3 Ways to Afford Senior Living When the Money Runs Out
Planning for retirement and care for one’s later life can be hard to do. With so many possible costs and unexpected events, budgeting and saving money aren’t easy tasks. You never know how much money will be needed to afford senior living costs.
Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons seniors or their loved ones run out of money to cover assisted living costs, including:
- A stay in an assisted living facility was longer than expected. On average, stays are two and a half years long, but many stays extend well beyond that number.
- Additional, unplanned medical bills. You never know what health risks a senior may face. An unexpected injury or illness can rapidly deplete your funds.
- Increasing costs at their current assisted living community. Sometimes, inflation or changes in facility management can lead to higher prices at senior living communities.
- Increased assistance needs. While you or a senior loved one might be in great shape and totally independent now, greater assistance might be a necessity in the future, which can lead to increased costs.
- A change in a family member’s finances. If family members are helping a loved one pay for senior living, any change in their own finances can impact the senior’s ability to cover their living expenses.
While you may be able to afford the costs of senior living today, you don’t know how circumstances will be altered in the future. If you or a loved one can no longer afford the cost of senior living, don’t worry. There are a few steps you can take to help you find financial support and affordable senior care options.
Get Free Financial Advice on How to Afford Senior Living
First and foremost, remember: you’re not in it alone. There are many resources you can tap into for free financial advice on senior living. You can talk to experts in the senior care industry who have helped hundreds of families before yours and will help hundreds of families after. And you can use online tools to gain insight into your options.
Here are a few free resources for advice on how to afford senior living. Turning to these resources can reveal financing options that you never knew existed.
- State Social Service Agencies – Each state has its own agencies and departments to support senior citizens. Connect with your local agency representative to find out what resources are available through your state. These departments are responsible for ensuring the state’s seniors are well cared for, and they can give you more information on potential grants from the state.
- Online Tools – There are a number of online tools you can use to get advice, connect with senior and caregiver communities, and research financial options. One great tool you can use is this Financial Assistance Locator. You can also find dozens of online guides and e-books to walk you through the process of affording senior care.
- Advisors at Senior Living Communities – Finally, the best resource will be an advisor at the senior living communities your loved one is currently at or considering for the future. It’s their job to help families like yours afford the senior care they need, and they can tell you more about the financial options their own community offers.
Apply for Financial Assistance Programs
To afford senior living costs, you don’t necessarily have to pay out of pocket. You can find plenty of other financial alternatives to help your family cover costs. Running out of money to afford senior living can be scary or concerning, but there are plenty of financial assistance options available, if you know where to look!
One option is securing a Bridge Loan. These loans are designed specifically for covering the costs of senior care, making it a convenient option for many families. Choosing a Bridge Loan allows up to six co-contributors, family members or friends, to split the costs of senior living. And to make it an even more convenient option, payments are made directly to the assisted living community or care providers.
You can also take advantage of state or federally funded assistance programs. Because every state is different, the best action to take is reach out to your state agency to ask questions or get more information. It’s important to know the specifics about what you state offers and how much you need, since costs for elder care can vary as much as 50% depending on the state you live in. When you do find applicable financial options, verify that your loved one is eligible and make time to fill out applicable paperwork.
Consider Changing Locations
If you’re out of funds to cover senior living costs, it might be time to transition out of you or your loved one’s current living situation and into a more affordable community. While you don’t need to move to another state, it’s wise to look beyond your current zip code to find the best care at an affordable price.
Did you know that assisted living communities outside of major urban areas are typically cheaper? When you move to a community in the suburbs or countryside, you can easily reduce costs. Plus, there are other advantages to transitioning to these areas, like more spacious grounds and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere.
Even if you or your loved one still lives in their own home and is relying on in-home care, you could still save money by moving into an assisted living community. That could enable your family to sell the senior’s home to cover more costs. It would also be cheaper (and safer) to receive care in an assisted living community. Many times the cost of care is included in the total monthly fee, and seniors benefit from having nurses on staff 24/7.
Affording senior living expenses can be complicated and costly for any family, but you want to give your loved one the highest quality of life possible. Don’t be discouraged as you see the numbers in bank accounts dwindle. There are so many options available to help families give their loved ones a comfortable, nurturing, and affordable place to call home. With a little time and effort, you can find the best path forward for your family.
Want advice on how to afford senior living expenses? Explore this helpful guide for more information.
About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.