We Help Families Like Yours Find Senior Care at No Cost
We help seniors and families make informed decisions, save time,
and feel less alone as they search for senior housing and senior
care. From finding the right nursing home or assisted living
community to researching Veterans benefits and financing senior
care, we'll be with you each step of the way.
Karen Dikes · Baytown, Texas
Trying to get my mom into a nursing home, we were told by the financial office that long term care policies are mostly ripoffs. She was quite upset at how many elders are being scammed and come to her with policies that will not pay. My mother paid for a policy for 20 years and it is apparently worthless as we cannot find a facility that accepts it. On another note, many seniors are not aware of help the VA office offers. If you or your spouse served in the military during a time of war and your income meets the requirements you are eligible for $1000/month as a spouse or $1600/month for those who were in the service themselves to be paid directly to an assisted living or nursing home for your care. My mother had a house and $50,000 in assets and she qualified. Almost all of the present elderly were involved in WWII, but Korea and Vietnam also count. Please contact the VA office to see if you qualify. It's a long process to get approved, but they give you back pay from the time you apply to the time they approve you.
Janice Gayle Grassel
I remember those days with dad. He was fortunate enough his SS And pension covered his cost. I'm not buying into the long term care either. Why not put that money aside monthly.
Lauren Kelly-Hill · California State University, Dominguez Hills
My mom, who is divorced, bought a big house when she was 70 and still working (thinking it would be a great place for all the kids and grandkids to gather every Sunday.) But she never thought of how she would pay for it when she stopped working. By the time she was 73, she no longer worked. Her $1,000 a month social security check didn't even cover the mortgage payment, much less the added Rx costs of $250 a month. She was putting her mortgage payments on her Discover Card! When that was maxed out, she tried to get into something called the "Apollo Program" for people who were underwater on their mortgage. While they let her make half payments for 7 months, they ended up deciding not to keep her in the program, and wanted full payment of the rest of the previously discounted mortgage payments... all within 30 days. She lost her house and the $35,000 equity she had in it, and is living with my brother and his new wife. Her credit is ruined. Her four kids, all of us grown, struggle just to keep our immediate families afloat. People, please plan for your future, and think it out clearly... putting all the "what if's" on the table.
Scott Lorna Carter
4 must have insurances: Medical, Life, Short-term disability, Long-term care. If one is relatively healthy, I think late 50s - early 60s is a good time to purchase long-term care policy. Does anyone know of a LIFE-TIME UMBRELLA policy? Do they even exist anymore? I believe that having these 4 policies in place would help protect a family from falling into the risk of future bankruptcy should unexpected medical disaster strikes.
Most seniors have probably realized their mistakes by this point...including me. How about helpful info as to how we should deal with our mistakes at this point. Can not work forever.
A Place for Mom
These are tips for anyone reading the blog. A lot of caregivers read our blog and these tips help them prepare for their retirement (and arm them with information to prepare their kids). Information is king!
Barbara Guss · Bryn Mawr College
Doesn't Medicare cover, however, the medical costs while being cared-for in a nursing home/assisted living? It is at least a piece of the care plan.
JohnandDeb Bruno · Works at Liberty Mutual Insurance
Medicare would continue to cover medical expenses while in assisted living facilities. But bear in mind there are many co-pays, even if you have a supplemental policy. Also, prescription drug "donut hole" costs come into play. My mother currently has a monthly rent in assisted living of $4350 which covers meals and some assistance. Total care and expenses have cost her approx. $70,000 a year plus. Obviously, no long term care policy (Big Mistake!). Get a 5 year policy while still healthy ...if you have any assets, you can gift the money as you go into the facility to protect them in a Medicaid situation. If you live in Ny, there is also some kind of a tax credit each year as you pay premiums.
Sue Greenbaum · University of Central Missouri
I am assuming what you mean by "gifting your money to go into the Medicaid program" is to give away your money to family and friends in order to get your assets down to $2000.00 or less in order to get Medicaid to pay for assisted living. Since I have a mentally handicapped brother (going into state/fed care very late in life) and a mother with Alzheimer's and currently in assisted living doing a spend down in order to receive medicaid, I have had to deal with the paperwork, and care options. I am so glad we played by the rules. What I have learned: First, Medicaid will look back 5 years to see if there has been gifting. If they see any, there are serious penalties! As I understand it, it might mean either paying the money back, or you might be the one changing the diapers for quite some time, unless you can come up with the
$70,000 a year out of your pocket.
Medicaid is different state to state. Medicaid will not pay for assisted living in Pennsylvania, only nursing homes. In New Jersey it will pay for assisted living as well as nursing homes. Many places will only take private pay: that means no medicaid. Others require 1-2 years of private pay BEFORE they will accept medicaid. The ones I saw that there was no private pay needed before medicaid, I would not put a dog in, much less a loved one.
My mother-in-law died of Alzheimer's, but did have private insurance, and was in a beautiful facility. Even with insurance the out of pocket cost was $30,000 a year. I think her policy was for two years, and she died two months short of the termination of the policy.
I wish I knew what policy is good, as it is hard to trust, and unfortunately we seem to find out the answers too late.
Karen Gibbons Hamilton · Fort Worth, Texas
My sister and I purchased a policy from State Farm for our aunt. She had no children and was a widow. Almost two years exactly after we purchased that policy, we had to move her into an assisted living facility. She lived in that facility for a couple of years an then we had to place her in a facility that took care of Alzheimer patients or dementia. She lived there for a couple of years before she passed away. With her Social Security and the insurance policy, she was able to make it and she had to pay $4400 a month those last two years. So I would check out State Farm. But you have to have the insurance for at least two years before you can use it.
Sharon Alexander · Boulder College of Massage Therapy
And if the better solution is to put money away instead of investing in the insurance, how much per month?
Juanita Jenkins · Top Commenter · The University of Alabama and University of Southwestern Louisiana, L
The donut hole will be gone by 2014 because of ObamaCare. One of the benefits that no one seems to know about.
Sharon Alexander · Boulder College of Massage Therapy
So I see lots of disagreement as to whether to buy a long-term care policy or not. Does anyone have such a policy that they can recommend? One that will actually pay for the facilities of choice, no strings attached?