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Can your elderly loved one afford to stay in their home?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023 | Aging in Place, Elder Law |

There may come a time when the question of whether an elderly relative can remain in their home can become a crucial one. The familiarity and comfort of home can be a source of great happiness for many seniors. Still, the ability to stay put often hinges on two critical factors: finances and the level of care they require.

The financial aspect of this equation is multifaceted. If your loved one owns their home, there’s the question of whether they can keep up with ongoing expenses, including property taxes, maintenance, utilities and possible mortgage payments.

Considering home modifications

Adapting a home to suit the needs of an aging adult can be an investment in their independence. Modifications may be necessary to ensure the home is safe and accessible. Simple modifications might involve removing tripping hazards and ensuring good lighting throughout the house. More extensive changes could include widening doorways for wheelchair access or remodeling a bathroom to be more functional for someone with limited mobility. Some costs can be offset by programs or insurance, but others must come out of pocket. While these changes can be costly, they often pale in comparison to the expenses of assisted living facilities.

Home care services

Professional home health care services can bridge the gap between what a family can provide and the needs of your loved one. These services range from companionship and help with daily activities to skilled nursing care. The cost will vary depending on the level of care required and the frequency of visits. It’s essential to research different home health care providers to find a reputable service that fits the budget.

Financial planning for home care

Long-term care insurance, if your loved one has it, may cover some of the costs of home health care. Some government programs and nonprofits offer financial assistance for seniors with low income or limited resources. For some of these, there’s a look-back period that applies. This means that any assets sold or transferred within the period may count toward the program’s limits.

Seeking legal guidance when planning for these potential challenges can be very helpful, as you need to know what options are available so that you can make suitable decisions with your loved one.