Aging is something we must all face. It can be a wonderful time in one’s life but it also comes with its own challenges, challenges that once had to be faced alone and with great financial strain. Unbeknownst to many there are numerous resources available to those who need assistance from a home-care worker.
Planning For Your Future
If you’re planning ahead and you’re in your 50’s, you’re on the right track! Purchasing a life insurance policy with in-home care assistance before you are 60 is a way to offset the cost of a caregiver. Remember too that assistance may be needed not only for age related concerns but also if you are ever injured due to something (such as being in an accident.) Doing this as early as possible is best since many people with pre-existing conditions will not qualify for long-term care insurance.
Finding the least expensive plan can be headache inducing, but using tools such as those found at the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, can help. There’s also a list of questions to ask each agent to help you find the best insurer for you.
Creating a budget for long-term care from your savings (IRAs for example) and your investments is a wise thing to do at this time in your life as well. To get a realistic idea of the expected costs, visit this government site, that summarizes the cost of in-home care.
If these are not options, or you think that you will need more savings than you have, many individuals will take out a reverse mortgage or a home equity loan. These are not the most desirable choices however, and the homeowner still remains responsible for annual property taxes and other costs that come with owning a home.
Do not forget to research possible tax deductions! According to an article on Forbes, many people are unaware of the tax breaks available for caregiving expenses. This is highly individualized, so depending on your income and circumstances, tax breaks vary (but they do exist!)
If you are planning to pay for a caregiver as a private payer, don’t forget to look into ways that your own community can help. The United Way, senior centers, your local Area Agency on Aging, churches, synagogues, and more may provide information and assistance such as meal delivery programs.
If you believe that a family member will be your caregiver, again look for tax breaks and also learn if they will be able to receive a government voucher or grant. These vary from state to state so check out this site to find out what they may qualify for.
Help varies again from state to state, but using the following tools will help in your search for immediate assistance. Checking these two federal sites, benefits.gov and eldercare.gov, would be a great first step.
Medicare doesn’t generally help pay for caregivers in your home. However, Medicaid is a program that does pay for in-home care, but once again, this varies from state to state. Check this site to find out what you may qualify for through Medicaid.
The PACE program, which stands for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is a rarely used resource that, if eligible, covers in-home care, hospital stays, dental care and more. To be eligible you must be 55 or over, live in an area with a PACE program, and be certified by the state as an individual who requires home-level care.
If you have any information that could benefit someone in need of home-care please leave a comment!