Financial Help for Home Caregivers
Taking care of an elderly parent costs money. Understanding what type of financial help for home caregivers is out there may help you take some of the stress out of the caregiving process, as well as offer your loved one the most benefit of services available from local and national sources.
Help comes in a variety of locations and opportunities, some of which are familiar to caregivers, and others that aren't so familiar. The most common sources of financial help when it comes to senior or elderly care are Medicare and Medicaid Services. Still, you have additional options.
Common Sources of Medical Care Costs
Common sources of medical care costs include but are not limited to:
* Hospital bills
* Doctor bills
* Respiratory therapy
* Prescription medications
* Physical or occupational therapy
* Home Health Care Services
Finding ways to pay these bills isn't easy, but talking about money and some financial planning may help you get started. The first thing that caregivers can do when taking care of an elderly parent is to create a budget planner or a data sheet that includes information regarding:
* Financial assets
* Income (also includes SSI, Social Security, and pensions)
* Current monthly expenses (including medical)
* Potential future expenses (including increase in medical bills, Home Health Care Services, or placement in assisted living or nursing home facilities)
* Assisted living devices (wheelchairs, stair lifts, hearing aids and so forth)
Additional Types of Financial Assistance
In addition to Medicare, which is offered to any individual 65 years of age or older, and Medicaid benefits, available to those that meet certain state income requirements, also include supplemental security income (SS I) which helps seniors on limited incomes and those who are blind or disabled. Federal programs may offer an additional $700 a month. SSI is not the same as Social Security income. In some cases, income limits from state to state may restrict an individual to $2,000 worth of assets, or $3,000 for a couple.
For additional information regarding supplemental security income, contact your Social Security office or access their website Social Security WebSite
Other forms of financial assistance include the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and food stamps. Seniors eligible for SSI benefits are also eligible for food stamps.
Today, food stamps come in the form of a debit-type card known as an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. In most states, individuals may receive up to $100 a month in food assistance.
The Home Energy Assistance Program helps seniors to pay energy bills in the winter and summer. Benefits and eligibility requirements vary by state. For more information regarding the National Energy Assistance Referral Project, access their website
In addition to the above, most telephone companies offer a program called Link Up America that helps seniors install new telephone services as well as Lifeline Assistance, a program designed to help pay for monthly phone bills. In most cases, Link Up programs are available to seniors who are already eligible for supplemental security income, Medicaid, energy assistance as well as food stamp programs. For more information regarding help with phone bills, especially for seniors isolated from family members, contact your local phone company or your community Department of Health and Human Services.
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Ask Around About Financial Help
A number of services specifically designed to help seniors also includes free grocery delivery or senior discount days at local grocery markets. Some pharmacies offer free deliveries and discounts, and power and gas companies may also offer programs that help seniors winterize their homes and decrease utility bills.
Many service providers, including dentists and dental hygienists, hair stylists and manicurists, and even veterinarian offer home-based services to the homebound or to the elderly.
Hospitals, public health departments, and health clinics often offer free health screening and immunization as well as vaccination services, and offer discounted services for seniors.
Contact your local Department of Health and Human Services, hospital, or primary care provider to find providers in your community that my help reduce your financial obligations when taking care of your loved one.
Financial Help to Elder Care Costs
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Financing Elder Care
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Caregiver Support Page
Elder Care Insurance
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