Woman visiting elderly mother in an assisted living facility

Financial Planning for Parents’ Assisted Living

As our parents age, planning for their comfort and care becomes a priority. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., part of our mission is to ensure that seniors are protected and well-tended during their later years. Our Certified Elder Law attorneys (CELAs) have been committed to serving Southeastern Massachusetts’ senior community for nearly two decades. We have the competence and insight to help you take the necessary steps to provide your parents with the level of care they need and the respect and dignity they deserve.

Signs That Your Parents Need Assistance

It is often hard to accept the undeniable fact that our parents are becoming less independent as they age, but accept it we must. Evidence that they require more help appears gradually as they begin to have difficulties with daily activities, such as:

  • Driving or finding their way
  • Personal care (meal preparation, dressing, bathing) 
  • Keeping their home clean
  • Mobility (walking, reaching, bending, climbing stairs)
  • Balance (falling) 
  • Health care management (keeping doctor appointments, forgetting to take medications)
  • Cognitive Decline (confusion, memory loss, difficulty with financial matters)
  • Following safety protocols (leaving the stove on, forgetting to lock the door)

Recognizing these signs of decline may be painful, but aging is a natural process and we must all make the changes necessary to accommodate. 

Organizations in Massachusetts That Can Provide Help

With the exception of a few hardy, seemingly ageless individuals, all of us will require an increased level of care as we grow older. As the population ages, there are an increasing number of federal and state agencies and organizations that offer resources and support services, most of which are free, particularly if your parents’ income and assets are low. These include:

  • AARP
  • Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs)
  • Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts Chapter
  • Councils on Aging (COAs) 
  • Massachusetts Council on Aging
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Senior Care Options (SCO)

Types of Assisted Living: At Home or in Assisted Living Facilities

Depending on individual circumstances and finances, there are a number of ways you can provide your elderly parents with more services, either in the home or in an assisted living facility.

At home, your parents have the advantage of living in a familiar environment, but will probably require some household help with: cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, and/or transportation. They may also require visiting nurses or other therapeutic services. In some cases, their home will have to be modified for safety and comfort.

In an assisted living facility, on the other hand, your parents will have round-the-clock, structured care, a full range of services (laundry, cleaning, social interaction, entertainment, access to healthcare). There will, however, be a period of adjustment and increased expense. 

Our elder care attorneys have the experience and well-developed skills to help you assess which option is best in your particular case and will also assist you in preparing to pay for the associated costs.

Funding Your Parents’ Future

At Surprenant & Beneski, our elder care attorneys have several tools at our disposal to help you fund your parents’ assisted living arrangements, including:

  • Reverse mortgages
  • Life settlements (converting life insurance policies into funds for assisted living)
  • Asset management and protection (e.g. by establishing trusts)
  • Gift and loan strategies

Preparing for Medicaid

If either of your parents is incapacitated or you worry they will become so, our sharp attorneys will help you prepare for the Medicaid 5-year look-back period. This is necessary for all but the very wealthiest of our clients since long-term nursing care, if required, is extremely costly, and only Medicaid, a means-tested government program, provides coverage.

In order to maintain your parents’ Medicaid eligibility, we must lower the value of their estate by using one or more of the following:

  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Life estate deeds
  • Annuities
  • Spend downs
  • Gifting to the tax limit
  • Spousal protections

Contact Our Knowledgeable Elder Care Attorneys Now

Preparing for your parents’ assisted living requires a holistic approach. Healthcare, lifestyle preferences, and financial resources must all be carefully considered. At Surprenant & Beneski, our dedicated elder law attorneys are here to provide the compassionate support and expert guidance needed to deal with these complex issues. Contact us to ensure your parents’ later years are as comfortable, productive, and enjoyable as possible.