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How to Approach a Senior Patient About Finances

May 2, 2023

As healthcare providers, it’s critical to have open and honest conversations about healthcare costs with your senior patients who are looking for senior living options. For many seniors, the decision to move into a senior living community is a big one, and finances can play a major role in their decision-making process. We understand discussing financial options can be a challenging subject that requires patience, understanding and sensitivity. 

Here are some tips on how to discuss financial options with your senior patient looking for senior living options:

Understand Their Financial Situation

Before you start discussing financial options with your senior patient, take the time to understand their current financial situation. This includes their income, expenses, assets, and any outstanding debts. For instance, do they own a home? If so, it’s critical to understand if selling their home to pay for senior living is an option. Additionally, it’s important to take into account any current savings, life insurance, investments or other sources of income. This will give you a good idea of what they can realistically afford when it comes to senior living options.

Explain the Costs of Senior Living

Many seniors are not aware of the costs associated with senior living communities. Take the time to explain to your patient that the costs can vary depending on the type of community and the level of care they require. Be sure to include all the costs, such as rent, food, utilities, and any additional services or care they may require. Senior living communities also offer different pricing plans. It is essential to discuss each of them with your patient. Some communities offer all-inclusive options that will cover everything, while others allow residents to pay for only the services they need. Discussing all financial options can assist the senior in fully understanding what they are able to afford. 

Discuss Financing Options

Once you have discussed the costs associated with senior living, it’s important to discuss financing options with your patient. This could include options such as Medicaid, VA benefits, or other financial assistance programs that may be available to them. When it comes to finances and senior living, it's always a good idea to bring in financial advisors who can work in tandem with you to ensure that your patients are getting the proper advice they need. Finance professionals can provide insights and guidance on the financial side of senior living, ensuring your patient is as informed as possible.

Provide Resources

Senior living options can be overwhelming for many seniors. Provide your patient with resources such as brochures, websites, and contact information for senior living communities and financial assistance programs. If you have not brought in a finance professional yet, providing your patient with contact information could assist them when discussing their options with their families. Providing resources can help them make an informed decision and feel more confident in their choice.

Listen and Address Concerns

It’s important to listen to your patient’s concerns and address them accordingly. For many seniors, the cost of senior living can be a major concern. Try to find solutions and alternatives that will help ease their financial burden and ensure their comfort and safety.

Discussing financial options with your senior patient looking for senior living options can be challenging, but it’s an important conversation to have. By understanding their financial situation, explaining the costs associated with senior living, discussing financing options, providing resources, and listening to their concerns, you can help them make an informed decision that’s right for them.

If you have a senior patient looking to explore senior living options, we are here to help. Contact your local senior advisor at (888)455-5838.