If you are like many others in our country, the cost of caring for an elderly loved one is a huge burden. In some instances, this burden isn’t a big one at first, but as the months and the years go by, it becomes a crushing one. Not only does this cause emotional distress to you, it has the potential to negatively impact the quality of care that your mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa is receiving. Both of these outcomes are awful, and should be avoided if at all possible. And while the financial and emotional weight that is cast by the senior care is real, do know that there are programs and organizations out there that can and want to help you.
We’ve talked about finding financial assistance here in the past, but haven’t gone into many details on how to actually complete the process. Luckily, there are some very simple resources out there that you will find helpful. First, it’s worth looking at what sort of coverage your loved one already has under existing insurance policies. They probably have Medicare already, but there is a possibility that other policies exist, such as Medi-Cal or a private policy. If your loved one has a long term care policy in place, now is the time to start seeing what this does and does not cover. There are many variations of long term care insurance, and some are far more helpful than others. If one of these policies exists for your loved one, then it will be well worth your time to try and find the appropriate type of care for your loved one underneath it. The care might be covered completely for a certain amount of time, or it might just reduce the costs that will be incurred. Either way, preexisting coverage will be your best place to start.
Next, look to see what kind of financial assistance your family might qualify for. The National Council on Aging has many resources listed on their website, but one of the best is called BenefitsCheckUp. Here, you can select the type of assistance that you are looking for, whether it be help paying for food, help with medications and prescription costs, or more general health care and senior care costs. You can find the link to their site here. Once you click there, you will be prompted to fill out a survey so that they can get a better feel for who you are and what kinds of things they can help you with. It’s free to fill this out and it is completely confidential. The survey itself only takes about 15 minutes or so to fill out, and hopefully it can point you in the right direction for being able to afford the help that your elderly parent needs. It doesn’t matter if they are already receiving in-home care, if they don’t need any assistance yet, or if you just aren’t sure where to start in this often overwhelming process. This can be a big help for your family.