Home-care costs for ‘aides’ get a bump in 2015; includes over-time pay.

Every senior should be aware of Michigan’s “Long Term Care Ombudsman” program, which upholds the rights of seniors, whether they are in a nursing home, or an assisted living setting.

Michigan Senior Living

Seniors living in Michigan, and who may be planning to add a dwelling to their existing property to live in—while renting out their home—may already be familiar with accessory dwelling units (ADU). Instead of living in that backyard treehouse, the one you built for the kids umpteen years ago, these so-called ‘carriage flats,’ or mother-in-law apartments, are creating havoc with local zoning laws.

For sure, they’ve been around for decades, and they do represent plausible sources of supplemental income for homeowners, particularly for seniors looking to amp up their income stream.

While Michigan admits it is not in the subsidized housing market, they do recognize that ADUs offer another choice for “housing affordability.”

Home-care aides to earn more in 2015

Of course, in a perfect Senior World, that income just might be there to help defray a couple’s home care costs with the income from renting out their main residence.

No surprise, but home care costs are rising. In fact hourly pay for home care aides were given a bump this year when the government made it mandatory for most direct-care workers to receive the federal minimum wage, including overtime pay.

Homeowners with limited financial resources, and who are willing to do a lot of research, may have the option to pay for home care costs by taking out a reverse mortgage. In fact, the HUD.gov website touts its ‘brand’ of reverse mortgages as a vehicle that allows you to  “Use Your Home to Stay at Home;” it is the only reversed mortgage that is federally insured.

Regardless of the housing choice, a predominant theme for those over the age of 50, is one of growing old in “isolation” from family and community, according to an overview on the AARP site. For sure, either by choice, or because of aging-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, seniors can go through daily depression simply because they think they don’t matter.

Someone does care…

When a spouse decides it’s best for their loved one to move into a long-term care facility, the whole process is beyond overwhelming, particularly if there is no one living close by.

Every senior should be aware of Michigan’s “Long Term Care Ombudsman” program, which upholds the rights of seniors, whether they are in a nursing home, adult foster care home, or even an unlicensed, assisted living setting.

In short, the program exists for family, or relatives, to make sure that complaints/concerns are dealt with. Volunteers help with issues ranging from resident rights, guardianship and nursing home placement.

Financial support for Medicaid spouses.

The biggest fear among seniors is the idea of having to relinquish their home and deplete their life savings in order to receive Medicaid’s financial assistance.

That is simply not the case. In fact Congress has made sure that no one in this situation needs to go bankrupt due to the costs associated with long-term care.

As such, Medicaid law is there to provide a minimal financial footing for spouses of a Medicaid applicant; this, through the “community spouse resource allowance,” or CSRA.

A thirty-day stay is necessary, and on the day of admittance into a nursing home, for example, all of the assets of the couple are calculated. Generally, for 2015, a spouse can keep up to $119,200 in countable assets with a minimum of $23,844. As noted on the Nolo.com website:

“States are required to have spousal protection rules for Medicaid recipients who are in nursing homes, but they are not currently required to have spousal protection rules for other Medicaid recipients, like those receiving in-home care. However, many states do have rules protecting the income and/or assets of spouses of Medicaid recipients getting long-term care outside of nursing homes…”

Contact us to discuss the many options available to you through proper estate planning.

Castle Wealth Group Legal in Media

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