If you are the adult child of a parent with dementia, and you don’t feel that they’re safe living on their own anymore, one possible solution is to move them to a place that specializes in dementia care/memory care. The monthly costs of memory care are often a concern for many who are just beginning to look at it as an option, but there are resources and programs available to assist with funding the care.
At first glance, memory care may seem unaffordable since traditional Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance don’t cover the fees. But does that mean your parent can’t afford it? Not necessarily. Here are a few other ways to offset the costs.
- Veterans’ Aid & Attendance benefits. If your parent is a wartime veteran or a surviving spouse with limited income, they may be eligible for this special benefit.
- Long-term care insurance. Does your parent own this type of insurance? If so, it should help pay for dementia/memory care.
- Life insurance conversion. Your parent can convert a life insurance policy into a Long-Term Care Benefit Plan that provides a monthly income.
If you’ve heard of a reverse mortgage, you may wonder whether it could be used to help pay for memory care as well. A reverse mortgage would allow your parent to generate income from their home equity, but unfortunately, the money they borrow would need to be repaid when they moved into memory care. So, no help there.
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Costs of not moving into memory care
As you consider how to cover the cost of memory care for your parent, you should also consider the costs of them not moving into memory care.
- When you consider your parent’s current living expenses at home and add to that the additional costs of providing paid care for them there, especially as their needs increase, you may discover it’s more expensive than you anticipated. In some cases, the total cost of your parent staying put with in-home services can actually exceed memory care.
- Safety. As your parent’s dementia progresses, their safety can become more and more of an issue, particularly if they’re living on their own. You may soon begin to wonder whether it’s worth the risk.
- Family caregiver stress. There’s bound to be someone in your family who’s been helping your parent out at home. And that someone could be you. It’s easy to minimize the contributions they make, but those contributions come at a cost to that person. Over time, they can get stretched too thin without even realizing it. Some caregivers can unexpectedly develop serious health problems of their own after a while. It’s important to not let things get that far.
Looking for more advice on how to support a family member with dementia? We’re experts in dementia care and we’re here to help. Contact us at a community near you, we’ll be happy to assist you.