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Care planning: Paying for a nursing home

Though most people hope that they'll never have need for a nursing home, the reality is that many people will eventually live in one. Families here in Colorado want the best for their loved ones and want to be sure that a chosen nursing home will provide proper care, but it can be difficult to come up with the finances necessary. Fortunately, experts have advice on how a family can make a nursing home part of their care planning efforts.

The most obvious option is to use long-term care Medicaid. In order to qualify, the applicant will have to meet certain financial and level of care requirements.  For married couples, the well spouse is entitled to keep, among other things,  $126,000, the home, one automobile and personal property. Families should also be aware that if the patient passes away while receiving Medicaid, unless proper planning is done, the government could lien the applicant's home.

Those who served our country in the armed forces or their spouses may also be able to use the Veterans Administration's Aid and Attendance Pension. The amount received varies between $1,210 and $2,230 depending on marital status, whether the veteran or surviving spouse is the recipient, income, and the amount of unreimbursed medical expenses.  It can be used for care in the veteran's home or to pay for assisted living or a nursing home.

No matter how a family decides to pay for a nursing home, it is imperative that seniors receive accurate information and understand the various care planning options.  This knowledge can give you peace of mind when thinking about your future as you age. An experienced elder law attorney here in Colorado can assist any family who has questions.

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