Elder Care Money Management
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The baby boom generation is approaching the golden years that follow the toil and hard work they’ve done to provide a good life for themselves and their families. But with the golden years also come increased costs of care and a more limited income than when they were working. Adult children are increasingly involved in not only making sure mom and dad are happy, but also finding ways to pay for them to remain cared for and healthy. The services and how to pay for services can be as confusing as they are helpful. So here is an overview of care options and some mainstream financial resources that help to cover the bill.
Skilled In Home Care: Medically prescribed home health care provided by a nurse, including administering medication, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Custodial (Intermediate) In Home Care: Care that includes assisting the individual with activities of daily living (ADL), such as bathing, eating, reminding about (but not administering) medication. In Home Care is typically paid for privately, but Medicaid may assist with some medical services.
Adult Day Care: Program provides a group setting for seniors to participate in structured activities, partake in meals, and receive necessary supervision based on the individual’s physical and mental needs. Special smaller groups are usually available for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Adult Day Care is typically paid for privately.
Senior Community/ Independent Living: The option for seniors who are still predominantly independent and only need someone to check-in intermittently throughout the week. Independent Living is typically paid for privately, but Medicaid may assist with some medical services.
Assisted Living: Apartment style living that provides assistance with ADL. Degrees of service vary based on individual’s needs, but can include preparing meals, administering medication, laundry, and regular check-ins. Assisted Living is typically paid for privately, but Medicaid assists with some medical services.
Nursing Home: Provides twenty-hour hour medical nursing services in addition to ADL care. Nursing homes are available for short term rehab and for long term live-in care. Special services are available for various serious illnesses including Alzheimer’s. Nursing homes can be paid for privately or through Medicare or Medicaid when requirements are met.
Geriatric Care Manager (GCM): A certified professional with specialties in both health and human services.
This type of professional can assist in determining and finding the best living situation for an elder and act as a liaison for long distance family. They can monitor care of your loved one in their new home in addition to other services the GCM provides. More information is available from the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (www.caremanager.org).
Elder Care Attorney: Understanding how past and current assets affect public benefits can be very complex, so discussing financial planning with an elder care attorney before services are needed is important. Many, but not all, public benefits consider the past 3 years of income and assets. Also, discuss questions such as power of attorney and other necessary legal documents.