One of the first questions we receive when we meet a family looking for memory care services is ‘How do I pay for this?’. Budget is always a concern for anyone who is considering any senior living option. While paying out of pocket from a bank or savings account is always an option, it is often not feasible for many families to cover the cost of memory care that way.
Before considering how to pay for memory care we recommend first understanding what your loved one is currently paying on a month to month basis. To help you in this process, Oaks Senior Living has put together a cost of living calculator that is free for you to use. This tool will help you tally up what your family is currently paying and includes everything from mortgage, to food and cable.
After you’ve determined what is comparable to your current expenses – it becomes important to recognize what resources you can leverage to cover the cost of memory care. Let’s look at some suggestions of financial resources you can use to pay for memory care.
If your loved one owns their own house, it may be beneficial to sell their home. This has the potential to provide a lot of money that can be put towards monthly rent. We understand that deciding to sell a family home is an incredibly emotional decision and one that does not come lightly. However, the practicality of maintaining a home that no one lives in is often an unnecessary expense that can cause financial burden on you and other family members. If you decide not to sell the home, you could also consider turning it into a rental property that will bring in a steady income.
In addition to selling a home, if your loved one has any additional properties that can be sold such as undeveloped land, secondary homes, or business real estate, consider selling these.
If you decide not to sell the family home, you can also explore the option of a reverse mortgage (also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage). Utilizing a reverse mortgage allows the home owner to turn the equity in their home into cash and there are no restrictions on how this money can be used – making it a good option for financing memory care. Traditionally, the closing costs for this transaction has been high, but shopping around can help you get the best deal.
Life Insurance Policies
While many people may think of life insurance policies being something you can only use after someone has passed – they can actually be used prior to death. Depending on your policy, you can convert it to a long-term care benefit plan to be used to pay for senior care like memory care. While you won’t receive the full amount that you would receive from a life insurance policy, it is usually around 75% of the policy. For example, if the policy was for $100,000 you could receive up to $75,000.
Government Funded Programs
While government programs like Veterans’ Benefits and Medicaid may not pay for senior living directly – it is often possible to use the reimbursed funds from these programs to cover additional care. For example, if your loved one needs a caregiver to come stay with them or additional skilled nursing care Medicaid may cover this personal care. This can vary from state to state so please check with Medicaid.gov for eligibility and information. Veterans’ Benefits will also cover a portion of an eligible senior’s rent and living expenses. So, while this cannot be used to pay for senior living directly, you may be reimbursed for part of the cost later on. Please visit benefits.va.gov for more information about this program.