Spending Money Responsibly in Assisted Living
Senior care is expensive. This is simply a reality that we all have to face, but if you are preparing to transition your aging loved one into an assisted living facility, effectively managing your loved one’s finances takes on a more critical meaning. It is important to manage these financial considerations in a balanced way. Your aging loved one wants to enjoy her retirement years, but she also has to operate within a realistic budget that will ensure that she has the money that she needs to pay for her senior health care needs as well as basic living expenses such as her assisted living apartment, utilities and food. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can help your loved way responsibly manage her money after transitioning into an assisted living facility.
It is important that you acknowledge that it may be fully your responsibility to manage your loved one’s finances and ensure that she is spending responsibly in assisted living. Below are tips for helping you ensure that your aging loved one is spending and managing her money responsibly in assisted living:
Create a Budget
Though you may think it would be easier to just come up with a budget for your loved one, it is important that you include her in this planning process. Excluding her will only cause frustration and bitterness. You do not want your loved one to feel as though you are trying to control her, rather you want her to feel as though you are taking care of her and doing what is in her best interest. Help her feel more comfortable about discussing her finances by focusing your attention on preparing for her long term care rather than on controlling every aspect of her finances. Make sure the budget includes:
- Cost of long term insurance
- Cost of continued care, including medical expenses
- Cost of the assisted living facility
- Savings to prepare for any emergencies that may arise
It is critical that you allow for some flexibility within your budget. Your loved one will want to participate in social activities, engage in entertainment and enjoy life. Make sure that you provide room within the budget for her to do this. If necessary, provide a certain amount of cash or keep a bank account that is specifically for this type of spending so that she is controlled in the amount of leisure money that she spends each month.