Dear Donna:

My brother and I will be visiting our elderly mother to tackle the topic of senior living this month. She lives in Holland, Michigan and we both live out of state. When we were visiting with her during the holidays, it was obvious to us that it is time for her to move. She just isn’t safe living alone any longer. We are concerned about how much this will all cost. While she isn’t a low income senior she does live on a fixed income. How do most families pay for assisted living in Michigan? We are trying to get our research done before we head back to our mother’s house this month.


Dear Kristina:

It is a great idea to spend some time researching your options before you talk with your mother, and paying for care is usually one of the first questions we hear. Adult children from across the state of Michigan call our communities every day with your same concerns. The good news is that affordable senior housing is possible. Paying for a quality senior care solution for a loved one doesn’t mean an adult child has to mortgage everything they own. In fact, most families use a combination of resources to finance senior housing. They can include:

  • Long-term care insurance: Many adult children overlook this when trying to finance in-home care or assisted living. They think the policy only covers a nursing home stay. In fact, many pay for other levels of care. Be sure to check in to this if your mother has a policy.
  • Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Benefit: This is additional money available for veterans and/or a surviving spouse who qualify. If your father was a veteran or your mother is one, this is a great avenue to explore.
  • MI Choice: Often referred to as the “waiver” program, it is designed to help Michigan residents who meet certain income and asset criteria finance senior care. If an elderly resident in Michigan qualifies, it can help with assisted living expenses.
  • Life settlement solutions: These programs allow the elderly to sell an active life insurance policy for a cash amount greater than the surrender value but less than the face value or death benefit.
  • Senior living line of credit: Several companies that offer these types of loans to help finance senior living. These short-term loans can be used, for example, while waiting for the sale of a home to be completed or a better time to liquidate an asset.
  • Private funds: Most families do have to use at least some private funds to pay for an assisted living community for a senior loved one. It is typically money from savings, investments or the sale of a home

We hope this helps you, Kristina! We encourage you or your brother to call one of our local Michigan communities, including one we have near your mother in Holland, if you have any more questions.


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