As a firm that specializes in elder law and estate planning matters, we provide comprehensive assistance to people that are looking ahead toward the eventualities of aging. At the same time, we also work with families in a holistic manner, because in many instances, there will be cooperation between generations. This becomes especially relevant when seniors are starting to become unable to handle all their own day-to-day needs.
There are some statistics that you should digest if you have every intention of helping your parents as they get older. The United States Department of Health and Human Services maintains a very useful website called longtermcare.gov. According to this site, seven out of every 10 people that are reaching the age of 65 will need living assistance at some point in time. This is a rather eye-catching statistic, and families should certainly prepare for this possibility in advance with a pragmatic approach.
Caring for an older parent can be very challenging, especially if you have career responsibilities. In some cases, people that are in this position are members of the “sandwich generation.” They still have children that they are caring for directly, and they simultaneously act as caregivers for an aging parent (or parents). This can be a very demanding situation to be placed in, and there are support groups out there comprised of people that are sharing the same experiences.
Whether you are juggling different responsibilities or simply providing assistance to your parent, there will be difficult moments. It is important to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come naturally, and you shouldn’t be afraid to confide in people, because it is not healthy to hold it all in. You should also be willing to ask for assistance from siblings and/or extended family members when it is needed.
Medicaid Waiver Program
If you simply do not have time to provide the care that your parents need, or if the situation calls for the expertise of a professional, you could engage the services of an in-home health aide. Most people will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65, so you may assume that Medicare would cover this type of assistance. In fact, the program does not pay for custodial care, even if it is provided in the home of the individual that needs assistance.
This is a significant gap, because every type of long-term care is very expensive. We practice law in the greater Detroit area, and in our community, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home is over $100,000 a year, and costs have been rising. The median fee for an in-home health aide at the time of this writing is right around $4300 a month. When you multiply this by the 12 months in a year, you are looking at a rather big number that would be difficult for most families to cope with comfortably.
Fortunately, there is a potential solution that we may be able to help you take advantage of if you connect with our firm. Medicaid is another government run health insurance program, and it will pay for living assistance if you can obtain eligibility. Of course, it is intended for people with limited financial resources, so there are income and asset limits.
People that can receive the care that they need in their own homes may be able to qualify for the Michigan Medicaid Waiver program. It is possible to receive financial assistance through this channel, even if the person in question has never been financially needy throughout his or her life if the right steps are taken in advance.
Contact Our Firm Today!
We would be more than glad to help if you would like to learn more about the waiver program and any other elder law matter that you have questions about. You can give us a call at 586-493-7661 to schedule a consultation, and we can also be reached through the contact page on this website.