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Paying for Care Communities

Demand still outpaces supply when it comes to facilities, which can make memory care and assisted living hard to find and get into, especially outside of larger cities. Memory care also costs more than most forms of eldercare because it's specialized, long-term, and residential. On the upside, families find peace of mind in a housing setting tailored to the unique needs of someone with Parkinson's, which has made it an increasingly popular option.

Because it is specialized, memory care tends to cost more than regular care, requiring more training, more hands-on care, and more personnel (a lower staff-to-resident ratio). Assisted living settings usually cost less than nursing homes (where residents require more intensive care). The average cost of memory care is at least $48,000 per year ($4,000 per month in assisted living settings).

Most rates are all-inclusive for basic care, but additional required services may cost extra. A geriatric care manager or care navigator can be great resources to give insight into local options; the best place for your family member isn't always the most expensive.

To cover these costs, it helps to form a plan with the input of other family members as well as professionals. Remember that someone with Parkinson's can live for many years. Consulting an elder-law attorney or financial planner familiar with eldercare as you map out a plan can save you money in the end.

The reality is you are responsible for paying these services. Obvious sources of funds to explore include the person's personal savings, stocks, bonds, and other investments as well as pensions. Don't overlook the liquidation of jewelry, artwork, antiques, collections, or cars, all of which might benefit the owner more as cash than as "stuff." Many families trade the prospect of heirlooms and inheritance for equally valuable peace of mind now.

Click on the red box to learn more about some options that may help with offsetting the cost of community care.

Disclaimer:  The Parkinson Association of Alabama provides education and awareness so that you may discern your own planning. Our information is never intended to be guidance or replace that of a financial advisor or expert. We simply want to provide enough information as a conversation starter as you work with your respected financial advisors for mapping out your financial budgeting plans for community living. The PAA cannot be held liable for any financial decisions you make regarding your own planning.

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