Elder Care Information

Strategies on Paying for Nursing Home Care and Medicaid

The decision to place your loved one into a nursing home is anextremely difficult decision, often causing much guilt for thecaregiver. It is a very emotional decision for most clients we see andmost are under a certain amount of stress, often great, when facing whatthey consider to be a drastic course of action.

I counsel ourcaregiver clients to get beyond the guilt as quickly as they can,because the situation their loved one is in is not the caregiver'sfault. And besides, the longer you remain under this stress, the lesshealthy you eat, or you eat way too much, the less you sleep, and somestart drinking (my own mother started this late at night after she gotmy dad settled in bed for the evening - not healthy to say the least).

The stress of caring for a loved one is constant and unrelenting. Itis a physical, mental and emotional grind. On numerous occasions, wehave actually had caregiver clients die before the spouse in the nursinghome. Sometimes, the caregivers die shortly after the nursing homespouse dies. The stress of being a caregiver can be deadly serious,especially for older clients who are caregivers for their spouse.

You have to recognize it and develop a plan to deal with it.

Get your children involved in developing a plan to deal with yourloved one's incapacity. And remember, plan for the absolute worst casescenario. Get to an attorney who can help you develop a plan to help youwith your particular situation. And this is especially important as soonas you detect any signs of dementia in your parent or spouse, or as soonas you begin to detect physical problems with your loved one. The sooneryou begin the plan, the better off the family will be.

NOW, HOW DO WE PAY FOR MAMA'S NURSING HOME CARE? There arereally only three ways to pay for a stay in a nursing home.

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE (LTCI). If Mama was far-sighted enough, shemay have purchased LTCI in the past before she needed it. This would bean excellent source of funds to help defray some or all of Mama's longterm care costs. Unfortunately, very few seniors, those over age 60,have LTCI coverage.

SELF PAY. This essentially means that Mama has enough income orfinancial assets to pay her own way in the nursing home. However, manyfamilies don't have the income or the financial asset base to be able topay $4,000 to $7,500 or more a month for a bed for very long in anursing home.

MEDICAID. This is a state-administered medical benefit program whichwill pay for the cost of a nursing home stay if three tests are met,i.e., medical need, asset, and income. Medicaid is obviously aneeds-based program, funded partially by state funds, but mostly byfederal funds. Many people are under the mistaken impression thatMEDICARE, which most seniors in this country over age sixty-fiveparticipate in to one degree or another, will cover the cost of theirstay in a nursing home.

(c) Copyright 2005 P.L.Fields LLC

P.L. Fields is a Medicaid Expert and President of SeniorStrategies, a service that helps seniors save time and money. Tolearn more about the secret strategies and solutions that Medicaidlawyers charge to get clients qualified for Medicaid, while protectingtheir assets, visit: http://www.medicaidsecrets.info

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