If you haven’t planned for senior living care, you are certainly not alone today. In fact, most people have not given it much thought. They either believe they’ll never need it or they want to save their assets for their children and believe that government subsidies will cover any care they need.
For many families today, recognition of the need for assisted living services arises only after a significant, traumatic event involving an older loved one. It could be an injury, an illness or a noticeable decline in physical or mental ability.
Assisted living provides loved ones with just the level of assistance they need for basic activities of daily living, such as meals, medication management or assistance, bathing, dressing and transportation. They may need help with mobility, incontinence or other similar challenges. Today, an increasing number of loved ones are also requiring care for memory impairment resulting from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Assisted living residents are assessed upon move in, or any time there is a change in their condition. The assessment is then used to develop an Individualized Care Plan to personalize the care and support they receive.
Leading assisted living communities such as Provident Village at Canton also place major emphases on maintaining personal independence and providing life enrichment activities and wellness programs for your loved one that serve to promote their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Paying for Assisted Living
Most insurance coverage today does not pay for assisted living care. Typically, residential assisted living communities are “private pay,” meaning they are paid for through private financial resources. Therefore, it is important to conduct a thorough evaluation of all of your or your loved one’s income sources, assets and debts in order to determine a budget that can be used for the necessary care.
According to the Assisted Living Federation of America, assisted living is often less expensive than home health or nursing home care in the same geographic area. The majority of assisted living communities use a tiered pricing model with bundled services, according to research. For instance, a resident needing very little assistance would be at the lowest tier. Billing is typically done monthly.
Examples of other pricing models are all-inclusive, à la carte or fee-for-service basis. Resident’s care plans are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure their needs are being met.
Financial Resources Used in Paying for Assisted Living
Today, 86.2 percent of assisted living residents pay for long-term care from their personal financial resources.
ALFA lists the following financial resources as the most frequently used in paying for assisted living Care:
- Real Estate Solutions –Home equity is a popular and significant funding source for residential assisted living services. The home is sold or rented with the proceeds or rental payments used to fund senior living.
A less-known and less-understood alternative is the “reverse annuity mortgage”, which allows senior adults to use the value of their home without giving it up. Most experts suggest this option should be considered only for the last five years or so of senior housing. AARP and HUD both have additional information on reverse mortgages.
- Veterans Benefits: Aid and Attendance –Many qualified veterans and spouses are eligible for Veterans Benefits Administration that can be used to pay for senior living. Local Department of Veterans Affairs experts are available and ready to assist you with your application for benefits.
Special veterans’ benefits known as “Aid and Attendance” are available to eligible veterans upon retirement as part of the VA disability pension, and also to the surviving spouse of a veteran as part of the VA’s death pension. Aid and Attendance refers to the fact that to qualify for this particular pension benefit, the claimant must demonstrate a regular need for the assistance of a caregiver or the need to live in a protected environment because of physical or mental impairment.
Veterans and survivors who qualify for Aid and Attendance can receive additional monthly payments above the normal VA pension amount. These benefits are often used for veterans in residential assisted living or skilled nursing care communities. In order to apply for VA health benefits or to determine eligibility, you can call the VA Health Benefits Service Center at 877-222-VETS, or contact a Veterans Benefits Office near you. A Place for Mom, a national referral source for senior living services, provides a special “Guide to Veterans Benefits” on their website and offers a downloadable Guide to Paying for Assisted Living with Veteran’s Benefits.
- Life Insurance – Your life insurance policies may also be a financial solution for funding your move to an assisted living community. Today, this option is increasingly viewed as a valid and appropriate resource and is being utilized for funding senior living services for loved ones in need.
As one example, Life Care Funding Group specializes in converting the death benefit of an in-force life insurance policy into a long-term care benefit to cover the costs of assisted living, home health care, skilled nursing home care, and hospice
- Senior Living Care Insurance – Owning long-term care insurance may be the best way to ensure that you can afford to pay for services when you need them, whether it’s independent living, assisted living or other senior care options. Experts suggest that you should start looking at long-term care insurance at age 40 and own it by age 50. You can evaluate each long-term care insurance company’s financial strength through independent rating systems, such as A.M. Best.
- Medicaid – Medicaid, which provides federal health care assistance to low-income Americans, is the biggest payer for room, board, nursing care and social activities in skilled nursing communities. Many, but not all, states now cover some assisted living services under their Medicaid programs; however, these fluctuate widely in terms of eligibility requirements, and dollar amounts of coverage.
Carmen Duren, Executive Director of Provident Village at Canton, says, “I always recommend to families that whenever they meet with assisted living communities they should always ask for written materials, including copies of the community’s resident agreement. This document provides details on services, pricing, move-in and move-out criteria, visitation, family involvement opportunities, staffing information and the community’s operating policies. Our wonderful Care Partners at Provident Village are always happy to discuss this information with you as well to provide information on available payment and financial resources.”
Live Vibrantly! at Provident Village at Canton
At Provident Village at Canton, we believe vibrant days ensure bright tomorrows, so we’ve created a community where seniors, quite simply, Live Vibrantly! Whether it’s in our Assisted Living Community or Memory Care Neighborhood, each day we celebrate the individuality and strengths of each resident.
At Provident Village, to Live Vibrantly! means that days are filled with joy, vitality, growth and security. It means residents are socially active and personally empowered, with access to the personalized care and support they need to live fully. It means residing in a community where intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and physical care are seamlessly integrated into everyday life.
Our compassionate Care Partners dedicate each day to enriching the lives of our residents. They customize the level of attention and activities to each resident’s specific needs and abilities. Our living environments are warm and inviting, with comfortable furnishings, beautiful fixtures and natural elements that bring the outdoors inside.