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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Financial 911

Mom or dad is having medical problems; maybe she has taken a fall or he is in rehab following a hospital stay. But now, it is apparent that she cannot stay home alone. You’ve decided on home care or an assisted living facility where he can be safe. During all of the turmoil and emotional upheaval, the one thing you didn’t consider is how will she pay for the care that she needs?

Faced with this situation, there are 4 steps you should take. First, locate all of his assets. This is often not as easy as it seems. For whatever reason, seniors like to spread their assets among multiple financial institutions. The second step is to determine how much income she has. Check her annual social security and pension, if any, statements. Check his bank and brokerage statements for interest and dividends. If he filed a tax return, cross check it with the statements.

The third step is to investigate any sources of funds for which she may be eligible, e.g. Veterans/Widows Pension, Medicaid, state and county programs.

The fourth and final step is to prepare a cash flow projection in order to forecast how long his assets will last. You will need to make assumptions about interest rates and increases in cost of care over time.


  1. Is there a projected average for how many years a person will live after they move into a nursing home? What happens if you forecast 3yrs worth of money and person lives longer then their money?


  2. If you out-live your money you will need to apply for Medicaid. If the state where you live does not fund Medicaid assisted living your loved one will need to move into a nursing home.

  3. You are so right about seniors spreading their assets over several financial institutions. My husband was helping his parents apply for the VA benefit and was shocked at how scattered their funds were and how much money they were making every month.

  4. Yep, they don't want to have their money in one bank because they still remember 1932

  5. I started asking my parents what banks they were using, after I read this blog. I was shocked to find out they were each using 3 banks-- and they were all different.

    Greensboro, NC


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Helpful Resources

Low Vision Therapy Services

Children of Aging Parents (CAPS)

Well Spouse Association

U.S. Administration on Aging


Nursing Home Compare

Senior Safety Online

Mature Market Institute

Connections for Women

50Plus Realtor

Alzheimer's Speaks

Official VA Website