Michigan families in Metro-Detroit and West Michigan helping a loved one with long term care, elder law, Medicaid, and VA assistance are faced with several difficult questions. The most important question involves the type of placement that is appropriate for their loved one. Often times, nursing home care or “homes for the aged” as they are licensed, are the first answer to the placement question. Nursing homes, are designed to help those that truly need the most care. If your loved one does not truly need “full 24 hour care” better placement solutions can be found at adult foster care facilitates, independent living facilities or private care facilities. Despite the placement options available, most families solely make the decision based on finances and available governmental benefits.
My Michigan clients in Metro-Detroit and West Michigan, are always stunned to learn that there are alternatives to nursing home placement. One solution can be using VA benefits to supplement a loved one’s income to provide enough monthly income to cover the cost of private placement at an independent facility with care or a private assisted living. Given the new VA non-service connected improved pension benefit rates (see the last blog entry) for 2015, we can often double a senior’s monthly income which can be the difference between receiving private care at a facility of the family’s choice and using Medicaid for nursing home benefits. As an alternative, if the senior is not a veteran we can discuss proper planning using his or her available assets to provide the same level of care in an alternative setting.
The goal of any long term care planner or elder law attorney is to explore placement options, and to protect assets by increasing monthly income. Often care similar to a nursing home can be provided at facilities. The downside is that such care comes at a high cost. Therefore without proper planning, families often ignore using different care options and proceed straight to nursing home care.
If you are a family facing long term care planning or elder law issues for a loved one in West Michigan or Metro-Detroit, please call our office at 1-866-529-ELDR or (586) 264-3756, or, (616) 931-3670.