senior care tax deductions

Senior Care Tax Deductions: Understanding New Tax Benefits for Senior Care

Do you and your family currently have a senior receiving senior care services? Will you be soon?

If so, it’s going to be important to learn how home care tax deductions work to your family’s benefit!

Before we begin, we want to mention that Home Care Assistance does not officially offer tax advice. We recommend that you seek the help of a professional.

Now, let’s get started learning about how this works.

The first thing to know is that the IRS allows family caregivers to claim individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption. They even allow them to claim friends as dependents. Both parties are required to meet the IRS requirements. Once they do, the caregiver can then claim the dependent and the credit for other dependents on their federal tax return.

In order to provide proof of a dependent, it is crucial to keep detailed of all expenses associated with caring for your senior. Sometimes, a detailed log is required to show that the dependent lived with you for at least six months. This log will include keeping track of all receipts and noting all related expenses. Maintaining the log will ensure that you don’t miss any potential deductions as well, and it will be added to your documentation if you should ever be audited.

For single or married taxpayers that do not live with their spouse during the second half of the year, adding a dependent who is related to you and lives with you will change your filing status to “head of household”. This change in status will mean your standard deduction will increase.

It’s also important to understand the special rule for parents. You can claim your parent as a dependent and receive the head of household status even though he or she does not live with you. Any other relatives must live with you for a minimum of six months to receive the head of household status.

Furthermore, deductions can be made for any expenses paid to cover your loved one’s medical costs that are not reimbursable. When filing your yearly taxes, we suggest having a professional prepare or review your tax return before finalizing the details.

Read below to learn some of the allowable deductions:

  • Copays and deductibles
  • Acceptable therapies not covered by insurance
  • Eyeglasses
  • Physical therapy
  • Bandages
  • Hearing aids
  • Assisted living charges for medical reasons
  • Prescribed medicines and equipment
  • Insulin
  • Transportation to appointments or services
  • In-home health care worker, if you are working
  • Activities for older people with special needs
  • Home and vehicle modifications needed for safety or mobility

We understand that caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming. However, understanding all of the available benefits and tax breaks will help ease some of the financial burdens families often incur. If Home Care Assistance can be of further help, please give us a call.

paying for in home care

Will Medicare Cover Your In Home Care?

What happens after you leave the hospital but additional help is necessary at home? In some situations, Medicare will cover in-home care which can spare you of further costs or expenses.

Of course, some in-home care is likely to be needed when you’re ill or recovering from an illness and extra help might also be required after surgery. You may require skilled nursing, physical therapy, or some other medical service. With Medicare, it’s possible you may be able to recover at home instead of a nursing home, but it doesn’t help with every type of in-home care, or in every instance it is needed.

In-home care:  medical vs. non-medical

When you need in-home care for yourself or a loved one, it’s imperative to understand the difference between medical and non-medical when requesting assistance. This makes a big difference when it comes to Medicare coverage. Keep in mind that your care will have to be ordered by your attending physician.

Medical care: If your doctor orders medical care and you qualify for the home health benefit, you’ll have coverage for a limited time, for in-home skilled nursing care, rehabilitative therapy, medication administration, medical-social services, and specific medical equipment.

Non-medical care: If your doctor says you need non-medical care, Medicare typically won’t cover it. They don’t pay for personal home services such as bathing, dressing and exercise, meal planning or preparation and delivery, housekeeping, shopping, transportation, companion service, and telephone safety checks. Although these may be vitally important, they are usually not covered.

Back to the question: Does Medicare cover in-home care or not?

Medicare Part A and/or Part B may help pay for some, or all, of your in-home care if:

  1. Your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.
  2. You need special medical equipment to make it possible to leave home. Your doctor must certify that you’re homebound.
  3. A doctor orders in-home care for the patient, certifying that there is a need for intermittent skilled in-home care, but not continuous care.
  4. A physician has seen you in person to confirm that you earnestly need specialized in-home care.
  5. You are able to obtain services from a Medicare-certified home health agency.

In summary, in-home care may be covered by Medicare, but only if skilled nursing services, besides personal care, are needed.

How Home Care Assistance of [hca_city] Can Help

Home Care Assistance of Carmel is a private pay in home care provider. This means that we do not accept Medicare. Most home care services are excluded from Medicare coverage, so we are dedicated to finding an affordable, flexible care plan that is right for your loved one. Contact us for a free consultation to review your in home care options.

Ways to Manage the Challenges of Retiring on Social Security in Carmel, IN

How Elderly People Can Survive on Social Security After Retirement

For many seniors, social security makes up the bulk of income post-retirement. While it is nice to have a regular income, living on a fixed budget requires making a few lifestyle changes. Seniors living with health conditions need professional care, and they may have to plan for these expenses as well.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Indianapolis seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

As you and your loved one work on financial planning, consider these strategies to boost his or her wellbeing.

Reduce Unnecessary Expenses

It is common to develop serious spending habits during the height of a career. However, retirement generates the new concern of staying within a budget. Take an honest look at your loved one’s spending habits to determine where it may be possible to downgrade expenses. For instance, trading a daily latte in for a weekly lunch out with a companion can give seniors just as much enjoyment while saving dollars.

Consider Aging in Place

At first glance, life in a senior community might seem like a lot of fun, but nursing homes and other living arrangements can add up to a lot of costs. If your loved one is healthy and still independent, consider having a caregiver stop by a few times a week. This is often enough to keep seniors safe and healthy while living alone, and this arrangement allows them to save their money.

Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Indianapolis, Indiana, home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Find Free Entertainment

Seniors today are fortunate to be living in a time when most communities offer activities to keep them engaged. Although there is always a strong temptation to spend money going to the movies, free or inexpensive entertainment is also available for seniors. For example, they can take advantage of their local library for finding books, audiobooks, and movies that are free for checking out. Seniors can also head to their local community center to find exercise classes and activities. 

Make Staying Healthy a Priority

Seniors should be aware of the serious costs that arise from poor health. Taking steps to prevent injuries from falls and staying fit allows seniors to avoid the high cost of medical care. Make sure your loved one has transportation to and from medical appointments so he or she can keep up with current treatment plans. Help make your loved one’s home safer by eliminating hazards that could lead to serious medical care.

There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. Indianapolis, IN, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself. If you need a high-quality care plan or a professional caregiver for your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at [hca_phone] today.