Serving Clients Across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex
Elder law is another aspect of estate planning focusing primarily on the needs of families and individuals as they age. A Certified Elder Law Attorney can help clients plan and qualify for VA Pension to help offset the cost of assisted living services and Nursing Home Medicaid if long-term nursing care is needed. Other Elder Law needs may include Advance Directives, Guardianship, and Trust Planning.
Senior Housing & Long-Term Care Options
The Long-Term Care Dilemma
As our population ages, more and more of us confront elder law-related issues, whether for ourselves or our loved ones. One of the most pressing issues is finding and paying for quality long-term care, which is not covered by traditional Medicare. In 2020, the average cost in Texas for a private room in a skilled nursing facility was $80,300. The average stay is slightly more than two years. The cost of Assisted Living and Memory Care is close to, and sometimes exceeding that cost. Most people end up paying for nursing home care until their personal (or family) assets are depleted, then they may qualify for Medicaid to pick up the cost.
Careful planning, however, can help protect your assets, whether for your spouse or for your children. The belt-and-suspenders approach is to purchase long-term care insurance while you are healthy enough to qualify, and to make sure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled under Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicaid is a joint federal-state program subject to certain federal requirements, each state implements its own regulations on how the program is managed. In Texas, Medicaid covers the cost of nursing home care for those who qualify, but provides very little coverage for in-home care or assisted living care. Qualifying for Texas Nursing Home Medicaid can be extremely difficult. But paying for a nursing home without it could be all but impossible.
We assist seniors and their families in making the tough decisions regarding long-term care planning, including whether Medicaid eligibility may be an option.
Senior Housing Options
Helping a parent move to senior housing can seem more intimidating than orchestrating a rocket launch. The death of a spouse, declining health or safety concerns can trigger the need to move. The first phase comes with the realization that what has been home is no longer suitable. Emotional ties to a place are hard to overcome. Finding a new home that is both appealing and appropriate is no easy task, and neither is culling through a lifetime’s accumulation of “stuff.”
Here are some tips to help make the transition easier:
- Plan ahead. Don’t wait for a health crisis to start the process. The smoothest transitions occur when the person moving is in the driver’s seat.
- Get a full assessment of the current situation. Physical care needs and financial resources are where to start. Consider the costs of staying in place, including renovation and ongoing maintenance. Add the cost of rising utility bills and taxes, and don’t forget transportation and food. Make a list and decide whether it’s cheaper to stay or move to a community designed for seniors.
- Take a multi-phase approach. Seniors often take longer than a year to actually make the move.
- Fully explore new housing options. Senior living offers a broader range of options than ever before.