The cost of care for our elderly continues to rise. If you have aging parents who need assistance, there are important considerations and resources that can help them grow old gracefully.
Depending on their independence, your parents may be able to continue living in their current home. However, you may need to make safety modifications, which can get expensive. For instance, a first-floor bathroom, grab bars in hallways and bathrooms, and an emergency response system may be necessary. You might also consider an in-home aide if your parent needs additional personal assistance.
If they need help with meals, Meals on Wheels is free for anyone over the ripe old age of 60 years.
Some families choose to move an aging parent into their own home. If your parent has dementia or other health issues, adult daycare can be helpful, as it allows them to socialize with other adults.
If your parents are independent and can care for themselves, they may be eligible to enter a continuing-care retirement community. There they can become eligible for future nursing care if it becomes necessary.
If your parents need more extensive care provided through a nursing home, research the options extensively. You may need to reserve a space far in advance. Waiting lists are often long at popular facilities.
Like with living options, you should look into the financing options available for long-term care, which can be a tremendous burden on families. Consider purchasing long-term care insurance, which can help pay for nursing home costs, or an in-home aide.
Medicare will only pay the full cost of professional help if a physician certifies that your parent requires nursing care and if the services are provided by a Medicare-certified home health care agency. Even in such a case, Medicare will pay for nursing home care for the short term only, with benefits restricted to low-income individuals with limited assets.
Tax considerations can help offset some of these costs, as you can claim a federal tax credit of up to $3,000 for in-home care or daycare.
No matter your current situation, developing a financial plan is an important step to providing adequate support for your loved ones’ future well-being. If you need help reviewing your plan or options, give us a shout. Talk soon!