Navigating the Financial Considerations of Nursing Home Care: A Quick Guide for Caretakers
Caring for our elderly loved ones is an act of love and compassion. As caregivers, we want the best possible care for them. Often this can be accomplished at home. However, there may come a time when the safest option is to consider placement in a nursing facility. This decision may be necessary for both your loved one as well as yourself, as the caretaker. This decision is likely to come with a mix of emotions. Additionally, this decision can come with many more questions than answers when beginning to research available options. A key aspect of consideration that families need to have a good grasp of involves the financial impact this transition can have. It is essential to approach the financial aspect with equal consideration and compassion. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the financial considerations for nursing home care that should be planned for and considered.
Understanding the Cost of Nursing Home Care:
Nursing home care expenses can be a significant concern for families. It's crucial to gain a clear understanding of the overall cost involved, which may include:
a) Room and Board: This covers accommodations, meals, and basic services provided by the nursing home. These basic services will often include nursing assistance with medication oversight and administration, basic medical assistance with assessments, and assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, ambulating, restroom, etc.) to name common offerings.
b) Medical Care: Expenses related to medical treatments, medications, and therapies.
d) Ancillary Services: These could include laundry, transportation, specialty supplies, and social activities.
The costs associated with these services can
vary from state to state. The Ohio Long-Term Care Consumer Guide indicates that the average cost of a nursing home is more than $5,000/month. It would not be uncommon for costs to range anywhere between $7,500-$10,000/month. Due to the high monthly costs associated with this level of care, planning for and understanding financial assistance options is an important aspect when considering a transition to a long-term care facility for a loved one.
Researching Potential Financial Assistance:
As caretakers, you may explore various financial assistance options to alleviate the burden of nursing home expenses. Some potential resources include:
a) Medicaid: This program can be a significant help for low-income seniors to cover long-term nursing home care. Eligibility crit
eria and coverage vary by state.
b) Long-Term Care Insurance: If your loved one had the foresight to invest in long-term care insurance, it can significantly ease th
e financial strain.
c) Veterans Benefits: Veterans or their spouses may qualify for certain benefits that can help cover some nursing home costs.
Families can gain valuable insights and guidance by engaging
in conversations with financial planners or elder law attorneys to assist in planning for the substantial costs associated with long-term care.
It can be daunting to consider the financial impact of nursing home care. However, it is only one aspect of consideration when making the choice to transition a loved one into a facility. Often, this decision is simply what is safest for all involved. Therefore, having early conversations about the financial impact can assist families in understanding what funds might be available to pay for these services as well as what other resources might be available to help with paying for this level of care.