If you haven’t searched for an assisted living community before, it’s easy to feel confused about the cost and pricing structure and the options for financing care. Because every senior living provider does things a little bit differently, families find themselves struggling to understand the true cost of senior housing.
Though it might seem expensive at first, the value of an assisted living community becomes more obvious after you understand what is included in the monthly fees. In addition to an apartment or suite, monthly fees typically include meals, transportation, housekeeping, maintenance, life enrichment activities, and utilities.
For many families, the COVID-19 pandemic has made life very complicated. Because seniors are at a high risk for contracting the virus, adult children and grandchildren are pitching in to assist with everything from delivering groceries to shopping for personal care items. For those whose children live too far away, seniors are paying for help with those tasks. This further increases their monthly living expenses and makes assisted living even more invaluable.
While much of the costs associated with assisted living is paid for from a senior or their family’s private funds, there are other options. Here are 4 of the most common ways that families receive financial assistance.
Funding Options to Finance Senior Living
1. Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefit
An often-overlooked source for financing assisted living care is one referred to as the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefit. Many families of veterans aren’t even aware it is an option. If a veteran meets the criteria, the awards can be significant. For many of our nation’s veterans, it can make the cost of moving to an assisted living community much more manageable.
In 2020, a veteran and their spouse might be eligible to receive the following amounts:
- Married Veteran: $2,266 per month
- Single Veteran: $1,911 per month
- Surviving Spouse (no dependents): $1,228 per month
You can learn more by visiting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs online.
2. Short-term bridge loan
For many people, their house is the most valuable asset they have. When it is time to move to an assisted living community, many seniors need the proceeds from the sale of their home to finance their new place. But trying to sell the house while a senior is still living there can make the stress of moving even more difficult. Obtaining a bridge loan might be the solution.
These short-term loans allow families to use the value of an elder’s home to finance assisted living expenses. The older adult can move, and then the family can begin the process of preparing the house for a sale. Families also might find a bridge loan makes good financial sense when it is necessary to hold on to assets or investments until their value peaks or to avoid paying penalties.
3. Long-term care insurance
If you haven’t reviewed your senior loved one’s long-term care insurance policy, make time to do so. Many people are surprised to discover their policy covers more than just nursing home care. Some also pay daily or monthly stipends to help finance in-home care or fees at a licensed assisted living community.
Check with the agent or broker who sold your family member the policy if you can’t determine what is and isn’t covered.
4. Life settlement funding
Another option worth considering is to sell the senior's life insurance policy to a life settlement company. The older adult receives a lump sum payment in exchange. While the reimbursement isn't full face value, it is usually higher than the policy's cash surrender value.
Work with an experienced elder care attorney or estate planner to connect with a reputable company. Also, make certain to have them review any and all contracts before you sign.
We invite you to call Sunrise Senior Living at 888-434-4648 to speak with one of our team members. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about assisted living costs, financing, and more.
You can also learn more by reading our financial options and planning resource.