Taking Care Of Mom And Dad: 3 Ways To Make Assisted Living More Affordable

Posted on: 12 September 2014

Having a rough time wrapping your mind around that $3,550 average monthly payment for assisted living? Well, you aren't alone. Responsible adults everywhere are having a hard time trying to figure out how to take care of their wonderful parents, while keeping their own family finances in the black. Fortunately, by following these three tips, you might be able to save money while providing your mom and dad with the care that they need during their golden years.

1: Plan Ahead

When it comes to booking a spot at your local assisted living facility, like Stonehill Care Center, a little advance planning goes a long way. Although your mom and dad might not want to talk about it, the fact of the matter is that if you wait too long, your options could be severely limited. Rooms tend to fill up fast at the more desirable locations, which could limit your parents to a place they might not enjoy.

Another problem with procrastinating is that it can make it much harder to negotiate the price. When you have the luxury of time, you can meet with assisted living facilities well in advance to check out the premises. You might be able to do thorough price comparisons, discuss itemized costs, and even lock in future rates, just by planning assisted living a few years in advance.

2: Rent a Storage Unit for Extra Stuff

Over the years, people tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. Raising kids, doing yard work, and cooking for large groups of people are all tasks that require lots of gizmos and gadgets. If your folks are like most people, they probably have loads of rarely-used equipment stashed away in basements and spare bedrooms.

The great thing about being retired is that you don't necessarily need baby swings, lawn mowers, and flour sifters. Instead of taking care of kids and stubborn lawns, your parents will finally have the chance to kick back, relax, and enjoy their time.

However, the fact of the matter is that the larger the assisted living space is that you decide to rent, the steeper the monthly price tag will be. Instead of footing the bill for a bigger space than they need, consider renting a storage unit for your parents to house unnecessary belongings.  On average, storage spaces cost about 75 cents per square foot per month, which is much less than paying for an extra bedroom at a retirement facility.

3: Apply for Veteran's Benefits

Did you grow up listening to your dad tell you awe-inspiring stories about the war? If you have a parent who is retirement age and served in the armed forces, they might be eligible to receive a monthly grant for their assisted living expenses.

This grant is called the Aid & Attendance Benefit, and it can cover up to $1,949 per month to married veterans who meet all of the requirements. To qualify, your mom or dad needs to have:

  • Served actively in the armed forces for at least 90 days.
  • Received an honorable discharge.
  • Certain medical or financial needs.

Another great thing about this benefit is that if your parent meets other criteria, they might be eligible to receive even more money. For example, if your loved one needs additional care because of complex medical issues or poor eyesight, they might be able to receive an additional stipend.

To apply for this benefit, all your parent needs to do is write a letter to their local Veteran's Affairs office. The letter needs to include details of the applicant's living situation, such as how they get around and how much care they need to receive. If your parent is eligible for this amazing benefit, it can substantially reduce the total monthly payment that you have to come up with.

Careful financial planning in regards to your parent's assisted living situation will help you to provide for their needs, while looking after your own.