Everything is so costly, how can we afford the care we need? I often hear this from families just starting the care service maze.
For those families that find that mom and dad, or their spouse needs a little more help, they begin a trip of discovery for affordable care. With many options available, finding the right fit can be overwhelming. Often the decision is influenced by factors such as whether there is a spouse or local family members to help with care, is the home a safe location, and the size of the care budget available. Let’s examine how these factors affect the outcome.
A first consideration is who is available to provide the “free” care we all take for granted. Because chronic care may be associated with advanced age, often the spouse may have issues of their own that may limit the quality of care provided. For a husband who needs a walker and has a history of falls, the spouse may not be strong enough to render help when needed. If the care is from a daughter or son who is just across town or in nearby Denver, the need to be available can be a daily task that may impact their family and career.
Home or Community
Just as in real estate, care should consider the best location. If the home is a safe place it will likely be the first choice for care, but let’s examine that qualifier; is it safe? For someone who needs help with meal prep and showering assist, home is where everyone wants to be. For our previous example, the home with stairs can be a formidable obstacle. Add a little dementia and being home alone may not be a suitable environment. Then a community care provider may be a better choice.
Now we begin to explore costs and how to pay for the care required. If there is a long term care policy, the policy may have low payout or short duration. For memory issues, the need for care can last 5 years or more. A life insurance policy may be convertible into a care policy. A home may be used for a reverse mortgage to provide funds. If dad was a veteran, the Aid & Attendance Pension may provide funds for care. Finally, Medicaid is the safety net that provides a helping hand when resources are low. To help sort these financial choices it’s best to consult a Care Cost Advisor to create a roadmap to pay for care. It’s a free service that could be invaluable.
Editor’s Note: Article submitted by Chuck Shaw, Care Cost Advisor, VA Accredited Agent & Financial Advisor. He may be reached at 719-638-1319 or email@example.com