Deciding whether it’s time for your elderly loved one to transition into an assisted living facility is a big decision with many factors. Assisted living provides peace of mind knowing your elderly loved one will have the support and love they need while still maintaining independence. Unfortunately, Medicare does not typically cover the expenses associated with assisted, independent or retirement living, and costs can get extremely high. Thankfully, there are many ways to save money on your elderly loved ones care while still ensuring that they are receiving the care they deserve. Here are our top assisted living cost-saving tips:
- Research and tour many different communities.
This can be a bit tricky during this time and looks a lot different than it would alternatively, but thankfully, many assisted living facilities have virtual tour options which will give you and your loved one the opportunity to tour (virtually) more facilities than you may have been able to tour traditionally. While doing your research, make sure to check communities state licensing and be sure to talk with the staff of each facility and get to know the different environments to determine which would best suit your loved ones desires.
2. During your tours, ask about specials and price flexibilities.
There are many cost-saving options that are offered prior to move in to help incentives new residents. Depending on their occupancy rate, you may be surprised at the number of discounts available for your elderly loved one. Here’s a handful of things to ask during your tour:
- Ask if there are any move-in incentives
- Ask about current specials.
- Ask if the community is willing to negotiate its monthly price.
- Ask if the entrance fee can be waived.
3. Explore other financing options.
Although not as well-known, there are a handful of other financing options to help take the weight off your shoulders. If your loved one or their spouse served in the military, has a home, or another source of equity, here are a handful of options that may help you pay for assisted living:
- Veterans (VA) benefits
If your elderly loved one or their spouse served four our country, they may qualify for a pension program through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to offset the cost of senior care.
- Bridge loans
A bridge loan is a short-term loan designed for urgent situations and can help homeowners gain cash flow quickly. This cash flow can be used to pay for assisted living while liquidating assets or waiting for a home to sell.
- Reverse Mortgage
A reverse mortgage allows a spouse or adult children to remain in their home while creating funds for assisted living for their elderly loved one by tapping into their home equity. A reverse mortgage allows the borrower to receive money as a lump sum or as needed to supplement income and help cover the costs of assisted living.
If you are interested in any of these options for helping with the financial weight of your elderly loved ones care, be sure to run each of these options by your financial advisor.
4. Sell or surrender a life insurance policy.
This may come as a surprise to many but you can actually use your elderly loved ones life insurance policy to help pay for assisted living. Selling their policy to a third party for market value can be a great alternative to help pay for their care. Use the proceeds of the sale to fund a long-term benefit plan while some of the death benefits remain.
5. Consider a facility that offers a la cart services.
Some facilities offer an a la cart structure. This option allows you to purchase services or items separately based on need. These services include laundry or bathing services, housekeeping, mail delivery, and beyond. Go through the list and prioritize the services your elderly loved one is most interested in. If your loved one is interested in may of the services, an all-inclusive model may be a better suit for their needs.
Transitioning into assisted living can be extremely overwhelming but I hope these tips can put your heart more at ease knowing that you do have options to relive some of the financial burden while still finding your elderly loved one the best care.