There are two categories of nursing homes, ranging from homes for patients whose health has deteriorated to the point where they need to be cared for by a nurse, named skilled nursing facilities, and the other being assisted living facilities. Which provide care to persons who are unable to conduct some of the activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, ambulating, and continence, but who are not educated as nurses.
While some people prefer to live in an assisted living facility for the comfort, convenience, or companionship it provides, others require it because adequate care is not available at home. With a few exceptions, the majority of nursing homes are either skilled nursing facilities or assisted living facilities, rather than both.
Some assisted living communities also provide memory-care units for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The price of an assisted living home is determined by how much-individualized care is necessary. Most facilities cost an average of $2,000 per month to $5,500 per month.
If your holdings and recurring monthly income aren’t enough to cover the expense, and you don’t have a long-term-care insurance cover, there is a public benefit called “Special Assistance” that can help you pay for care in an assisted living facility.
Although many well-intentioned individuals refer to special help as “Medicaid,” Medicaid only supports skilled nursing facilities, not assisted living facilities. While the criteria for each program are similar, it is critical to understand the exact requirements for each program.
To be eligible for Special Assistance, a doctor must certify that you are unable to do part of your daily activities. Furthermore, your earnings must be sufficient. Unlike Medicaid, your spouse’s assets are not countable, therefore if you were capable and willing, you may transfer all of your possessions to your partner. Transfers to a non-spouse within three years, on the other hand, will result in a penalty and disqualification for Special Assistance.
Home and one vehicle are typically not considered countable assets, but other assets would have to be depleted. Pre-paying for a funeral, settling genuine debts, and paying for health care are all acceptable ways to spend down countable assets.
Medicaid funds a percentage of Special Assistance, therefore when you die, Medicaid will have a claim against your property for the portion of your care that Medicaid paid. If you had some non-countable assets when you qualified for Special Assistance and they are part of your estate when you die, these items may have to be sold to fulfill Medicaid’s claim in a procedure known as “estate recovery,” unless you have taken the necessary measures to protect these assets.
If you are unable to take these measures yourself, having a valid power of attorney may allow your loved ones to do so on your behalf.