3 Considerations to Make When Planning and Paying for Senior Care

Planning and Paying for Senior Car

If your loved one is experiencing difficulties that accompany aging, it might be time to start thinking about planning for future care. While we would all like to imagine living out our days free from the necessity of long-term care, in reality, approximately two-thirds of people ages 65 and older will require long-term care in some form, according to AARP

Experts in the senior living field agree that it pays to plan ahead, encouraging seniors to start making plans about potential care sooner rather than later. Polly West, Executive Director at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, an assisted senior care and memory care community in Nicholasville, KY, shares that “the best time to plan for care is well before you actually need it. 

“Planning for the future now allows your loved one to get the most out of their decisions about how they’d like to be cared for when the time comes,” says West. “It also gives your family greater peace of mind about the future. Sadly, so many families are rushed into making care decisions when a loved one falls ill or an accident occurs, limiting their opportunities to make informed decisions or benefit from possible financial planning.

“Making these plans before your loved one requires care helps everyone transition smoothly through life’s changes and trials.”

Considerations for Making Plans About Future Care

There’s much to consider when it comes to making plans about your loved one’s future care. While there will always be some element of unpredictability, evaluating your options and coming up with basic plans now can help you and your family steer through uncertain times. 

The AARP resource guide, “Planning for Long-Term Care,” discusses several important factors in planning for the future. Among the guide’s suggestions, three major considerations emerge for you and your loved one to make together:

1. Considering Future Care Wishes – It’s important to know what kind of care your loved one would prefer if it becomes necessary. Would they prefer to receive care at home or at a senior living community? If the former, you should assess whether their house and its location are ideal for helping them remain independent. If the latter, begin researching types of communities near you (traditional nursing homes, active senior living, assisted senior care, continuing care communities, etc.) to see which ones are most ideal. Doing your research ahead of time can allow your loved one to choose the most desirable community and start considering financial plans to make that option possible.

2. Considering How to Pay for Care – Perhaps the most import considerations to make when planning for future care is how your loved one will pay for the services they need. Since private health insurance plans, as well as Medicare, do not typically cover long-term care, knowing what financial options are available before they need care can make it much more affordable. Financial options for paying for long-term care include:

    • Retirement Savings and Other Investments – Investments such as a 401(k) plan or IRAs are some of the most common ways to pay for long-term care. Cashing in on stocks and other investments is another possibility.
    • Real Estate – If your loved one plans on moving to a long-term care community, they can use money made from selling or renting out their house to pay for care. If they would rather receive care at home, they could pay for services by setting up a reverse mortgage. As long as they live in the home, a reverse mortgage will allow them to exchange their equity in the home for monthly payments, which can then be used to pay for home care.
    • Veterans Benefits – Many qualifying veterans and their spouses can pay for care through benefits they receive from the Veterans Administration (VA). The Aid and Attendance Pension is part of the Improved Pension benefits for veterans or their spouse who require assistance with daily living activities, such as dressing, bathing, eating, etc.
    • Long-Term Care Insurance – Unlike regular health insurance, these policies cover the costs of care in an independent living, assisted living or skilled nursing community, as well as home care. Long-term care insurance should be bought when the holder is younger and relatively healthy. Those in poor health or already receiving long-term care may not qualify for this kind of insurance.
    • Medicaid – Medicaid is a federally and state-funded program that pays for long-term care services for those with very low income levels and few assets. Eligibility for Medicaid varies slightly from state to state and depends upon financial and functional health requirements. These benefits can be used to cover the costs of skilled nursing care or assisted living for as long as the person resides in that community.

3. Considering Others Involved in Their Future Care – Once you and your loved one have made decisions about how they would like to handle their future care, sharing those plans with your family can benefit everyone involved. Not only will it help to ensure that your loved one receives the type of care they want should they be unable to communicate their wishes later on, but you and other members of the family will be on the same page when it comes to your loved one’s care plans.

When the time is right, your loved one can choose to make legal plans, such as a living will or Power of Attorney. If an accident should occur and they cannot make decisions for their self, these legal documents will legitimize their healthcare choices. Even if they wait to write up a living will, it’s still a good idea to put their care wishes in writing to avoid any confusion or disagreements among family members.

Helping You Take the Next Step

“We understand that finding the best care for an aging loved one can be a complicated process,” says West. “At Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, we are always searching for ways to make that process easier. We host a full schedule of educational events for family caregivers who could use a hand when it comes to important senior living issues, such as planning and paying for care. 

“If you’d like to learn more about the assisted senior care and memory care services we provide at Bridgepointe, or if you’d like to see our calendar of upcoming events, simply visit our website for more information.” 

Live Life to the Fullest at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods

Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods is a Christian Care Community offering assisted senior care, memory care and adult day services. Located in Brannon Crossing, one of central Kentucky’s most desirable areas, Bridgepointe was designed to help families grow closer as they grow older.

At Bridgepointe, residents enjoy the privacy and dignity of living in their own apartment as well as the peace of mind that comes from the support and assistance of a special team of caregivers. In short, we help our residents live life to its fullest.

Our community is designed to promote activity, interaction, socialization and enjoyment. We offer a variety of engaging activities daily, from yoga and tai chi to gardening and arts and crafts. At Bridgepointe, there’s never a dull moment and always something to do!

Discover a rich and fulfilling lifestyle combined with personalized care and support delivered by a team of experienced professionals … all within a secure, elegantly appointed community.

We invite you to visit today and discover how Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods can change your life for the better!

To learn more, contact us today!