6 Ways to Pay for Senior Care

Have you ever wondered who pays for care such as in-home care, assisted living, or senior daycare? It seems that almost 9 out of 10 people assume their insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, will pay for their care.  

Unfortunately, this is not the case and can be a huge disappointment for many families. This is why financial planning is such an important piece to the care planning puzzle.  

In this article, I will highlight different care costs as well as some alternative or supplemental benefits available that may help offset the costs of senior care.  

Average Cost of Care 

The cost of care will vary state-to-state depending on the types of care services available as well as other factors such as demographics, licensing, cost of living and more. Therefore, I have included a breakdown of the average cost of care for the most commonly used services according to a study done by Genworth Financial.  

  • Home Care:  $23.69 per hour ($23.69/hr X 40 hrs/wk = $947.60/wk or $4,106/mo) 
  • Adult Day Care:  $77 per day ($77/day X 5 days/wk = $385/wk or $1,668/mo) 
  • Assisted Living:  $4,173 per month 
  • Skilled Nursing:  $8,773 per month 

Ways to Pay for Senior Care 

Paying for care can be expensive, which is why it is important to explore alternative benefits that can help offset or subsidize some of the cost of care.  

  1. Veterans Benefits: Wartime veterans or spouses of wartime vets may qualify for a pension program, typically called the Aid & Attendance program. It is important to speak with a local Veterans Services Officer (VSO) to learn how to apply, the eligibility requirements, and what services are included. 
  2. Reverse mortgage: This option allows a spouse or adult children to remain in their home while creating additional funds for an elderly loved one by tapping into their home equity. These funds can then be used to pay for in-home care, senior day care or other respite care services. You may receive a lump-sum payment or an as-needed amount to pay for care services depending on your agreement.  
  3. Long-term care insurance: The earlier an individual signs up for long-term care insurance, the more helpful it will be in covering the costs of care. In many cases, families may not know whether their loved one has a long-term care insurance policy. This is why it is so important to call their insurance carrier to see if they have an active long-term care policy on file. You may be surprised by what you find out.  
  4. Medicare: Medicare pays for short-term care when prescribed by a doctor. It can generally be used for short-term stays at nursing homes when short-term rehabilitation is needed and for home health care. However, in most cases, it does not cover long term care.  
  5. Medicaid: Medicaid acts as health insurance, but seniors have to qualify based on low income. Medicaid may cover a limited number of assisted living communities, nursing homes, and other alternatives such as in-home care, however, these benefits have restrictions based on savings and income eligibility requirements.  
  6. Caregiver tax credit: If your parent is a dependent, you may qualify for tax credits that can help you save money to pay for adult day care or home care.

Each family’s finances are different which is why it is important to speak with local senior care experts who can guide you in the right direction and put you in touch with the right people. Do not worry, you are not alone! 

If you are caring for your mom, dad, spouse or a loved one, we are here to help you find the care you deserve! Receive a FREE copy of Florida’s 5-Step Guide to Senior Care by simply calling our senior care expert hotline at 941-676-3411. 

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