Frequently Asked Questions About Financing Senior Living

In our work with seniors and their adult children across the country, the team members at our local Five Star Senior Living communities often find themselves answering many of the same questions about financing care. These are often the first questions adult children have as they begin to search for independent and assisted living communities for an aging loved one.
Adult children are often unaware of options that might help them pay for senior living. They also have more than a few misconceptions about how they can finance care.
We thought it was important to share answers to some of the most common questions we receive from families.
Q: Does long-term care insurance pay for assisted living communities or just nursing homes?
A: Seniors and their adult children often believe long-term care insurance only helps finance a nursing home. In fact, many policies pay for in-home care and assisted living care as well. Review your senior loved one’s insurance policy or call their insurer to clarify what levels of care are covered and what the daily rate is for each.
Q: Are there any financial programs to help veterans who need to move to assisted living?
A: Yes. The Aid & Attendance benefit is designed to help finance senior care for the veteran and/or their surviving spouse. If the veteran meets certain requirements, the current maximum yearly Aid & Attendance awards are:

  • $21,446 for a veteran
  • $25,448 for a veteran with one spouse or dependent
  • $2,198 for each additional dependent child
  • $13,794 for the surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran

The staff at our local Five Star Senior Living communities can help you learn more about this important benefit.
Q: Will Medicare help pay for assisted living?
A: It is often a shock for adult children to learn that Medicare does not help finance assisted living care. While some communities do accept Medicaid waivers, Medicare is not an option that can be used to finance senior living communities.
Q: If I help finance my father’s assisted living care, am I entitled to a tax deduction?
A: This is a tax deduction families often overlook. In many cases, you are entitled to deduct the care you help finance for a senior. Depending upon the amount of financial assistance you provide and if your father can be claimed as a dependent, you may be entitled to a tax deduction. We recommend you seek the advice of a financial professional who can help you make this determination.
Q: Do banks offer bridge loans to pay for senior living until my parents’ house is sold?
A: Many adult children prefer to get their aging loved one safely settled in to a senior living community before they begin the process of selling their home. But for many of our nation’s seniors, their house is their greatest asset. They need the funds from the sale of it to pay for care. Short-term bridge loans can help. Talk with your senior loved one’s bank or explore options such as ElderLife Financial. They provide short-term home equity loans exclusively for senior care.
We hope this information gives you a better understanding of how families can finance senior living for an aging loved one.