Financial Advice

The cost of caring for dementia patients is very high, and basically the only benefits are through Long Term Care insurance, Medicaid, or the Veteran's Administration (VA). Many seniors do not have LTC insurance and Veteran's benefits, while helpful, are limited in amount and restricted to strict criteria requiring a veteran to have 90 days service of which at least one day was served during a war period. This section will detail these criteria for those it may apply to.

Other areas of important financial concern involve adequate Medicaid Estate Planning which is different than Estate Planning which involves minimizing inheritance tax for your heirs. Medicaid Estate Planning helps you plan you manage your assets in a way conducive to making yourself eligible for Medicaid as soon as possible, should you require Long Term Care through a nursing home. Medicaid also pays for foster care (which could pay a family member to care for a person with dementia), Day Health Programs and transportation where a patient can spend up to five days per week, for all approved medications including those for Alzheimers', certain types of congregate living, etc. It is part of the "safety net" all American citizens have, but it typically requires a patient to spend down nearly all their resources to the poverty level. On Cape Cod we estimate 70% of all nursing home residents are on Medicaid, and the vast majority became impoverished by first spending their resources (even the value of their house) to get down to Medicaid.

An Elder Law Attorney can help you understand the eligibility requirements for Medicaid and plan you estate accordingly. You have probably heard of the "five year look back" period, which means ideally you should do this planning five years before you need to apply for Medicaid, or the time you need nursing home level care. However, even if you are not within the five year look back period, you should still consider this planning as it can still help. The goal is not to delay.

These sections will take you through many options that may help you survive, possibly with your assets mostly intact, aging which will go a long way towards maintaining dignity.

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