Discover the many ways that people pay for senior living, from leveraging home equity to applying for Veterans Aid Assistance. Learn more from Senior LIving Advisors Sue Johansen, Mary Lontkowski and Vicky Burns as they share what they have learned from working with thousands of families in this video from the “Ask an Advisor” series. Or read the transcript below.
Sue: Welcome to the A Place for Mom’s “Ask an Advisor” series. Today we’re answering the question “how do you finance senior care?” Mary, how do you finance senior care?
Mary: Well Sue, that’s a really good question and probably the most common question that we hear. Some families can simply pay for care with their income and their savings. But other families it takes a little more creativity.
Vicky: And of course, as Senior Living Advisors, we’ve seen families with a lot of different situations and there are a lot of options available. Probably the first place people look is into the equity of the senior’s home to help pay for their care.
Mary: And if the care need is urgent, many families are able to tap into what’s known as a bridge loan. The bridge loan gives you time to actually sell that home and obtain that equity while you can also get your loved one into care and meet that immediate need.
Vicky: Right. And another good option is a reverse mortgage. Now, it’s not appropriate for everybody, but if one partner or one spouse needs memory care or a high level of assisted living and the other chooses to stay at home then it could be an ideal situation.
Sue: Great. What about for folks who don’t have a home or haven’t built equity in their home? Are there government programs that can help with financing senior care?
Vicky: Absolutely. You know a lot of seniors today have had some military service or their spouse has had military service and the V.A. offers a great program called Aid and Attendance. And it is specifically to help the senior pay for in-home care, memory care, assisted living, even nursing home care.
Sue: Then of course there’s Medicaid, which helps cover the cost of senior care for those who can’t otherwise afford it. We at A Place for Mom of course don’t handle referrals to Medicaid but it is something that families who can’t afford senior care should look into.
Mary: You know and all of this makes me think about another option: long-term care insurance. Now long-term care insurance can also be used just like the veterans benefit for skilled nursing, memory care, even assisted living. But it does take a lot of planning. Less than 3 percent of the families have long-term care.
Vicky: I speak to families every day that wish that they had long-term care insurance and you know as this industry becomes more and more sophisticated I feel like a lot of families will go that direction to help pay for their long-term care.
Mary: There really are a lot of options out there, Sue. And what I really try to get across to families is that they really need to first talk to a professional like the advisors at A Place for Mom and also get out there and see firsthand some of the options that are available. We do this all the time. We work with thousands of families and we can help you pick out an option that’s right for you and also one that’s affordable.
Sue: Great. So in terms of financing senior care obviously there’s the equity in your home. There’s bridge loans. And if you plan ahead there’s long-term care insurance, which many people wish they had thought of a long time ago.
Sue: And of course the Veterans Aid and Attendance program. So all is not lost, but early education is probably the key.
Sue: To find out more about senior communities, please log on to our website or call A Place for Mom and speak to a local advisor. Thank you.
How to Finance
Update: January 2018