Paying for Memory Care in Assisted Living

When families begin the search for memory care for a loved one with dementia, one question they often have is how to finance it. While much of the expense of memory care in an assisted living community will require private family funds, there are other options that may help. As you are putting together a budget for your loved one’s transition to memory care, it’s worth exploring the following financial programs. You might find one or two that can help make financing memory care a little easier.

Resources for Financial Assistance - Memory Care in Assisted Living

  • Veterans benefits: If you are a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may be entitled to financial assistance through a Department of Veterans Affairs program known as the Aid & Attendance Benefit. The benefit can range from $1,478 a month for a surviving spouse to $2,300 for a single veteran, or $2,727 for a married veteran.
  • Bridge loans: When you are preparing to move a loved one to a memory care community, it may be easier to help them make the transition before selling their house. Selling a home while living in it isn’t easy for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for someone with memory loss. A bridge loan allows you to utilize the equity in the home to finance a memory care community. This type of loan can also apply to other assets and investments. It can give you time to liquidate holdings so you don’t incur fees and penalties.
  • Reverse mortgages: A diagnosis of dementia can create unique housing challenges for older couples. One partner might need a memory care community to live their best quality of life, while the other wants to stay at home. But a house is often a couple’s greatest financial asset. They might need the equity from it to pay for one spouse’s memory care. In situations like this, a reverse mortgage can be helpful. It’s a type of loan that allows homeowners over the age of 62 to use the equity in their home while still remaining in it. For a senior couple requiring different types of housing, it can be a good solution to explore.
  • Life settlement funds: Another financial option to consider is selling a senior’s life insurance policy to a life settlement company. People often buy life insurance when they are younger and have a family to provide for. After they retire, a large policy may no longer be necessary. While you won’t receive full face value from a life settlement company, you will collect significantly more than the policy’s surrender value. Make sure you carefully choose the company you work with or enlist the services of an elder law attorney or estate planner.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is state-funded insurance for people with limited income. It can help cover a variety of healthcare costs. In some states, including Indiana, Medicaid can help finance the nursing services provided by assisted living communities. These services offer support for what is often referred to as activities of daily living (ADL’s), which include eating, bathing, dressing, medication, toileting, personal grooming and hygiene needs. For older adults who require memory care in a skilled nursing facility, Medicaid will often cover much or all of the cost. This includes nursing care, daily assistance and room and board.
  • Long-term care insurance: There’s a misconception that long-term care insurance pays only for skilled nursing communities, also referred to as nursing homes or long-term care centers. While a senior’s policy will usually cover memory care in a skilled nursing community, it might also extend to assisted living. If your loved one has long-term care insurance, review the contract to look for coverage details or call the company. To learn more, review Did You Know Long-Term Care Insurance May Help Pay for Assisted Living?

Share This Decision Toolkit

We understand that evaluating different memory care options can be a complicated process, and that a number of people may be involved in deciding which memory care community is the best fit for your loved one. We encourage you to share this decision toolkit with family members, and to call an ASC community near you for additional assistance. 

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