Tap Into Your Resource Pool – Financing Assisted Living for Senior Care

When your mom or dad needs a little extra care, assisted living may be the best possible solution. However, it might look like the cost of a live-in facility is out of reach for you and your family; you do not want to shortchange your parents.

Luckily, you may have some resources available to you that you have not yet considered to help. We’ve put together a few ideas to help inspire you so you can obtain the care your loved one needs and deserves.

Paying for Assisted Living With Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care insurance offers coverage for care that isn’t usually covered by regular insurance or Medicare. This care can include assisted living, adult day care or other in-home care. If your mom or dad has a policy in place, it is likely that you will be able to tap into this resource to pay for part or all of the care. If your parents have purchased this insurance, paying for assisted living may not be quite as difficult as you think it will be.

Assets for Assisted Living

You may have already considered your mom or dad’s liquid assets when deciding if you can afford assisted living. Lack of cash doesn’t have to deter you from finding assisted living that meets your standards for quality of care.

Selling your mom or dad’s home can be a smart decision, as cash back from the sale can fund assisted living for the next several years. Other asset-related options involve selling stocks, bonds or even vehicles can be a good solution too.

Is VA a Possibility for Financing Assisted Living?

If your mom or dad served in the armed forces (or was married to someone who served), it may be possible that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will help pay for assisted care. Although there are more than 9.3 million veterans over the age of 65, most of these individuals and their families are unaware of these potential benefits. There are service requirements to be eligible for these benefits, some of which include:

  • Service requirement: The veteran must have served at least one day during wartime. If you are trying to find the years your loved one served, you’ll find the dates in their discharge papers. (If you don’t have access to these, you can request copies from the National Archives.)
  • Financial requirements: Only those who truly need the assistance and meet the means limit as established by the VA, are eligible to receive benefits.
  • Other considerations: Even those who do not meet the needs analysis may be able to receive benefits depending on age and amount of monthly medical benefit.

Keep in mind that benefits are awarded on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure of whether you or your loved one meets the requirements, or you don’t know how to navigate the complicated process, you can speak to someone here at CareChoice who is experienced in helping families afford the best care for their loved ones.

Get Creative

At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure your mom or dad has the best possible care—at any cost. This may mean getting a little creative. Selling property, using online sales sites and other methods of earning money may be necessary. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and do what you have to do to get care started; especially if it is just a matter of waiting for future coverage to begin.

As you can see, there are many ways to pay for assisted living—even if your mom or dad doesn’t have liquid assets available. It’s important to remember that choosing an assisted living community and deciding the best way to pay for it is a tremendous decision. You need someone on your side that understands the process.

The team at CareChoice can help. Call us at (404) 402-1499 or contact us online to learn more about the process and let us help you discover the best way to make sure your parents get in the best place for them without breaking the budget.

5 Things People Don’t Think About When Becoming Their Parent’s Main Caregiver

As your parents become older, there may come a time that they can no longer take care of themselves in the manner that they once could.

At first, it may be that mom or dad can only drive in the daytime. After that, it could be that you need to help with medications. Before long, those little things add up and become big things.

Becoming a caregiver for your elderly parent is not something many of us plan for; however, it can become a necessity — both in short-term and long-term cases.

If you find yourself moving into this role, it is important to think about how it will affect your entire life. Consider these five things that many people fail to think about when they become the primary caregiver for their parent or parents.

It Changes the Relationship

When you are just stopping in now and then to check up on mom or dad, you maintain that “parent/child relationship.” Once you cross into the caregiver role, the entire relationship changes.

Sometimes, that change goes well. It can be seamless, in fact. On other occasions, it is a difficult pill to swallow for everyone involved.

Your parent may resent the fact that you are taking over, and you may resent the fact that you need to do so. It is vital that you work out these feelings, even if it involves talking with a professional.

It Is a Full-time Job

It cannot be emphasized enough how much work goes into taking care of another person. Even if you are not living with your mom or dad, you will find that you spend nearly as much time at their house as you do your own. If you are working at the same time, your stress level will be high.

If you take time off of work or away from your family to care for your parents, you may develop resentment. The time you must commit is incredible, and it is admirable that you would consider doing so.

There Will Be Added Stress and Worries

Chances are, you will find something new to worry about each and every day. Is your mom getting a well-balanced diet when you aren’t around? Are those handrails you installed strong enough? What would happen if someone came to the door late at night?

The worries pile up–it’s only natural. These concerns can quickly turn into anxiety if not managed and kept in check, which makes caring for your parents more difficult.

We suggest that people pay close attention to the things being worried about; often, anxiety becomes a habit. If they write down their concerns, they can be evaluated in a healthy way once the emotion of a moment has passed.

