Do you have a loved one recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Are you aware that as Parkinson’s disease progresses, your loved one’s ability to walk, bathe, and dress will become impaired and there may be an increased risk of falling. Have you and your family thought about the difficult decision of placing your loved one in a nursing home someday? Are you and your family also dealing with the question of how to afford the exorbitant cost of a nursing home? How can you and your family pay for a nursing home if your loved one has Parkinson’s?

First, you and your family need to determine if your loved one is in possession of a long-term care insurance policy, life insurance policies which can be cashed out, or veteran’s benefits to pay for a nursing home. If your loved one does have one or more of these benefits be sure to gather copies of all the supporting documents of these policies, which may include copies of insurance policies or proof of veteran’s benefits. By having this conversation now with your loved one about the possible need for a nursing home you will have the required proof of coverage should your loved one’s mental capacity decline.

Now that you and your family have determined the existence of benefits, meeting with a qualified Wisconsin elder law attorney can be one of the most reliable ways of determining how to afford a nursing home, when the time comes. An elder law attorney, experienced in the area of long-term care planning, can assist you and your family with the review of any benefits you believe may cover the cost of a nursing home for your loved one. In addition, an important piece of information about Medicare that is often not understood is that Medicare does not cover the cost of a long-term nursing home. However, Medicaid does cover nursing home costs, but eligibility for Medicaid is based upon your loved one’s assets. Your qualified elder law attorney may assist in the drafting of planning documents, such as a trust, which may make your loved one eligible for Medicaid. It is highly recommended that this planning be conducted early because there are time limits on the transfer of assets which may affect Medicaid eligibility.

We know that a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is stressful and it typically comes with many other issues to navigate. By you and your family working with a Wisconsin estate planning and elder law attorney early you can determine the best strategy to use in helping to assure your loved one will be able to afford a nursing home when the time comes. By having the peace of mind that your loved one will receive the care that he or she deserves when the disease progresses, you and your family can focus on sharing quality time with your loved one both now and in the future.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We want to help you protect beloved seniors in your life with these helpful tips this March. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.