For adult children and their senior loved ones, understanding the pricing structure and options for how to finance assisted living care can be confusing. Each senior living company structures their monthly fees a little differently. Some bundle expenses into one monthly fee. This charge covers everything from rent and utilities to personal care and meals.
Other companies have a base rate that covers apartment or suite rental, utilities, meals, and activities to which additional fees for supportive care are assessed separately. This approach can leave families feeling confused about how much they should expect to pay each month.
Equally perplexing are the options for financing assisted living. While most of the expenses are paid using an older adult’s or their family’s private funds, there are alternative programs available. From financial support for veterans and their surviving spouses to bridge loans and life settlement companies, here are a few suggestions for adult children to explore.
Options for Financing Assisted Living
- Aid and Attendance Benefit: If the older adult is a veteran or the surviving spouse of one, they may qualify for a special program known as Aid and Attendance. The benefit is in addition to the veteran’s regular pension and is designed specifically to help pay for care. In 2021, a single veteran who qualifies may be eligible for up to $1,936 a month, and a surviving spouse for $1,244. A married veteran may be eligible for up to $2,295 a month. Visit VA Aid and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance to learn more.
- Long-term care insurance: If the senior purchased long-term care insurance, check the policy to see if it covers assisted living. Some families mistakenly believe it can only be used to pay for nursing home care. While that may be true of some policies, others have provisions for home care services, assisted living, and memory care. Review your loved one’s policy or call the broker for clarification.
- Short-term bridge loans: For many older adults, their house is their greatest financial investment. They may need the proceeds from the sale of it to help finance this new chapter. Or they might have to wait for an investment account to mature to liquidate it. In these situations, a short-term bridge loan can be helpful. These loans allow the senior to borrow money against assets and use it to finance assisted living. This gives the older adult more flexibility. If the senior’s personal bank doesn’t offer these types of loans, there are companies that do. Second Act finances bridge loans exclusively for senior care.
- Life settlement funding: Older adults sometimes have life insurance policies that they no longer really need. Their home is paid for and their children are grown and gone. For many, the money from the policy can be better utilized to pay for an assisted living community. This is where a life settlement company can be useful. These companies buy life insurance policies from older adults for a price that is greater than the cash surrender value but less than face value. Talk with a trusted financial advisor or elder law attorney for recommendations on which company you should consider partnering with.
Consider Sunrise Companion Living
For seniors trying to limit monthly expenses, our companion living program is an option to consider. Through our thoughtful matching process, an older adult can be introduced to another senior looking to share a suite. In addition to sharing the cost of rent, both older adults will have a new friend to make the transition to community living a little easier.