Seniors Struggling to Pay for Nursing Home Care

For many seniors, struggling to pay for nursing home care is a reality. Families are looking for tools, information, and ideas on how to afford care for elderly loved ones.

For many seniors in America, one of today’s biggest struggles is figuring out how to pay for nursing home care. A growing number of seniors are living longer with chronic diseases but are unable to cover the cost of care in a nursing facility. With these higher rates of illness but fewer adult children able to provide long-term care, America's baby boom generation may be unable to pay for the nursing home care they need.

Public sources of funding, such as Medicare, cover short-term nursing home care for older and disabled patients after hospitalization. After this initial period expires, Medicaid covers long-term nursing home care for low-income seniors who qualify. Unfortunately, to qualify for Medicaid, seniors often need to meet both the financial eligibility and medical necessity for this coverage. Recipients of Medicaid need to be at poverty levels, so middle-class Americans often need to spend down their assets to qualify for this funding.

Paying For Nursing Home Care

Did you know that in 2010, the average cost for a private room in a nursing home was nearly $7,000 per month? With these costs on the rise, many seniors are unable to afford care and need to come up with solutions to receive the care they need. To pay for nursing home care, seniors often use veteran’s benefits, long-term care insurance or private funds. Private funds may come from investment portfolios, such as an IRA or 401k. Equity in the family home is also cashed in to pay for nursing home care in some cases.

Although paying for nursing home care is often a challenge for many families, an elder law lawyer in your area may be able to help you develop strategies for affording this type of long-term care.