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Fisher Law LLC Boston Estate Planning Lawyer
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Dedham Elder Law Attorney

Helping Seniors Afford Long-Term Care Through Careful, Strategic Planning

Seven out of ten Americans will require a stay in a nursing home, according to the latest statistics, and for most people, the prospect of affording this stay is daunting. National median costs for nursing home care in 2020 ran $8,821 a month for a private room, or $105,850 per year. The costs of a semi-private room were not far behind, at $7,756 monthly or $93,075 annually. If that weren’t bad enough, the costs for nursing home care in Massachusetts are far above the national average, with costs in the Norwood area the most expensive of all. Here, a private room in a nursing home cost $14,509 in 2020, or a staggering $174,105 per year. The median cost of a semi-private room in Norwood hit $13,383 a month and $160,600 for the year. Our clients are reporting to us that the typical cost for a semi-private room in 2020 was close to $17,000 per month.

The average nursing home stay exceeds two years.

It would also be a mistake to think that home health care is any cheaper. Again using the national median figures in 2020, the annual cost of a home health aide was $54,912 and that of a homemaker was $53,768. Added together, home health care costs are as bad or worse than a nursing home stay.

If you don’t need skilled nursing care but recognize the need to move into assisted living, expect it to cost $73,200 per year or more; that was the national median cost for an assisted living facility in 2020. Our clients are reporting that the typical cost for memory care in the area assisted living facilities is approximately $10,000 per month, and non-memory care rent is approximately $6,000 per month.

Not to scare you, but private health insurance doesn’t tend to cover long-term nursing home care, and neither does Medicare. If you purchased long-term care insurance when you were younger, then great. If not, you might find yourself relying on MassHealth to foot the bill. MassHealth pays for nursing home stays, but the current eligibility requirements for MassHealth limits an applicant’s assets to $2,000 in countable assets. The Medicaid eligibility rules are complex and based upon an applicant’s marital status, mixture of assets, and how assets are owned will dictate the strategies that an elder law attorney will recommend to achieve eligibility in the least amount of time.

Without the assistance of an elder law attorney, an elder and his or her family are faced with the following questions. What do you do if your life savings is considerably more than $2,000 dollars and an applicant is thus over-resourced? Spend it all on nursing home care until you are broke enough to go on Medicaid? That’s not a plan. At least, it’s not what we consider a good plan at Fisher Law LLC. Our Dedham elder law attorney and legal team would rather advise you on strategies that help you obtain Medicaid eligibility in a thoughtful, planned way, making the most of exempt and noncountable assets and utilizing the variety of estate planning tools at your disposal.

There are right ways and wrong ways to go about long-term care planning. The wrong ways can result in penalties that make you wait months or years longer to apply for Medicaid. You might not have that time to wait. You might not be able to afford to make mistakes. Call Fisher Law LLC for help with long-term care planning in Dedham. Whether you are planning for the future or have already been admitted to a nursing home and are facing a financial crisis, we have tips and tools to help ensure you can afford to get the care you need.

Comprehensive Elder Law Advice and Representation in Dedham

Fisher Law LLC is here to help you with all your Dedham elder law needs, including Medicaid planning, guardianships and conservatorships, veterans benefits, senior housing and home care, health care documents and other legal issues associated with aging. Call Fisher Law LLC to discuss your needs with a dedicated and resourceful Dedham elder law attorney committed to your success.

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