Learn About Expenses Related to Helping Older Adults



Family members may help older relatives manage finances or make financial decisions. Some may provide financial support.


Early discussions can help family members understand likely costs and make financial plans.


Local programs may be able to help older adults cover costs for:

  • Utilities, groceries, cellphone service or other household needs

  • Fuel, car maintenance or other transportation costs

  • Medications, hearing aids or other devices not covered by insurance

  • Grab bars, shower chairs, stair lifts or other equipment to make the home safer


Aging and Disability Resource Centers, Aging Units, Area Agencies on Aging, Senior Centers and departments of health or human services can share information about local programs. The websites BenefitsCheckup.Org and Benefits.Gov have information on national and state programs.


Family members who have older adults move in with them may face costs from:

  • Moving or storage companies

  • Higher water, electric or heating bills

  • Special foods or household supplies

  • Remodeling to add living space

  • Modifications like ramps to make the home more accessible

  • Taking unpaid leave from work

  • Hiring paid help


Older adults who need more help may also need to pay for:

  • Personal care assistants, for help with cooking, cleaning and grooming

  • Adult day care or respite care, to see others and give family members a break

  • Home health aides, for therapy or nursing care

  • Long-term residential care, such as assisted living or nursing home care


The costs of hiring in-home help may be covered or reduced by:

  • Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, if it's skilled care ordered by a healthcare professional

  • Medicaid, depending on state programs and eligibility rules

  • Long-term care insurance, depending on policy

  • Veterans' benefits

  • Local programs through Area Agencies on Aging, Aging and Disability Resource Centers or community organizations


The costs of long-term residential care may be covered or reduced by:

  • Long-term care or life insurance, depending on policy

  • Medicaid, depending on state programs and eligibility rules

  • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, a Medicare program in some areas

  • Veterans' benefits