Your parent’s cost of living in an Assisted Living community is cheaper than living in their own home—but not by much. Genworth Financial estimates the median cost in 2016 was $3,628, less than half the cost of a nursing home. The company estimates the cost this year will rise to only $3,737.
In Massachusetts, however, 2017 costs are estimated to be $5,627, because Massachusetts has higher-than-average housing costs. That amount, by the way, is even higher in the Boston area, because the Boston area has some of the highest real estate expenses in the nation.
So what are you and your parent to do?
How Can My Parent Afford Assisted Living?
If you can, plan ahead. You know that your parent will eventually need help. At least 70% of people will need long-term care after they reach age 65, noted a CareScout report. As soon as they retire—or even earlier, if they’ll let you—take upon yourself the potentially unpleasant task of talking to them about their finances.
Why? If you know their financial situation, you can plan for the future. Your parent, who is likely to be healthy upon retirement, will not remain that way for the rest of their life. Both of you are likely to have mental blocks against considering your parent’s future disability, but it’s vitally important you plan for such an eventuality.
As the saying goes, “Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.”
The earlier you plan, the more likely your parent can implement these retirement strategies, which include:
- Plan for a long life
- Don’t expect savings to cover costs
- Invest in retirement savings and other investment strategies
- Consider long-term care insurance
- Use your home equity to your advantage
- Consider your state’s retirement-friendliness
- Make sure your investment portfolio is diversified
- Consider rental properties as an income stream
- Make cost reductions a habit
- Don’t take a hands-off approach to financial matters
If you come to the realization your parent will need help with activities of daily living now or very soon, investigate resources that may help cover the cost.
For example, The Arbors Assisted Living Residential Communities offer a page on our website with information and links to help you cover the cost of Assisted Living. They include:
- Veterans Benefits: Aide and Attendance Program
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Affordable Programs
- Medicaid/MassHealth Programs
- Companion Apartments
Whether you live in Massachusetts or not, this page will offer you some suggestions. For others, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers information about Medicaid/Medicare coverage and other resources. The site includes helpful information, such as whether disability or health insurance covers long-term care, what long-term care insurance covers, whether life insurance will cover long-term care, and ways to pay privately.
Other resources may include your Area Agency on Aging, geriatric care managers, and eldercare resource managers.
Why The Arbors Helps
We know Assisted Living is not the cheapest option for your parent who needs supportive services. However, we believe it is the safest and most healthful option. That’s why we do as much as we can to help families who need some help affording Assisted Living.