Making the decision to move your loved one to memory care is never easy, and having the financials figured out ahead of time will help you focus on getting your loved one settled and comfortable. Planning ahead is always the best plan of action, but sometimes these things have a way of sneaking up on you. Whatever your situation, the following tips can help you find the funds to get your loved one into a caring and supportive community that’s right for their needs.
If both your loved one and their spouse are currently living at home, a reverse mortgage may be a good solution. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners to borrow money based on the equity of their home and then pay it back when the home is sold. Reverse mortgages require that at least one of the homeowners remain in the home, so this solution will work only if both people are living. If the house is empty for more than a year, reverse mortgage rules require it to be sold. However, after the home is sold and the loan is repaid, any remaining money can be applied to your loved one’s ongoing care. Visit the HUD Lender List to search for a reverse mortgage lender in your area.
This joint federal and state program for low-income seniors covers many care costs, including memory care in some states. However, as it’s only available to seniors with little to no remaining assets, it should generally be viewed as a solution of last resort. It’s also not accepted by every community, even if your state’s Medicaid program covers memory care services, so if your loved one qualifies, you will need to do more research to find a community that’s the right fit. Eligibility varies by state. Visit the Medicaid State Overview page to learn more about your state’s Medicaid program.
If your loved one or their spouse is or was a veteran, there may be benefits available to help pay their memory care living costs. The Aid & Attendance increased monthly pension is available to veterans and their spouses who are already eligible for a Veterans Affairs (VA) pension and need assistance or care from another person, whether in their own home or in a senior care community. There are a variety of situations and conditions that would make a senior who is already eligible for a VA pension also eligible for this enhancement. Visit the VA Pension Management Centers locator to find the office nearest you.
Living Benefits Rider
If your loved one has a life insurance policy, they may be able to add a Living Benefits Rider (LBR), also known as Accelerated Death Benefits or a Living Needs Benefit Rider. This add-on is available from many insurers and can often be added to an existing policy, albeit for a fee. The LBR allows the policyholder who meets specific medical criteria to access a percentage of their life insurance benefits in a lump-sum payment to be used for medical or senior care. The remaining balance is paid out to the policy’s existing beneficiaries upon their passing. Contact your loved one’s life insurance company for more information and to see if they qualify.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance can be a great way to cover medical and care expenses later in life. The catch here is you need to start planning way ahead for this solution. Insurance companies require a clean bill of health, and each year you wait to apply, the cost increases substantially. For this reason, most people begin paying for long-term care insurance in their 50s or early 60s, but even then, the premiums will be prohibitively expensive for many people. If your loved one is already showing signs of dementia, long-term care insurance isn’t the right solution for you.
If your loved one is able to plan ahead, choosing to remain in the workforce can maximize their Social Security benefits. For instance, if their full retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration, is 64, waiting until 70 to retire could result in a 32% increase in monthly benefits. Visit the Social Security Benefits Planner for more information.
Talk to the Experts
For more information on what plan is right for your loved one, as well as other possible solutions not covered here, contact a senior care expert at Artis Senior Living.