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Personal finance topics of special interest to the caregiver.

Ease the cost of dementia: 8 go-to resources

Ease the cost of dementia: 8 go-to resources

by MARA BOTONIS
Contributor

Eight essential financial resources and strategies to help you when the going gets rough:

This informational series Financial Solutions, from my book When Caring Takes Courage, is designed to acquaint you with a few of the methods of paying for home or facility-based care. With healthcare costs continuing to rise and the added financial stress families are suffering after the economic crisis of 2008, affording help for care of a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia can feel out of reach.

When Caring Takes courageFor Alzheimer’s caregiver tips on Long Term Care Insurance, Medicaid, Veteran’s Aid and Attendance – and to get more detailed information about the programs listed below – visit the Amazon.com information page about When Caring Takes Courage.

For now, click through on the slider to get 8 Financial Solutions to managing your care costs. These programs each have different qualifying criteria and guidelines. In each case, I’ve included the website and/or contact number so you can connect directly with the program administrators to learn more about your potential eligibility or to simply gather more information.

From Bridge Loans to Respite Scholarships, there is hopefully a program that suits your needs and for which you are eligible. Good “bill” hunting!

Tax Deductible Health Care:

Senior Care Bridge Loan

The “Elderlife Line of Credit” from Elderlife Financial is designed to help seniors and their families cover the costs associated with assisted living, home care or skilled nursing on a short-term basis. Payments are made directly from the loan account to the care providers. At no point do the borrowers take possession of the funds. Up to six co-borrowers are able to apply which allows multiple family members or friends to share the cost. A line of credit is offered of up to $50,000.

1-888-828-4500 or visit their website at: www.elderlifefinancial.com

Life Insurance

These tips refers to in-effect policies only: You may be able to borrow from a life insurance policy’s cash value. Or the person with dementia may be able to receive a part of the policy’s face value as a “viatical loan” which would be paid off upon the person’s death. www.viatical.org or 1-800-973-8258

Some life insurance policies offer accelerated death benefits. That is, some of the insurance benefits can be paid if the insured person is not expected to live beyond the next 6 to 12 months because of a terminal illness. The payout may run as high as 90% to 95% of the policy’s face value and will not be taxed as income.

Medicare Part A

Medicare is a Federal health insurance program that pays for hospital and medical care for individuals over 65 years old. In Part A, hospital Insurance (HI) helps pay for hospital stays, which includes meals, supplies, testing, and a semi-private room. It also pays for home health care such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy that is deemed medically necessary. Covers care in a skilled nursing facility, most often used after a hospital stay during short-term rehabilitation, as well as certain medical equipment. (No monthly premium.) Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) at: 1-800-633-4227 or visit their website at: www.medicare.gov

Medicare Part B

Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) pays for medically necessary physician visits, outpatient hospital visits, home health care costs. Plus, durable medical equipment (canes, walkers, scooters, wheelchairs, etc.), X-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, and some ambulance transportation. (Monthly premium and annual deductible.) 1-800-633-4227 or visit their website at: www.medicare.gov

Reverse Mortgage Home Loan

An option for homeowners over 62 (eligibility ages vary, depending on the lending institution). The collateral for the loan is the home’s equity, and the loan usually doesn’t need to be repaid until the homeowners sell the home, the last surviving homeowner leaves the residence, or until the homeowners pass away. There are no credit score requirements. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): 1-800- 225-5342 or www portal.hud.gov.

Respite Scholarships

Some chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association have earmarked a portion of their annual funding for Respite or Short Term Stay scholarships to offer relief for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s and dementia by paying for all or a portion of their daily care for a set period of time. The individual chapters each administer their respite program differently. Contact the Alzheimer’s Association helpline (operating 24 hours a day, 7 days per week) at: 1-312-335-8700 or visit their website at: www.alz.org

Shared or Semi-Private Suites

Many assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities that provide Alzheimer’s care offer shared or semi-private suites or rooms that your loved one would share. Having a roommate can decrease the cost of care up to 40% off private room rates. Call A Place for Mom: 1-877-311-6099 or visit their website at: www.aplaceformom.com.

Tax Deductible Health Care

To determine the available options, contact your accountant, tax professional or Internal Revenue Service at: 1-800-829-1040 or visit their website at: www.irs.gov.

Some credits and deductions that might bring you relief:

Tax Credits and Deductions for Elderly Dependents;
Elderly Dependent Care Federal Tax Credit;
Elderly Dependent Care State Tax Credits;
Tax Credits and Deductions for the Elderly Filing Their Own Taxes.

NOTE: Information about the programs does NOT constitute an endorsement or recommendation  and in no way should be considered financial advice. You and your family, accountant, attorney or trusted advisors are the best group to decide what the best financial solutions for your particular situation may be.


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Mara Botonis

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