The Cottages Blog

Ways You Can Save on the Cost of Assisted Living

Posted by Abby Neese on May 28, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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So you’ve decided to move Mom into assisted living, and now you’re wondering what your best options are for covering the cost of her new place of residence. Here are some helpful tips on how you can save on the cost of assisted living.

Consider All of Your Options

Don’t commit to the first place that your senior mom visits. Talk to several assisted living communities in your area and find the right fit for your mom and your budget. The cost of assisted living varies by location and by which “a la carte” services you may choose for Mom. On your phonecalls and visits, ask about price flexibility, incentives, and if the location offers an “a la carte” menu of services from which you can choose. Often times, just having the option to choose some services and have your senior mom take care of others on her own can save you a lot in cost. 

Long-Term Care Insurance

If you are unable to pay for assisted living out-of-pocket, parts of Mom’s care may be covered by private long-term care insurance or government assistance programs. It’s important to remember that these types of services won’t usually cover the entire cost. While all Americans who turn 65 are eligible for Medicare, Medicare will not pay for assisted living, long-term care at a nursing home, residential care homes, or any other long-term care. It covers the cost of short-term stays in rehabilitation centers or nursing homes after hospitalization or surgery, and the cost of short-term, doctor-prescribed in-home rehab therapy. Medicaid will pay for long-term care for some people, but coverage varies by each state, and only seniors who are considered low-income or have a medical care expenses that exceed their income qualify for Medicaid assistance. 

Veterans' Assistance

Everyone over the age of 65 who has served in the military for at least one day during the time of war qualifies for VA benefits. VA benefits are available to veterans and their dependents. In order to receive VA benefits, Veterans must be labeled as “totally disabled”. This is not a problem for seniors, because all wartime veterans over the age of 65 are automatically labeled “totally disabled”. Before they can receive benefits, veterans must also be enrolled in VA health care. Veterans who need in-home care can get an Aid and Attendance pension of up to $25,000, depending on annual income and number of dependents. 

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a new and innovative way to raise money for any number of things. Crowdfunding is when a person earns money by asking for funds from a large group of people, usually through a website that sponsors your individual campaign. There are several sites dedicated to crowdfunding. If taking this road sounds interesting, research these websites and find the one that’s right for your goals. If you are also using any type of government assistance to help cover the cost, it’s important to remember that money raised through crowdfunding campaigns can only be used to cover the cost of private senior living or long-term care costs. Using it as income could raise a senior’s annual income over what they need to qualify for certain government benefits.

 

Caregiver's Field Guide to Assisted Living

Topics: Downsizing for Seniors, Senior Care Resources

Abby Neese

Written by: Abby Neese

Abby grew up just south of the Tennessee state line in Anderson, Alabama. She joined the Cottage team in 2016 and is an LPN who has been caring for seniors since 2009. Prior to the Cottage, Abby worked in home health. “I enjoy working with seniors and love hearing their stories. Most importantly, it is very rewarding to know we can make a difference in our residents’ lives through the care we provide.” Abby also volunteers at the Lexington Fire Department and is a certified first responder. Abby and her husband, Jebby, have two children.