Cost Cutting and Budgeting

If you’re thinking about Senior care services, one big question that you may have is, “How do I pay for it?”. We understand that no one has unlimited resources to pay for respite care, however, we hope to give you several potential options to be able afford the care you deserve.

A good way to start budgeting for senior care right away is to take a step back, and look at other areas of your life, or possibly your loved ones life. What cuts can you make for things that aren’t a necessity? The usual suspects that tend to inflate your budget range from lattes at your favorite coffee shop, dining out, movies, clothes shopping, to the contemplation of buying another car… all the fun stuff of course. Because of the fact that most services are private pay the question of how to pay comes up quite frequently. Put your mind at ease and let us take you step by step through all your options no matter your circumstances.

Assess Your Potential Assets

Breaking down the process of figuring out how to fund home care makes it seem a lot less overwhelming. The first step in this process is to find out and add up the balances in all of your parents’ liquid accounts, including savings and any investment funds that aren’t tax-deferred. Next, you’ll want to total up her monthly income, including social security, and payments she receives from pensions and tax-deferred accounts. In addition, anything your parent owns can be considered a financial asset, including his or her house, (be sure to check out our information about reverse mortgages in the section above) car, other possessions, and their business.

Take Financial Control if Needed

If your parent or loved one’s capacity to take care of her finances has diminished, if you haven’t done so already, this is the time to obtain power of attorney for finances. This will enable you to manage her money and make payments on her behalf.

Family Members Contributing to a Family Fund

This is going to be an important point in time to be sure to talk to your family members about you or your loved one’s situation. Even if your loved one moves to an independent living facility, he or she is likely to need regular help with certain tasks and activities. In your family, anyone from siblings, to spouses might take on this primary caregiving role — either because this primary caregiver is the only one who lives near your loved one or because this primary caregiver is the only one whose other family and work obligations allow the time to provide regular assistance. In this situation, the family members who can’t help with the direct hands-on assistance, might be able to consistently contribute to a family fund that helps pay for independent living. This pay would balance out the burden that the primary family caregiver is providing. The amount each family member contributes can based on the number of hours of direct assistance the primary caregiver provides without pay.

Using Savings to Pay for Home Care

Families often resort to their savings when paying for home care services. If your parent has an individual retirement account (IRA), funds from that account may be used for home care payments. A Health Savings Account (HSA) may have been established in conjunction with a high deductible health insurance plan. HSA funds may roll over from year to year and can be utilized if medical care is needed. Although seniors may be hesitant to use their hard-earned savings, it is imperative to remember that properly “spending down” almost all assets are required to qualify for Medicaid.

Last Resort

It is important to explore other options before resorting to Medicaid.

If your first thought is skipping right to Medicaid, then you may be heading for a trap. This is the government’s health-care safety net for those that are truly poor. According to Chris Orestis in his book, A Survival Guide to Aging, “Once you have Medicaid paying the bills, you and your loved ones have little say in how you’re cared for and by whom. This policy conversion option allows you to live in a place where you’re happy and comfortable and it saves taxpayers millions of dollars every year. Also, with 30 percent of the Medicaid population consuming 87 percent of Medicaid dollars spent on long-term care services, more individuals will be forced to find their own resources to pay for those needs”.

How to pay for senior care is one of the biggest questions many seniors face.


Senior Helpers – Sacramento/Placer provides compassionate caregivers to help our local seniors with day-to-day tasks such as housekeeping, meal prep/planning, and transportation as well as providing assistance with bathing, dressing, medication reminders and more. Our mission is to improve the life of seniors and help relieve the burden on their families. If your loved one lives in Sacramento or the surrounding areas (Roseville/Rocklin, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove) and you would like more information, please call us at 916-671-5777.




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