Should we spend down Dad's remaining assets for better care now, and hope it doesn't run out?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

Dad is 87 with dementia, congestive heart failure (and excellent cardiology care). Monthly income 2K, current monthly expenses about 3,000 including assisted living. Assets are under $200K. He is needing more care now. Does it make sense to spend down his remaining money for better care, hoping that it won't go away completely before he does? I don't know what the alternative is. He has just a little too much to recieve VA pension.

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

Your Dad can qualify for a VA pension. He should get the maximum of $1,644/month, which will more than cover his assisted living expenses. You need to contact an eldercare financial planner who understands how the VA pension program works. You should provide him with the best quality of care that he can afford. Depending on which state he lives in, a Medicaid program should be able to cover his care if and when he does use all of his resources.

Community Answers

Ktzman answered...

I do not believe that answer is correct--when we checked into benefits for my dad, a WW2 vet, the VA does not pay care costs until the veteran has only 80, 000 in assets. You better double check that answer.