Caring for aging parents comes with numerous challenges. When they can no longer live on their own it can be difficult to make important decisions around their care. Do you hire an in-home caregiver, do you choose a nursing home, or can they live in an assisted living facility? And then the question comes of how to pay for their care. Fortunately, caring for aging parents doesn’t need to be difficult. You have options so that the financial burden to pay for their care does not fall on you. Here are some tips to help you decide how to pay for your parent’s assisted living.
Costs of Assisted Living
The cost of assisted living varies based on location and type of care. The average monthly rate is $3,000, which means that if you’re paying for your parent’s assisted living, you’ll be spending about $100 per day. This means that over the course of a year, you may spend $36,000 or more for one parent in an assisted living home. Most people don’t have that kind of money but fortunately, things like The Affordable Care Act might help with the costs of assisted living if your parent(s) qualify.
Leverage Their Assets
There are many ways to leverage your parents’ assets to cover the cost of assisted living. If they own their home, for instance, you can do a sale-leaseback to get the equity out of the home without losing the house or they can do a HELOC instead. In some cases, you can then turn this home into a rental property to cover the cost of the mortgage every month or live in it yourself if that’s a possibility. Another option is to sell off cars and other valuable items, especially if they hold no sentimental value to your parents. They can also use their savings and investments as an option.
Apply for Veteran’s Benefits
If your parents are veterans, then there is a good chance that they qualify for Veteran’s Benefits. These benefits are available to those who served in the armed forces and were honorably discharged. The amount of money that is available depends on how long they served in the military, as well as their disability rating if they were injured during service. It’s a good option when your parents do not have a lot of money saved up in retirement to cover the costs of living in assisted living.
Each state has a unique set of qualifications for aging adults who need long-term care in an assisted living home. By applying for these benefits you may be able to get the entire stay for your parents covered by these benefits. They will look at things like income, assets, retirement savings, and other financial factors to determine if your parents can get assistance or not. These government programs are often one of the best options for folks who don’t have the savings to pay for care.
Look for Private Organizations
There are some non-profits that help elderly people with their expenses. They get funding through grants and other programs to provide services in their communities. These organizations can help offset some of the assisted living costs to care for your parents. If you and your siblings don’t have the resources to pay those expenses out of pocket, they are available to you.
Decide Where to Live
Will your parents be moving closer to you so you can visit them in assisted living? Or will they be moving to a specialized care facility further away? It’s important to consider different factors like weather, distance from you, and even access to visitors when choosing where to live. Do you need something where they are free to come and go or where you need to check them out? Can they still keep a car and do their own shopping? What amenities do they have? Some places have a robust activities department that keeps seniors active in their communities including exercise classes, hobbies, and more.
Consider Co-Housing and Shared Living
If your parents can still be relatively independent, a co-housing or group home style of living might be a more affordable option. In these living arrangements, there is typically a nurse on duty and maybe an assistant to help. The people in these homes get separate bedrooms and sometimes their own living rooms but share common spaces like the kitchen and bathrooms.
There are many options to help pay for your parent’s assisted living, these are just a handful that you can explore to find the right option for your family.