U.S. News: Reverse Mortgage Can Provide Path to Paying for In-Home Care

Because of the new realities that have afflicted the American healthcare system and its capacity to provide care during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, many seniors may be looking at options beyond nursing homes or care facilities out of a desire to remain as far away from the risk of infection as possible. Seniors in general already prefer aging in place, and for those seniors who are trying to find a path forward to that goal, a reverse mortgage can provide one such option.

This is according to a new story in U.S. News and World Report, which takes a look at the rising costs of in-home care and how cash-strapped seniors may be able to find a way to pay for it.

“Staying at home isn’t always affordable,” writes U.S. News’ Rachel Hartman. “Among older adults, 80% are concerned about being able to afford home health care costs, according to a 2019 SCAN Health Plan survey. Paying for personalized in-home senior care can add up quickly and isn’t always easy on a fixed income.”

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Because of the high degree of variation in the offerings related to in-home care, the needs of the client and the services available to them in the local community should be fully ascertained before moving forward.

“You might hire helpers if you are recovering at home from an illness or injury,” Hartman writes. “You could also have home care workers help you carry out certain daily activities, like preparing meals and bathing. Home care services often include transportation to and from appointments, monitoring heart rate and blood pressure and in-home physical and cognitive therapy sessions.”

In-home care providers can charge upwards of $22.50 an hour, according to the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey cited by Hartman. The exact amount that the client will pay is also determined by location and severity of his or her condition, and can range from $4,290 per month for homemaker services to $4,385 per month for home health aide care, according to the Genworth survey.

Medicare may be able to provide coverage for short-term home-based care services, but will typically not cover long-term care services. There are similar restrictions on Medicaid beneficiaries, which may necessitate looking at some other financing options including a reverse mortgage.

“If relatives are unable to help you at home regularly or live too far to visit weekly, they may be inclined to help pay for in-home elderly care,” Hartman writes. “Another option is a reverse mortgage, which allows you to borrow a certain percentage of your home’s value. This amount could be used toward care services while you remain at home.”

Specific communities may also offer additional programs that can provide further assistance in financing in-home care. Read the article at U.S. News and World Report.

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