It’s not always necessary to sell a parent’s house to pay for their care in an assisted living facility, nursing home or other senior living facility. Selling a home is a common way to pay for senior care, but this option isn’t a good choice for everyone. 

Selling a parent’s house to pay for senior care may not make sense if their spouse or other family members are still living in the home, or if selling the home would affect their eligibility to continue receiving certain benefits. In these situations, other options for paying for senior care include accessing your parent’s home equity or applying for financial assistance programs.

Options for Accessing Home Equity

Reverse mortgages are a well-known option for accessing equity in a home without selling it. These loans allow homeowners who are aged 62 or older to borrow money against the equity they have in their property, and receive either a lump sum or monthly payments. This money can be used to pay for senior care and typically doesn’t need to be repaid until the borrower passes away or sells their home.

Before taking out a reverse mortgage, consider other available options for accessing home equity. Lenders offer other financial products that can help senior homeowners tap into their home’s value, including home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Accessing home equity through a cash-out refinance also may be an option.

Financial Assistance Options for Senior Homeowners

There are several financial assistance programs that can help older adults, including those who own homes, pay for long-term care services. Medicaid is the nation’s primary source of this assistance. State Medicaid programs vary, but in general, they offer eligible seniors help to pay for nursing home care or home and community-based services, such as assisted living.

If your parent is a veteran or survivor, Veterans Affairs benefits are another option to consider. The VA offers Aid and Attendance or Housebound Allowance benefits. These pension top-up programs help eligible people cover the cost of services such as home care, assisted living or nursing home care.