It is Easy to Lose Yourself

As with any demanding job, those caring for their parents are prone to falling into “caregiver depression.” It’s understandable; when you are putting someone else’s needs before your own and spending so much time focusing on taking care of them, your personal life falls down the priority line. This takes a toll on your emotions, and can manifest in a variety of ways.  

Be aware of potential feelings of sadness, loneliness, and even resentment, as they can turn into depression–which is even less conducive to caring for your loved one the way you want to. Whenever possible, remember to care for yourself; don’t run yourself into the ground trying to do it all.

Flexibility is Key

Caring for your parent is an unpredictable job; it’s impossible to know what tomorrow may bring. Whether an unexpected circumstance in your own life (perhaps your child needs a chaperone for a field trip,) or an incident with your parent (one fall could have a big impact on mobility,) the job description of caring for your parent is ever-changing.

Few people are fortunate enough to have enough flexibility in their lives to roll with the changes without complication, which is why many people look at other options — such as assisted living or care communities — to add stability to the routine.

Being the main caregiver for a parent is incredibly tough, but it doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Even if you don’t have other family members nearby that can pitch in and help, there is assistance available.

Senior Living Advisers are completely free consultants who advise and assist those considering out-of-home care or an in-home care provider. CareChoice is a senior advisory firm that offers this advice and assistance in this complicated, emotional, and confusing situation.

If you are interested in learning about assisted living in Atlanta, give us a call at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website for more information. It is our goal to reduce your worries and make the next steps easier. 

 

 

How to Stay Connected with Your Aging Parents

Today more than ever before it is easy to become so busy with work and social activities that the little things in life pass by unnoticed. Many of us spend hours every day tied down to computers, smartphones and tablets, and lose track of what is most important — staying connected with those we love most.

As your life moves on, do not forget that your parents are aging and every chance you miss connecting with them is a chance you may not be able to get back. However, if you are willing to put in some time and effort, you can reconnect and rebuild those relationships before it is too late.

Here are four ways to help you begin the re-connection process:

1. Connect With Tech

You are on your smartphone all the time anyway.  Why not put that time to good use?

If your mom or dad are already Internet-savvy, you can start connecting on social media or utilizing video chats to spend time together even when you are far away from each other. If they live in an assisted living in Atlanta, there may be classes on social media available, too.

If your parents are not yet comfortable with the Internet or mobile devices, just taking the time to teach them how to utilize this technology can be an excellent way to build your relationship. They will appreciate the knowledge you share, and you will have a new way to reach them even during your busiest times.

Who knows? Your mom or dad may soon find Facebook or Video Chats to be their favorite way to keep in touch with the family or long-lost friends.

2. Connect Over the Past

One reason that many people find it hard to connect with their parents and other relatives is that it can be hard to find things to talk about with one another. Sharing stories about the family and the past is an excellent way to build these bonds while creating something that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Spend time together organizing old photos, recreating old family recipes and learning more about the family heritage. Not only will it forge bonds between you and your parents, but you will learn lessons that you can pass on to future generations as well.

It may surprise you, but many times you will be able to get children and other family members involved, too — family history is more exciting than you might think.

3. Go Out Someplace New

Do you always wind up visiting your mom or dad at the house or at their assisted living community in Atlanta — having the same dinners and sharing the same conversations? It might be time to shake things up a bit. Why not take your parents out to the new restaurant in town or out to see a play or a movie? Just getting out of the house and seeing something new can inspire conversation and will make it easier to connect.

When you are enjoying yourselves during your time together, you will all find that rebuilding your relationship is much more fun. If this is impossible, bring the fun to your parents.

Have dinner catered or invite over some entertaining guests. Even bringing a nice dessert and fresh flowers for table décor can turn an ordinary meal into something memorable.

4. Get Others Involved

While you will always want to have special time that is just for you and your parents, it is important to foster the relationships within the entire family, too. Maybe it is time to plan a big family gathering. Holidays, reunions, baby showers, weddings and birthday parties can all be excellent occasions for getting together and spending time with those who are nearest to your heart.

Do not take on all the responsibility yourself. Make the occasion into a family event. When everyone participates, everyone will get more from the occasion.

Your parents will appreciate the opportunity to reconnect not only with you, but with the family as a whole. Plus, after the big day, you will have plenty to talk about and lots of great photos to review!

When you have not been taking the time to connect with your parents for awhile, the first efforts may seem difficult. However, do not give up on the process. Once you get past those first awkward moments, it will quickly turn from being something you need to do into something you want to do.

Soon, you will find that you look forward to every moment you get to spend with your parents — and you will both likely discover new ways you enjoy spending time together, too.