Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I know if it is time for my Mom or Dad to move into Assisted Living?
Safety is the number one factor for most families. Although most people would prefer to stay in their own home, there are significant reasons why that is sometimes not possible. In addition to safety concerns, social engagement, communal meals, scheduled activities and 24/7 supervision are some other good reasons to consider Assisted Living.
Q. I know Mom needs to move but she says she is staying put. What should I do? She cannot afford full time care at home.
Often, it is a process and a series of conversations. Imagine yourself in Mom’s position and don’t try to force anything. A Senior Advisor can help you map out the strategy and even help you talk with Mom.
Q. How much does assisted living or memory care cost?
It varies from state-to-state, even county-to- county in the same state. Costs are usually based on a fee for rent and additional fees for care, based on how much assistance is needed.
Q. Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for assisted living?
The rule of thumb, at this writing, is that Medicare only pays for post-acute skilled nursing care, for a maximum of 100 days if certain requirements are met. Medicaid is a state-administered program. Some states have “waivers” that allow people to spend down their money and then stay in an assisted living facility when Medicaid goes into effect. Your Advisor will be versed in the regulations in your state.
Q. My Dad was a veteran of WWII. He passed away three years ago. Mom now needs care. Are there benefits available to help her pay for this care?
If Dad was enlisted during a period of war (see VA website) chances are that Mom is eligible to receive his benefits. Talk to your Advisor for general guidelines and then contact your local VA office for more information.
Q. My Dad was just diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Does that mean he needs to live in Memory Care? He still drives!
The short answer is not necessarily. There are many factors to consider and every care situation is different. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) can mean a variety of things. It is not necessarily a precursor to Alzheimer’s or other dementias. That said, dementia does not happen overnight and early stages are, in fact, a reason someone may have MCI.
Q. If I have Power of Attorney for a relative who is refusing care, can I force her to move?
Most likely not. A power of attorney does not give you the right to force someone to move. Usually this requires a Guardianship or Conservatorship. An elder law attorney would be your best source of advice. We can give you referrals to excellent attorneys specializing in laws relating to eldercare.
Q. I live in New York City. Mom lives in California. She is showing signs of forgetfulness and has no relatives on the west coast. How do I manage her care?
Hiring a local Senior Advisor or Patient Advocate is your best bet to having “boots on the ground” when your loved one lives far away. Interview several and find someone with whom you feel comfortable. We can help!
Q. My mother is applying for Medicaid. She owns her own home but has no other assets. Her social security of $800/month is her only income. Will she be approved?
Most likely yes but as we stated above, programs vary from state to state. Home ownership is not typically considered when determining eligibility. If she is going to have to sell her home to pay for care, your best option is to consult with a Medicaid planning or elder law attorney. Again, we can refer you to someone competent and compassionate.
Q. How much does it cost to have a Senior Care Authority consultant help me find the right care community for my parents?
99% of the time, there is no cost to the family.
Q. How does Senior Care Authority get paid?
When assisting families with placement, Senior Care Authority is paid a referral fee by the community or care home. That enables us to keep families from incurring any cost. For Eldercare Consulting services outside of placement, we charge an hourly fee. Our Advisors always explain these parameters in detail to new clients.
Q. My spouse has been living with dementia for over five years and is declining. I want to keep him at home but I am having a hard time coping. Where can I get support?
Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association for a support group schedule (VERY important!), try and carve out time for yourself when you can be free from responsibility or caregiving duties. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help -- self-care is at the top of your to-do list and takes practice! Your well being is important – we all know the benefit of putting on our own oxygen mask first. You may also want to get support from a therapist. Ask us – we work with wonderful providers who can help.