Although memory care is commonly financed through savings, there are several additional funding sources many people don’t know about. From veterans benefits to life insurance, check out these seven options to help pay for senior care.
Dementia care for veterans is provided through a range of health care services depending on their needs, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
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The VA’s Aid and Attendance program — a program for veterans pension recipients and their spouses — can provide financial assistance for services related to memory care.
To qualify for Aid and Attendance, a senior must meet one of the following requirements:
Some qualifications for veterans pension include:
View our VA Benefits and Long-Term Care Guide to learn more and how to apply.
Does your loved one have an IRA or pension plan? These resources can be helpful even if a person hasn’t reached retirement age. For example, if a person is disabled or has dementia, it’s likely the pension plan will pay benefits early. This means a person with Alzheimer’s disease can use funds without paying any withdrawal penalties.
If a person is retirement age and collecting social security benefits, that income can be put toward memory care. Additionally, if your loved one is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s before retirement age, they may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and other disabling conditions listed in the Compassionate Allowances program, can expedite reviews of SSDI applications and provide quicker assistance.
For many seniors, their home is their largest asset or investment — and it can be a solid way to obtain funds to pay for long-term care costs.
Here are a few ways to use your home to pay for memory care:
This short-term loan option can pay for memory care costs immediately while you’re liquidating assets or waiting for a home to sell. Multiple applicants make the loan easier to secure, and up to six people can sign.
An Elderlife Bridge Loan has no application fees or out-of-pocket costs, and the line of credit can range from $5,000 to $500,000.
Some senior life insurance policies can be exchanged for Alzheimer’s care. Certain life insurance policies may be sold for a lump sum, which allows you to receive monthly payments. Some life insurance policies can also be converted into months or years at a residential care facility.
Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance for senior care. Sometimes, families don’t realize their parents have long-term care insurance. While coverage depends on the policy, it generally covers the cost of memory care.
Medicare doesn’t typically pay for memory care, though it may cover temporary care in a skilled nursing facility.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is health insurance for low-income U.S. citizens. It covers some aspects of short- and long-term care for seniors who meet Medicaid’s state and federal guidelines. Services vary based on state regulations, so it’s best to check the guidelines in your state. Not all memory care facilities accept Medicaid.
You may need to get creative and find other ways to cover dementia care costs. Consider the following ideas:
You may be able to gather new ideas on paying for senior care, or perhaps a new perspective, by speaking with others:
Merritt Whitely is an editor at A Place for Mom. She developed health content for seniors at Hearing Charities of America and the National Hearing Aid Project. She’s also managed multiple print publications, blogs, and social media channels for seniors as the marketing manager at Sertoma, Inc.