How to Pay for Memory Care

How to Pay for Memory Care

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Are you exploring different residential memory care communities for a parent or spouse? 

Whatever the current need, the prospect of funding a safe, productive memory care solution can be daunting. Fortunately, there are more resources to pay for memory support services than you think.

Savings & Assets

It may seem obvious, but savings and personal assets such as a primary dwelling, vacation home, RV, boat, or car are valuable resources when exploring a retirement community that provides memory support services.

If you’re helping a loved one who is unsure about their resources, it’s worth searching to find any overlooked savings accounts, stocks, and other assets. Collections of artwork, coins, or jewelry can also be utilized.

Perhaps you don’t feel comfortable selling off your loved one’s assets. If that’s the case, accessing the equity in a home through a second mortgage or a reverse mortgage may be the right solution at this time.

Employee Benefits or Private Insurance

Sometimes people with the early stages of memory care issues are still employed. In these cases, current employee benefits may be an option. Help your loved one ask their Human Resources representative to lay out what benefits are available to him or her. If you can’t find anyone who fills that role, consult their employer-benefits handbook.

These existing benefits might include paid sick time, a “flex spending” account that uses pre-tax dollars for certain out-of-pocket expenses, and disability benefits.

In addition, if the person is under 65, they may also still have group insurance or private insurance to tap as a resource. A representative with the insurance company can explain what resources are available to help with memory support expenses.

Veterans Benefits

If a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a veteran — or the spouse or widow/widower of a veteran — consult the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. There may be substantial benefits that have previously gone unexplored under the Department’s “VA Aid and Attendance” program.

To qualify for memory care financial assistance for veterans or their spouses, the veteran needs to have served at least one day during wartime or 90 consecutive active-duty days during non-wartime. Further qualifications to secure memory care funding include the patient needing daily life assistance, having physical or mental disabilities or being bedridden.

Medicaid

For lower-income people with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive decline issues, Medicaid may help pay for memory care help. Check the guidelines of the state in which the person you are helping lives. You’ll need to determine if, or how much, Medicaid can help with short-term or long-term memory care help.

If you’re not sure exactly how to interpret the guidelines, an elder care attorney may be able to help. In addition, if a retirement community has been recommended to you, ask if there are any administrators who have experience with applying Medicaid assistance to the costs of memory support services.

Retirement Benefits

Various types of pension plans, as well as social security, may also be an overlooked resource for funding memory support services. That can be the case even if the person who needs a memory care retirement community or other services hasn’t officially reached retirement age.

In most cases, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia will be considered a disability. This measure allows for early access to pensions or social security — often without taking the hit for early withdrawal that most people under 59.5 years of age usually receive. (Of course, it’s crucial to calculate what the actual income will be after taxes.)

Loans

Along with home equity loans, additional types of loans may be a good option for your situation. A bridge loan, for example, is a sensible option if you have a reasonable expectation for other funding in the future, such as selling a house.

Bridge loans are constructed in such a way as to provide immediate financing. However, it is important to understand that the interest rates are higher on these kinds of loans. If possible, they should only be pursued if you anticipate being able to pay it off quickly once your other income prospects become available.

Another potential loan resource is a life insurance policy. Some policies allow for a loan to be made against the policy or even to convert the policy into funding long-term care. Needless to say, this should only be utilized if the beneficiaries of the life insurance policy aren’t dependent on the full benefit.

Do you have any additional questions about funding memory care or other needs associated with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? Please fill out this user-friendly form to get information tailored to your specific situation. Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community provides professional memory care services including basic day-to-day care, as well as a range of activities and therapies that help address the cognitive decline.

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Kristin Davenport
By
December 09, 2021
Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public relations, and events. Kristin earned her BFA in graphic design from Wittenberg University. She joined ERS in 2014 after a 25-year career as a visual journalist and creative director with American City Business Journals. Her role at ERS has ignited her passion for making Cincinnati a dementia-inclusive city, and she spends time with residents as a SAIDO® Learning lead supporter. Kristin is the executive producer and co-host of the Linkage Podcast for ERS. Kristin and her husband Alex live in Lebanon, Ohio, with their two daughters. She also serves as a Trustee and the President of the Lebanon Food Pantry and is a board member for ArtScape Lebanon, where she teaches painting and has an art studio, Indium Art.

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