Caring for an elderly parent often becomes a financial burden upon the family. According to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, in 2008, the average cost of nursing home care was $69,715 per year. Due to cost, adult children typically opt to care for their elderly parents in their own homes. According to the National Organization for Caregivers, only 5.5 percent of the over-65 population resides in a nursing home facility. Therefore, identifying all of the economic resources that are available to assist you in getting paid to care for your elderly parent is crucial.
Contact Medicaid to determine eligibility. Medicaid is one of the most well-known medical assistance programs. It is a state-funded medical coverage program that typically covers the expense of in-home care and personal care, such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation. To find out how to apply, contact the local office within your state or call: 1-877-267-2323; select option 5 for Medicaid.
Determine if your state has a Cash & Counseling Program, which some states have adopted to assist those who are eligible to receive Medicaid benefits. It was established by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow Medicaid consumers to make their own decisions regarding their care. It enables your parents to direct state funds typically paid to nursing facilities to you, the caregiver(s) of their choice instead. There are currently 15 states involved in the program and it is expanding. To find out more, go to cashandcounseling.org.
Contact the Medicare hot line to see if your parent is eligible for Medicare Part A or B coverage. Medicare is a federally-run medical assistance program for individuals 65 years and older, some disabled individuals under 65 and those with end-stage renal disease. There are two forms of Medicare health insurance. Part A provides no-cost medical insurance while Part B has a monthly cost. Although Part A coverage typically would not include payment for caring for your elderly parent, you may qualify for payment under Part B. Call: 1-800-633-4227 or visit medicare.gov
Call the Administration on Aging to get local resources. The Administration on Aging provides links to resources that may provide financial compensation to you for caring for your elderly parent. Local agencies provide various types of assistance and reimbursement for daily needs such as bathing and cooking, and other needs such as home repair costs, and transportation. To find out more, call: 1-800-677-1116 or visit eldercare.gov
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