Published 5/16/23

Tips for Talking with Your Loved One about Assisted Living Decisions

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When choosing an assisted living home, you need to consider many factors and find the best fit for your loved one in terms of price, location, services, and atmosphere. How much will it cost? Will I be able to afford it? Can my loved one afford it or rely on Medicaid? What are the costs beyond rent? Here, we address these questions and make a good decision regarding your loved one’s care.

Important Aspects to Consider

There are many important questions you’ll need to answer when seeking the right care for your loved one. Here are some of them along with some things to consider as you answer them for yourself.

Will you or your loved one need memory care?

Memory care is a type of specialized assisted living facility that is geared toward elderly patients or those with Alzheimer’s disease and forms of dementia. This type of specialized care can be beneficial for the person suffering from dementia by reducing symptoms like confusion and anxiety. In order to enjoy moving forward with memory care, it is important to research information about all the different aspects of memory care such as costs, benefits, and location.

Will the new resident need help with day-to-day care?

As Frontier Management explains, there are many everyday tasks which can become challenging in our senior years, like dressing, bathing, managing medications, and toileting. Those who are suffering from incontinence will require the assistance of a licensed nurse or aide capable of helping with cleaning up accidents and dealing with other hygiene needs. Depending on the severity of your loved one’s situation, you may need to find a facility equipped to deal with both physical and mental aspects of their care.

How to Pay for Long-Term Care

If you or your loved one require long-term care, there are several ways to pay for nursing home costs in the long term:

Option 1: Sell a Loved One’s Home to Fund Their Stay

If you’re looking to pay for a nursing home with money in your own pocket, selling your loved one’s current home or other assets might be an option. However, depending on the situation, it may not be easy. First, your loved one will have to have enough equity in the home to cover the costs of a nursing home. You can get an idea of what the property is worth with a quick online search, and use that information to calculate an estimated sales profit number. Look into quick and easy upgrades that can help with the appraisal and sale, like adding appealing bronze plaques to the front for the home number.

Second, you’ll need to consider the ramifications this may have on their Medicaid assistance. Medicaid will review finances carefully, and there could be penalties if the property is sold in certain circumstances. Consult an attorney or Medicaid professional on this.

Coming to a decision about senior financial matters can be rife with difficult conversations with your loved one or other family members. It’s wise to keep in mind negotiating strategies when having these discussions. Try to keep in mind that you’re acting collaboratively in these situations. Everyone wants what’s best for the senior loved one. Avoid getting distracted by petty squabbles.

Option 2: Turn Your Loved One’s Home into Investment Property

If your loved one doesn’t need a lot of cash upfront, then consider updating and renting out their home instead of selling. Or you could sell their home and contact Franklin Investment Realty to use that money to purchase a different house as an investment property. Going this route leads to a steady stream of income, which can be helpful for paying monthly dues at an assisted living facility.

Option 3: Utilize a Reverse Mortgage

This may be an option if you’re looking to pay for your loved one’s long-term care bills with their own home. A reverse mortgage allows you to convert your home equity into cash, which can then be used as needed. To qualify, they must either own or have legal rights to use and occupy the property (also known as “having a vested interest in the property”) or already live there. Like many medical-related decisions, this is one that should be discussed with a financial professional and an elder law attorney.

Option 4: Utilize Medicaid Assistance to Pay for Nursing Home Costs

This is probably the most common way families pay out-of-pocket for nursing home costs. If your loved one is accepted into Medicaid, you’ll have to pay a portion of their costs out-of-pocket and the government will cover the other part. Many states require that your assets be depleted down to $2,000 or less before you qualify — so selling their house may not always be an option.

However, there are some states (Florida, for example) where your property doesn’t count toward this asset limit since it’s considered a “protected exempt asset.” This way, you can retain your home in case it’s something you want to pass on to your kids.

Find the Right Option for Your Family

In conclusion, there are several important aspects to consider when choosing an assisted living facility or nursing home. You should also consider how accessible the facility is for family members as well as any other non-medical needs they may have. Explore the options available for paying for the transition, and then look for trustworthy care providers.

– David Dixon


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