If a senior has no family, how are all the needs met?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 12, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What happens to low income seniors with no family if they pass? What would the government do with all of their things/ apartment/ etc. Also, what resources are out there for low income seniors with no family to get care. I know there is Medicare and Medicaid, but assisted living and nursing is pricey and from what I know those funds only supplement payment.


Expert Answers

Kay Paggi, GCM, LPC, CGC, MA, is in private practice as a geriatric care manager and is on the advisory board for the Emeritus Program at Richland College. She has worked with seniors for nearly 20 years as a licensed professional counselor, certified gerontological counselor, and certified geriatric care manager.

People who come into later life with no family and little income are in the worst possible position. Often it is challenging to help them, either because they do not request assistance, or because they are too proud to accept it.

There is no IF to it: ALL of us are going to die. I don't know what happens to their things after they die if no family members can be found. I do know there are a few resources for low income adults. People who reach 65 can enroll in Medicare part A; this is part for by the federal government, and covers hospitalizations. Medicare part B that covers doctor visits and other services is voluntary and requires a payment. Medicaid is different in each state because it is funded by both the federal government and the state. I can only speak to Texas Medicaid.

In Texas, the person must have resources below $2,000 and an income below approximately $1500; it changes every year. Please refer to the Caring.com article Answer by Joseph L. Matthews. Texas pays for very little assisted living, and there is usually quite a long waiting list. Texas Medicaid does cover nursing home care, if the person has a medical need.