It can be a challenge to balance the respect you have for your parents with the need to proactively support them as they age. They may take offense when you make suggestions regarding how they manage their daily lives or finances.
The suggestion, such as that they may eventually require Medicaid, a health insurance benefit program designed for those with few personal assets and low income, may offend your parents, who worked hard for everything they have.
How can you convince them to plan for benefits that they would prefer to never need?
Talk about the reality of elder care costs
Many people feel that they will never apply for Medicaid benefits because of the stigma that comes with the program. However, in reality there are only three ways to pay for the cost of long-term care, whether it be at home or in a facility – 1. private pay, 2. long term care insurance, or 3. Medicaid.
Nursing homes in New York are not cheap. They cost thousands of dollars a month (approximately $450 to $600 or more a day) and according to the National Care Planning Council, on average people stay in a nursing home for 835 days.
In-home care, which is often preferred, will allow your aging parents to remain in their private residences and receive help with certain household tasks such as cleaning, cooking and running errands as well as assistance with activities of daily living. However, the average private hourly wage for home health aides is between $20 and $45 an hour.
Explaining to your parents that a good estate and Medicaid plan could prevent a family’s assets from being depleted by expensive long-term care costs may give them the push they need to engage in early estate and Medicaid planning.