March 3, 2017
When an elderly individual needs more care and support than their families can provide, they tend to rule out assisted living as an option because they think they cannot afford it. Often this is because they are looking at the total monthly cost as covering just apartment rental and comparing it to their current housing costs. At this stage in life, most people are no longer paying a mortgage.
Often overlooked is everything else that is included in the monthly fee beyond the cost of housing. In fact, the assisted living rent also covers personal care services, regularly scheduled wellness checks and assessments, food and meal preparation, social events, lifelong learning opportunities, fitness and wellness classes, housekeeping, and utilities.
You should also take into account the bills and fees you would longer be paying in an assisted living community, such as home maintenance fees, oil or gas, home insurance, property tax, transportation fees like car care, auto insurance and gas. And then there are the intangible benefits like companionship, a sense of safety and security, and of course peace of mind for both the resident and their families.
If you have added up the costs and benefits and recognize the true value of a move to assisted living, yet you are still concerned about finances, here are a few programs that can help make assisted living more affordable:
- The Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit provides assistance to eligible wartime veterans and their surviving spouses to offset a significant portion of their monthly assisted living rent.
- Long-Term Care Insurance is accepted at most assisted living communities. It can help you avoid the potential depletion of life savings and allows control over where and how you receive long-term care services.
- A Life Settlement provides seniors with cash for their life insurance policy. Available for term, universal or whole life policies, life settlements, on average, provide three-to-four times the cash surrender value of a policy.
- In some cases, tax deductions are available to help off-set out-of-pocket costs for individuals for whom personal care assistance is deemed medically necessary.
- Sharing a private apartment with a roommate is a good choice for budget conscious individuals. Others choose to share an apartment because they like the companionship. At Cornerstone at Milford Assisted Living Community, when people choose this option, we do our best to match them with a roommate who shares a common background or interests.
I know the financial issues often feel daunting when families first start looking at assisted living communities, but we want people to know that there are options available to help them make the move to an assisted living community comfortably and within their means. Visit or call me anytime – we’ll talk through your questions and concerns.
Beth Patras is the Director Community Relations at Cornerstone at Milford, Assisted Living and Compass Memory Support Community. Contact Beth at bpatras at cornerstonemilford dot com or 508-473-0035 and learn more about Cornerstone at Milford at CornerstoneMilford.com