Learning that a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is extremely difficult for family members to absorb. Oftentimes, and rightfully so, the initial focus of family members is obtaining the most advanced medical treatment available. Such care, however, can be costly. Furthermore, as the disease progresses, it may continue to impact your loved one’s ability to care for himself or herself. At some point it may be necessary for your loved one to enter a nursing home for adequate care. How will you pay for it? Early planning could provide the answer.
The first thing to ask yourself is whether your loved one possesses long-term care insurance, which may have been purchased privately or provided through an employer. If such a policy exists, obtain copies of it and check on its status. Is the policy up-to-date? Have the premiums been paid? What is the premium and can your loved one still afford it? It is critical to get answers to questions like these. Additionally, if your loved one is a veteran, he or she may be entitled to veteran’s benefits. Other options may be available to your loved one to cover the cost of a nursing home, including life insurance policies and even a reverse mortgage. It is wise to initiate discussions regarding all of these options soon after diagnosis.
Your loved one may also be eligible for Medicaid to cover the cost of a nursing home. Many people simply assume they are not eligible for such assistance. Do not make this mistake! An experienced elder law attorney can determine if your loved one is currently eligible for Medicaid to pay for long-term care or utilize a range of strategies to help him or her become eligible.
In an already stressful time, discussions about money and paying for care may feel inordinately difficult. However, planning for the future and addressing issues like these can provide peace of mind for your loved one with Parkinson’s, yourself, and the rest of your family. With a plan in place you can focus on caring for your loved one and creating special moments. You are invited to contact the Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen at your earliest convenience for a personal meeting: (202) 895-2799.