When a family member receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, it can be emotional. You may feel in over your head, wondering if they will need professional care and support, and, if they do, how will you pay for it?
In many cases, the need for a memory care community is not something that can be planned for, and many people find that the price of these communities is more than they expected.
Franklin Park® Senior Living offers memory care services through San Antonio, Texas. We’re sharing some tips on saving money to cover the cost of memory care and why it’s worth the price.
What Does the Cost of Memory Care Include?
While the cost of memory care communities can certainly come as a shock, it’s important to understand just how much your family member will receive every day. In addition to the customized, thorough, and compassionate care, residents of memory care communities like Franklin Park® will also receive countless other resources, including:
- Luxury living spaces
- Private or shared apartments options
- Daily meals and snacks
- Transportation services
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Social, mental, and spiritual programs
When looked at wholly, the price of memory care communities can often be cost-effective simply because of the number of services and amenities. However, this doesn’t always mean that families can easily pay for it out-of-pocket. Generally, the need for memory care comes on swiftly and unexpectedly, and often, with little time to save money. In these cases, it can be helpful to use funds that have been deliberately set aside for these kinds of situations.
Saving money can be tough, though, and it can be especially challenging to encourage your older family members to save money as well. Here are some realistic ways your parents or family members can save money to cover the cost of memory care should they need it.
A Penny Saved: Tips for Saving
1. Take Advantage of Discounts
Your parents are probably aware of “early-bird specials” or “senior discounts,” but what they may not know is that these deals extend beyond a simple discount on a meal or a movie pass. Yes, many restaurants, retailers, and grocery stores offer some form of discounts for older adults, but there are also discounts on hotels, car rentals, museums and parks, and even cell phone plans. When these discounts and deals are fully taken advantage of, your parents can end up saving money on both necessities and entertainment.
2. Save on Transportation
As convenient as having a car can be, it also comes with several expenses: gas, insurance, regular and unexpected maintenance. These expenses can add up over time, not to mention that eventually, your family member may not even use their car that often, making it somewhat of a financial burden.
If both of your parents still live together and each has their own car, you could bring up the possibility of selling one of them and sharing the other. This way, they can earn some extra money while still having the ability to drive somewhere if need be.
You can also show your parent(s) how to take advantage of delivery services. Today, you can get just about anything delivered right to your door: groceries, prescriptions, meals, even clothes. By utilizing delivery services, your parents may not even need to own one car, giving them more money to put away for senior living or memory care—where they won’t need a car at all.
There comes a time when your parents might not need three TVs in their house or take-out meals four times a week. By living a simple, modest lifestyle, your parents may be surprised at how much money they can save and set aside for long-term care. Simplifying can mean anything from basic lifestyle choices—like cooking at home instead of ordering take-out—to significant changes—like downsizing and selling their home. Here are some examples of easy and practical ways your parents can live simply:
- Rent books and movies from the library instead of buying them
- Make coffee at home instead of going to a coffee shop (or at least cut back on weekly visits)
- Unplug devices not in use (coffee makers, phone chargers, etc.) to save on electricity
- Set the home thermostat to be on a schedule and adjust temperatures when no one is home or sleeping
- Sell items that don’t have sentimental value or are no longer needed
4. Pay Attention to Health Coverage
Is your family member getting the most out of their Medicare or health insurance? There are several different plan options available, and it’s essential to ensure that your parent or family member isn’t spending too much on a plan that they don’t need or take advantage of.
As prices, policies, and coverages typically fluctuate annually, shopping for new plans yearly can help your parent(s) save money in the long-term. The open enrollment period for Medicare is from October 15 through December 7 each year and allows members to switch plans as needed.
Preparing for the Future
Saving money is a good idea for everyone, but even more so for older adults who may need long-term or specialized care offered at a memory care community. And while this isn’t something you can necessarily predict or plan, setting aside money for this and similar reasons can be a good idea. It’s always better to be more prepared than you need to when it comes to senior care.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, we offer memory care services that engage and support individuals with memory loss. Our Refreshing Waters ® Memory Care program ensures residents are being cared for and respected while participating in valuable activities.