Are you caring for a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? If so, as a progressive disease, you’re likely aware that as the behaviors and symptoms increase, the care needs will as well.
If your family finds that it may no longer be able to provide the level of care and quality of life that your loved one deserves, you might be considering whether a memory care community could be the right answer.
Along with finding the best services, you may be unaware of what type of financial resources might be available. Families are often surprised at the many options.
Benefits of memory care
The following are a few of the advantages your loved one and family will discover if you make a memory care community home:
- Person-centered care: your loved one’s care plan will be adapted to their specific needs and preferences.
- Staff trained in dementia care: those who care for your loved one should be specially trained in the best dementia practices.
- Private residence: Residents will typically have a private apartment or room that can be personalized to make their own.
- Dining program: Eating healthy is essential to those living with dementia but can also be a challenge. Nutritious foods, trained staff to assist and the right environment makes a difference.
- Activities and therapies tailored to the individual: Residents enjoy memory-enhancing or calming therapies and brain-stimulating activities that help them remain engaged in life.
- Social interaction: Interaction with others continues to be important for those who are living with dementia. Connecting with other residents and staff are encouraged.
- Safe and secure community: Residents are safe and steps are taken to secure the community. No one can leave unnoticed yet movements don’t appear restricted.
Paying for memory care
Families want the best care possible for their loved ones but most need to also learn about the different financing options.
You may want to consider the following funding sources:
- Personal savings
Your parents may have accumulated savings that can be used to offset the cost of memory care. When families begin discussing the financial resources available, make sure you’re aware of all the different accounts your parents may have had over the years.
A person may continue to work in the early stages of a diagnosis or the spouse may still be employed. If individuals qualify for Social Security, they can use all or a portion of their benefits toward memory care. If diagnosed before retirement age, they may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
- Retirement benefits
There may be benefits from a retirement plan that can help offset the cost of memory care. This might include Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and annuities. If the individual is not yet age 59 ½, the early withdrawal penalty may be waived.
The individual may have stocks, bonds, real estate or personal property such as jewelry or artwork that can be sold to create funds that can contribute to memory care costs.
- Home Equity
If your parent owns a home and has built up equity, selling may provide a large source of funding. Converting some of the equity into cash is another option. A reverse mortgage is a possible solution if the individual is married and the spouse would live at home, as this type of mortgage requires the property to remain owner-occupied.
- Life insurance policies
If your loved one has a life insurance policy, check if it can be converted to cover care at a residential community or cashed out for a lump sum in exchange for canceling out the death benefit. Some companies may allow you to take out a loan against the policy.
- Veterans Benefits
The Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit program for veterans and their spouses who meet certain restrictions may provide financial assistance for memory care. Qualifications include military service and medical or personal care requirements.
- Long term care insurance
Families may be unaware that their parents have taken out a long-term care policy so make sure to discuss this possibility early on. Policies differ so you’ll want to understand the benefits. Typically, the individual will qualify for payment if help is needed with at least two activities of daily living.
- Private insurance
Medicare is the primary insurance for most individuals over the age of 65 but if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease before that age, they may still have private insurance through work and should check their coverage.
- Employee benefits
If the individual continues to work during the early stages of the disease, he or she may still have benefits they can use, including paid sick leave, short-term disability and a flexible spending account to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
- Bridge or gap loans
Families may find that they need a loan to bridge the gap between the time when funds are needed and when they can be made available. This may occur if a home or other investments are being sold. Loan proceeds are usually received quickly and will be repaid when the asset sells.
The Charleston Senior Community
Locally owned and operated, we offer personalized care by our dedicated team members. Setting a new standard in Assisted Living and Memory Care, we don’t define our residents by their limitations or illness but instead believe in focusing on the positive and the possibility.
The Charleston Senior Community includes private apartments for assisted living residents and for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Your loved ones will benefit from our attention to detail, routine health assessments, delicious dining and daily activity programs as we support them to live their best life.
Consider a few of our amenities:
- Chef-led dining program
- Community movie theater
- Live entertainment
- Outdoor patio
- Social lounges
If your family is thinking about assisted living or memory care for your loved one, we hope you will consider The Charleston Senior Community. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing.