walking, transferring from the bed to a chair, eating, etc).

Benefits: ALTCS

ALTCS is Arizona’s version of Medicaid (Arizona Long-Term Care System). In order to qualify for ALTCS you must meet asset, income and medical eligibility requirements. There are ways to strategically plan for ALTCS before applying and in so doing save substantial money.

Benefits: VA Aid and Attendance Pension

VA Aid and Attendance is for veterans that are in need of assistance. Just like with ALTCS you must meet certain requirements in order to qualify. This is monetary assistance that is given in order to supplement the cost of assisted living. There are also ways to strategically plan for this Pension before applying.

What is VA Aid and Attendance?

US_Flag_BacklitOne in two seniors at or above the age of 65 years old can expect to go into some type of assisted living. Eldercare is probably the most unexpected and catastrophic event that can happen to a senior. This can be a drain on maintaining the lifestyle that they are accustomed.

Many veterans are unaware that they may qualify for monetary payment to assist in covering the costs of eldercare. These benefits are paid in addition to the monthly Pension they receive. To qualify for aid and attendance you must:

• Be age 65 or older;
• Have had an honorable or general discharge from the military;
• Have served at least 90 days of active Federal duty with at least one day during a period of conflict;
• Have a documented medical condition requiring care;
• Meet income and countable asset criteria

Some believe or have even been told that they have too much money in order to qualify for this Pension. There are ways to rearrange your assets in order to be able to qualify for this assistance. Prior to completing the application for VA Aid and Attendance it is wise to meet with a consultant that can help realign assets and complete the necessary estate planning documents.

This Pension does not have to be used just at a nursing facility or assisted living facility. It can be used to receive long term care in your home. Approximately 70% to 80% of all long term care is being provided for in the home. Not only this, but the VA will allow veteran’s households to deduct the annual cost of paying any person (including family members and friends) when calculating for Pension benefits as long as there is a caregiver agreement in place.

There are many different strategies that can be accomplished in order to qualify for VA Aid and Attendance. They vary according to each person’s specific situation. It is best to meet with a consultant to find the best avenue in order for you to qualify for this Pension.