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Getting the right type of care is the most important factor in our facility search.  The right type of care is determined by what type of facility you are considering such as Nursing Homes, Assisted living or Personal Care Home.  How do we know which facility type of best for mom, dad or a loved one?  We first need to determine what kind of care is needed.  In other words what does mom need assistance with on a daily basis?

Lets use a case study.  Suppose we are looking for a facility for assistance with mom's care.  The assistance needs are; Mom may have Alzheimer's, uses a wheelchair, is Incontinent of bowel and bladder and uses adult briefs and needs eating assistance.  In this simplified example of Mom's care her budget is $3,000 per month.  A Nursing Home could meet all of Mom's needs, however most Nursing Homes could easily cost over $4,500-$6,000 per month.  Next we would look at Assisted Living facilities.  An Assisted Living facility may have a memory care unit or an area designated for Alzheimer's or Dementia residents.  The average cost is $3,500 to $4,500 much cheaper than a Nursing Home but still too expensive.  Than we have the Personal Care Homes.  Many personal care homes are able to provide all the necessary care and many have extensive health care industry experience and generally work assisting small number of residents.  The cost to most quality Personal Care Homes start at about $2,500.  So for mom's level of care it would cost on average $2,900-$3,200.  Depending on if you wanted to have a share room or a private room you would determine which site of the price range you were to be at.  Obviously, the Personal Care Home in this example was able to meet all of mom's needs and we are able to afford the care. 

When determining the facility type also keep in mind that Nursing Homes tend to increase the price for every little bit of increase in assistance in care if there are changes in care needs in the future.  The cost may easily become un-affordable if mom is in a Nursing Home and you can easily end up using ALL of the funds Mom has over a period of time as Mom's level of care increases so does the price.  Large Assisted Living facilities also tend to increase the price for every new level of assistance care needs.  The best option for price stability is generally a Personal Care Home.   Smaller facilities like Personal Care Homes tend to have less overhead because they are run very efficiently.  Personal Care Homes don't have high staff turnover because the Owners and their family normally are the caregivers and so the residents enjoys stability in turnover and in pricing to efficient operations. 

When determining the amount of funds Mom has it is advisable to review all your financial options.  In the above example Mom may have been married to a Veteran.  In this case mom could potentially qualify for $900-1,050 or so a month of extra income for financial assistance!  Many folks don't know this, but this money can be used to pay for Mom's care.   The social security income plus the any Veterans benefits together may almost pay for the care.  By utilizing all sources of Income available you can help slow the rate of burning through of Mom's assets.  

There are Insurance policies out there called Long Term Care Policies that are actually very affordable if purchased on time.   These policies can be structured to pay for the assistance of her needs in part or in whole.  Some folks don't pay a dime for Mom's assistance at a facility because the Long Term Care Insurance pays for all the cost.  There are many folks who have Life Insurance Policies but don't have enough money coming in monthly to help pay for Mom's care.  These Life Insurance Policies many times can be sold to an Insurance Company and you can get a certain face value percentage.  Each policy is different and must be coordinated with your Insurance company. 

There are many different vehicles of financial assistance out there so it is always wise to look into all of your options.  We may sometimes need the assistance of a Insurance Broker, Real Estate Broker and several other Financial Experts.  It never hurts to get assistance from experts in helping you determine the best financial decision to ultimately be able to afford the care Mom needs and deserves.

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