Tips and Tricks to Afford Senior Living on a Low income

Senior living in a facility may seem financially out of reach for some families. Medicaid has strict requirements and many seniors may be financially overqualified for eligibility while also feeling they might not have enough to pay for senior care out of pocket. But don’t lose hope – here are some tips and tricks that will help you be able to afford assisted living.
1. Plan Ahead
Start looking at your options well ahead of time. Some facilities have waiting lists for living arrangements and waiting until the last minute may mean you’ll have to find a different, perhaps more expensive, location. Taking more time in your search will also enable you to research facilities more thoroughly. Try looking at inspection reports for a range of communities. Some older communities, while not as fancy looking, may actually have a record of outstanding care and could be a more financially viable option.
2. Consider Different Locations
As with all real estate, some locations, especially those in major metropolitan areas, are just more expensive. Consider expanding your search range to areas with more affordable neighborhoods. Perhaps one sibling lives in the suburbs or an a different state that’s cheaper – moving your senior there will enable him or her to be close to family while saving everyone money.
3. Ask for Savings
Most assisted living facilities are used to dealing with families that have different budgets and may be able to adjust their pricing accordingly. Moving incentives can also be a great way to save some money, and some communities may have deals that can include waiving the entry fee, discounted rent, and rent freezes – you’ll never know if you don’t ask!
4. Think about Downsizing
Keep in mind that the larger the apartment, the higher the rent. Consider a smaller one-bedroom or even a studio – both options will have a smaller monthly bill and may mean the difference between being able to afford the facility you want and having to settle for a less ideal community. Another great way to save is by taking on a roommate. Splitting costs with another person could make financial sense in addition to providing company for your senior.
5. Explore Insurance Options
Long-term care insurance can be a good option for families for whom paying out of pocket isn’t possible. This combined with private insurance and careful estate planning may be enough to bridge the gap and be able to afford your preferred community.
6. Think Outside the Box
Is your senior a veteran? He or she may qualify for a discount. Maybe your senior doesn’t need all the amenities offered by a certain community and may be able to take advantage of the lower pricing of a la carte costs. Perhaps your senior doesn’t really need assisted living and less-expensive independent living community could be an answer. By considering all your available options, you could save money in the long run and make your senior’s living arrangements the perfect fit!