Can Assisted Living Take Your House If You Need Help?

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Selling your house before relocating your elderly loved one to an assisted living center is a difficult decision to make. This article answers the question, “Can assisted living take your house if you need help?” and other things you need to know before making your final choice.

Assisted Living Take Your House

Selling your house before relocating your elderly loved one to an assisted living center is a difficult decision to make. This article answers the question, “Can assisted living take your house if you need help?” and other things you need to know before making your final choice.

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As elderly people grow old, they tend to develop mobility and health complications. Often, this means they can’t continue residing in the house they have grown to love and cherish.

For most elderly folk, being able to cover the entire transition can prove to be a hurdle. When confronted about selling their family home, your senior loved one may respond, “I’m not selling my home!”

At this point, the next logical step is considering an assisted living center that can offer the next level of care for comfort and safety reasons.

Fortunately, long-term care alternatives for senior folk are more wide-ranging than ever. However, deciding which choice is best suited for yourself and a cherished senior can be complicated.

Concerning the level of care you want your loved one to receive, assisted living is an excellent place to start. 

Understanding What Is Assisted Living And Whether You Need It

Assisted living is the best course of action for elderly folk who are no longer comfortable or safe living alone but don’t require skilled nursing care. Assisted living, also referred to as long-term care, delivers residential living aid with the option of 24-hour personal care.

Although it doesn’t offer Medicare, it provides housekeeping and laundry services, a range of social activities, meal plans, aid with medications, and health and wellness schemes.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, around 69% of Americans will need some kind of long-term care.

The specific need is the availability of aid with Activities of Daily Living (ADL). This can include assistance with transportation, moving around, help with eating, grooming and dressing, and daily hygiene.

But all of this doesn’t come for free. Many choices are available, including luxury condominiums, individual carriage houses, and apartments of different sizes.

So, to finance long-term care, can assisted living take your house? In this read, we take a closer look.

assisted living take your house advantages
One method to fund your assisted living care is by selling your home.

Are There Advantages To Selling Your Home To Pay For Assisted Living Care?

Seniors often ponder whether offloading their familial home is the best method to finance their assisted living. Which begs the question, “Are there advantages to selling your home to pay for assisted living care?”

Selling your home before relocating to an assisted living center ascertains that you get the requisite funds you need upfront.

If you urgently require the cash to cover your monthly contract with the senior living community and for moving costs and other expenses. This can be a significant weight off your shoulders. 

You can also decide to sell your home after you’ve relocated to an assisted living center. It will be easier to manage and stage your house to get the best appeal to prospective buyers when you’re not actively living there.

What Are Some Ways To Pay For An Assisted Living Home Besides Selling Your Home?

The National Center for Assisted Living reported that there are presently more than 28,000 assisted living centers in America, offering everything from essential services to posh accommodations with exclusive resort amenities.

The pricier communities will provide a greater range of services, bespoke concierge services, fine dining, an exciting menu of activities, along with amenities like gyms and swimming pools. All packages of assisted living deliver pro care, security, comfort, and safe living environs.

Financing assisted living is a real issue for the elderly. It isn’t costly, though the majority of centers’ all-inclusive system means reduced personal, monthly costs for residents.

In 2018, the median cost for paying for assisted living in the U.S. was about $4,000 per month. Depending on the amenities and price point a senior opts for, the cost can range between $2,000 to $8,000 per month.

Seniors have a range of options to pay for their assisted living besides putting their familial house on the market. Here are some of the ways:

  • Savings or Investments
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans’ Benefits
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Family Resources
  • Renting Your Home
  • Reverse Mortgage
  • Senior Bridge Loan
  • Selling Your Home

Note: Make sure to review the payment plan with your financial planner and senior loved one. 

RELATED: How to Afford Assisted Living with Limited Resources

What Is The Difference Between Assisted Living And Nursing Home Care?

Assisted living is mainly a residential setting, while nursing homes – also referred to as skilled nursing centers – have a medical setting.

To distinguish between the two, here’s a rundown of some of the main differences between the two.

How much care does a senior get?

Assisted Living: Residents may require some assistance with housekeeping, medication management, transportation, and other specific ADL like personal care and dressing but still live autonomously.

Nursing Home: Residents here will need 24/7 monitoring and care. They usually live with more debilitating health care complications that need the help of a speech or physical therapist or a skilled nurse. Others need respiratory care services.

What other services are rendered?

Assisted Living: Residents get three healthy meals per day and access to a range of recreational and enrichment programs in a group or individual setting.

Nursing Home: Residents get restricted access to recreational activities and services such as housekeeping, laundry, and meals.

How’s the living arrangement?

Assisted Living: These communities are made to provide a home vibe. Residents usually stay in their own suits or apartments with private kitchenettes and baths.

Nursing Home: These facilities have a more clinical vibe. Residents often reside in a private or semi-private space that doesn’t have a kitchen or living room.

Cost?

Assisted Living: In 2021, Genworth reported that the median price for assisted living in America was $4,300 per month.

Nursing Home: In 2021, Genworth reported that the median price for nursing homes in America is $9,034 per month for a private room and $7,908/month to stay in a semi-private room.

Get more details on the differences between assisted living and nursing home care here.

assisted living take your house forfeit home
There may come a time when you might be required to forfeit your house if you don’t do advanced planning with a lawyer.

Why Are You Sometimes Required To Forfeit Your Home For Nursing Home Care?

For many, their home is their most prized possession. Although you cannot be pushed to sell your house to finance your care, chances are that you’ll have to pay for the cost of Medicare later in life or even pay the entire cost.

The main reason why the cost of care is increasing is partly that people are living for long these days. If you’ll be required to cover your cost of care is determined by a means-tested evaluation.

The amount you’ll be required to pay will depend on the income and savings you’ve got, whether you’re the homeowner and its property value. 

However, if you don’t do appropriate advanced planning with a lawyer, there may come a time when you may be required to forfeit your house. When an individual gets admitted into a nursing facility, they must have the resources to cover their care.

Most aging adults have Medicare which offers limited nursing home services. Medi-Cal can still take care of your nursing home care even if you’ve got other ways to cover your care.

After an elderly person passes, Medi-Cal will move to seek medical expenses for your senior loved one’s estate. The home will be sold, and the proceeds redirected to pay Medi-Cal. This is referred to as estate recovery.

RELATED: What Should You Do When You Can’t Afford Assisted Living?

Final Thoughts

Deciding when to shift from autonomous living to assisted living or nursing care isn’t easy. Getting to the sort of options you’ve got is a good starting point.

Assisted living centers may prove to be ideal if your senior elderly one is in relatively good shape but requires aid with some daily routines. In the case of 24/7 Medicare coupled with basic services, a nursing home may be the best option.

Assisted living provides seniors who require some assistance with daily activities while maintaining their autonomy. It also guarantees professional aid, 24-hour security, reduced chores, and continual social interaction.

The combination of receiving support with privacy is an appealing option for aging adults who can no longer sustain ADLs without some aid.

All in all, when it comes down to whether you must sell your house to facilitate your long-term care, you should know that assisted living is generally self-paid, so you won’t be required to sell your house.

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Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP, CRTS®

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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