When you start to reach an advanced age, you will invariably find it to be more and more difficult to handle all your own activities of daily living. This is simply a fact of life, but if you make preparations and adapt as time goes on, you can minimize the impact.
People generally adapt to their surroundings, but when it comes to this subject, you have to turn the tables. Your surroundings can bend to your will through the utilization of the aging-in place concept.
If you are like the vast majority of seniors, you do not relish the idea of leaving your home to reside in an assisted living facility. Your home is where your heart has been for years, and there is an emotional attachment along with an ineffable sense of familiarity.
There are modifications that can be made to suit your specific needs, and aging-in-place builders have a great deal of knowledge in this area. They can install things like grab bars, handrails, nonslip flooring, enhanced handles and knobs, and a walk-in shower and tub.
These are just some of many different modifications that can be made, and you can adjust your spaces over time as your needs change.
When you recognize the fact that anything and everything can be modified, you will feel a renewed sense of empowerment and personal freedom.
Paid In-Home Care
Even if your home is modified to suit your needs, at some point, you may need help to accomplish certain tasks. Family members and friends will probably be there to step up when it is possible, but at some point, you may need to engage a paid caregiver.
Genworth Financial conducts annual surveys to gain an understanding of the state of long-term care costs around the country. In Northwest Indiana the median annual charge for an in-home health aid in 2020 was $54,912 and for the Lafayette, Indiana area, the median annual charge was $57,200.
Unfortunately, Medicare will not pay for in-home custodial care, so this is not the solution.
Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver
Medicaid will pay for a stay in a nursing home, and there is a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver that will cover in-home care.
If you can qualify, the program will cover your in-home care costs, but the Medicaid asset limits apply. For a single person, you cannot gain eligibility if you are in possession of more than $2,000 in countable assets, but the “countable” qualifier is significant.
Your home is not considered to be a countable asset, but there is a $636,000 equity limit in Indiana in 2022. One motor vehicle is not counted, along with a prepaid funeral, personal effects, household items, wedding and engagement rings, and heirloom jewelry.
For married couples, where one spouse needs assistance in the home, there are also additional spousal protections with higher asset limits.
Gifts and the Look-Back Period
You can give gifts to your loved one so you can qualify for the Medicaid waiver, and you could alternately fund an irrevocable asset protection trust. Be careful, though, because there is a five-year look-back. Timing is key. The gifting must be completed at least five years before you submit your application for this waiver.
Learn More About Estate Planning!
We offer a number of different resources that you can utilize to gain a more thorough understanding of the estate planning process, and our worksheet is one of them. You can get your copy right now if you head over to our worksheet access page and follow the simple instructions.
Need Help Now?
Our doors are open if you are ready to work with a Northwest Indiana or a Lafayette Indiana elder law and estate planning attorney to put a plan in place. You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 219-865-2285 or 765-767-5225.