Dorothy said it right in the Wizard of Oz: There’s no place like home. You deserve the dignity and peace of being able to stay in your own home for as long as possible, but in many cases, the financial burden of necessary modifications to your home and in-home care may seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are options available that will allow you to pay for the modifications and the care you need.
Aging in place is on the rise. In fact, after the age of fifty, many people prefer to remain in the same residence. There are programs in place that will help make that happen for you; you just have to know where to look. Senior Planning Services, a company specializing in helping seniors with Medicaid planning, would like to share some thoughts on aging in place.
If you’re currently on Medicare, you need to look into the long-term care options available on your plan. In certain scenarios, Medicare will pay for in-home care, including home health care, where someone will help you with personal care tasks when you’re unable to accomplish those tasks for yourself.
It is important to note that Medicare is only a short-term solution for long-term care, such as when an individual fell and broke their hip and has been discharged from the hospital but still needs care. For a long-term care solution such as dementia care, etc., the answer would generally be Medicaid, not Medicare.
Medicaid HCBS Waivers
Medicaid’s Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver program is designed to pay for many of the services that would be impossible for you to afford on your own. Through this program, you’re eligible for homemaking, personal care, and even adult day health care services.
If you or your spouse is a veteran, you’re eligible for a number of services through your veteran’s benefits programs. Contact your local VA for more information about what services are available in your area. They can include everything from homemaker/home health care services to adult day care and hospice options. Veteran’s assistance programs provide more individual discretion about how funds are used than many government programs, making them an ideal choice for many aging seniors.
Non-Medicaid Government Assistance
There are many states that offer assistance programs that will help you make modifications to your home or pay for long-term care. While not all states offer these programs, they are available in many states. To view a list of available elderly assistance programs, check out this list.
Private Health Insurance
Many private insurance companies offer options that will help pay for in-home care. They will also often cover durable medical equipment. With a doctor’s order, this may include some of the equipment you need in order to be able to live safely in your home. Consult your insurance policy to see what benefits your insurance company offers. Not clear on the details? Call your insurance company and ask about their policies outright. In many cases, they’ll be able to help you manage the maze of information provided in your policy to determine what benefits are available for you.
If you’re looking for help with home modifications, there are a number of programs that will help make that possible for your home. See what programs are available in your community. Often, local churches are on the lookout for people in need of financial or building assistance to make necessary modifications to their homes. One such well-known program which offers assistance to many individuals is Rebuilding Together.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Do you own an LTC (Long-Term Care) insurance policy? This type of insurance policy can help you pay for a variety of LTC options including home care, assisted living care or a nursing home stay, as well as pay expenses for adult day care, care coordination and other services. You should be familiar with what is offered by your insurance policy.
If you own your home, a reverse mortgage can help cover some of the costs of renovation that will allow you to remain in it longer. There’s no monthly payment associated with this type of loan. Rather, the amount comes due when you move out of the home, pass away, or move away from the property for more than a year. If your heirs wish to keep your home, they have the option to refinance it after your death. For many seniors, this is a valuable option that will allow them to either withdraw a lump sum to manage needed expenses or continue to withdraw money each month for as long as they live in the house.
There are plenty of options that will make it possible for you to live in your home for as long as you like. Prior preparation and an awareness of the modifications that will become necessary in the later years of your life will allow you to plan ahead for the financial decisions that will come along with those modifications. Do your research into the policies you already carry and make sure you understand the benefits that are offered, then make your plans accordingly.
Photo credit: 401(K) 2013 / Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Janelle Winters says
My grandmother is set on not going to an assisted living facility, which means that we are figuring out a way to help her while she stays in her home. I frequently help her out since I live very close to her, but right now we are trying to figure out a way to get more care in her home and make the necessary modifications to her home itself. I am almost completely ignorant about Medicare and Medicaid so I really appreciated your explanation of the differences. Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts; they’ve given us a lot of things to think about and definitely some direction for our next steps!
roger blanchette says
i read there is a booklet that i can download called actIII tool kit. i am unable to find it . thanks for your help.
Mark Hager says
Roger, not sure what the actIII tool kit is. I’m fairly certain we don’t have it on our site, but I’m happy to help you locate it if you can tell me what the kit is for.