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The average cost of assisted living in the county is $4,500 a month. This guide is a starting point covering the cost of assisted living care in the county, as well as financing options to pay for it. You’ll find in-depth information on 7 assisted living facilities in Penobscot County and 1 in surrounding areas.
The Cost of Senior Care in Penobscot County, ME
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According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care survey, seniors living in Penobscot County play less for assisted living than those living anywhere else in the state. At $4,500 per month, the cost of assisted living in the county is $450 less than the state median and more than $500 less than in the Lewiston area. In Maine, the most expensive assisted living costs are in the Portland area, at $5,700 per month. In Manchester, New Hampshire, just one state over, the average monthly cost of assisted living is nearly $1,000 more at $5,498 per month.
Note: Specific data regarding the cost of senior care in Penobscot County isn’t available. Data for the largest major city in the county, Bangor, has been used instead.
The Cost of Assisted Living in Surrounding Areas
Just as in most cities throughout the United States, the cost of senior care varies depending on the type of care required. In Penobscot County, nursing home care costs are more than double those of assisted living and home care. While the cost of homemaker services and home health aides is just $76 higher than the cost of assisted living, it’s important for seniors and their loved ones to keep in mind the additional costs that are associated with staying at home. This includes groceries, utilities, rent and general upkeep, all of which are usually accounted for in both assisted living and nursing home costs.
Senior Care Cost Comparison Chart
Medicaid in Maine is known as MaineCare, and the state administers it with financial support from the federal government. It helps low-income seniors, disabled persons and families to access health care services and prescription medications at no cost. Some of the services covered by MaineCare include primary care, counseling services and nursing home care.
Seniors who wish to apply for MaineCare must meet the following financial requirements:
All sources of income are counted toward eligibility; however, some assets are exempt. Exemptions include an applicant’s home, a single vehicle and personal belongings such as household furnishings.
To apply for MaineCare, seniors can call the MaineCare helpline at (855) 797-4357.
Elderly and Physically Disabled Waiver
The Elderly and Physically Disabled waiver helps senior citizens and disabled individuals avoid or delay the need for nursing home care. The program covers costs such as skilled nurse visits, personal care and physical therapy. Seniors can also receive some counseling services and nonmedical transportation.
To qualify for this waiver, seniors aged 65 and older must require a nursing home level of care and undergo a full assessment to determine their need. They also must have a monthly income lower than $2,313. This waiver only accepts a limited number of participants, so there’s often a waiting list for eligible seniors.
To apply, seniors can contact the Eastern Area Agency on Aging at (207) 941-2865.
State Supplemental Payment
Maine’s state government provides a monthly cash payment to help low-income aged, blind and disabled Maine residents to pay for expenses that aren’t covered by Medicaid and its waiver programs. The recipient’s living arrangements determine the amount of this payment. It can be as much as $234 per month for individuals or $636 per month for couples.
To qualify, seniors must be at least 65 years old or legally disabled, and they must be recipients of the federal Supplemental Security Income benefit.
To learn more about this supplement or to apply for SSI, seniors can contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213.
Senior Bridge Loan
Seniors who are about to move into an assisted living facility often face large up-front costs. They may need temporary financial assistance while waiting for funds from the sale of a home or other sources. In these cases, seniors can consider a bridge loan from Elderlife Financial Services. These loans are issued directly to the senior’s care facility. The loans operate as a line of credit, and seniors can repay in monthly installments and access funds as they need them.
To qualify, seniors should have adequate income to cover monthly payments and a good credit history. Those who need to can apply with up to six cosigners to increase the likelihood of approval.
To apply, seniors can contact Elderlife online or call (888) 228-4500.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Many senior citizens require some form of long-term care in their lifetime. As such, insurance providers often offer long-term care insurance policies, which can help seniors to cover the costs associated with assisted living and other types of care. Specific terms, copay amounts and deductibles vary depending on the provider and the policy.
Elderlife Financial Services offers insurance counseling to seniors who need assistance filing claims and understanding the terms of their insurance. Those who require assistance can contact Elderlife at (888) 228-4500.
The Eastern Area Agency on Aging helps seniors in Penobscot County and surrounding areas by providing them with a variety of services and resources, including health insurance counseling, credit counseling, nonmedical transportation services, home repairs and nutritional counseling.
Eastern Area Agency on Aging
1129 Union St., Suite 30, Bangor, ME 04401
Gateway Seniors Without Walls works with the UMaine Center on Aging to provide seniors living in Penobscot County with enriching activities and programs, including yoga, aquacize, chess, computer classes and adult coloring nights.
Gateway Seniors Without Walls
9 Chestnut Court, Orono, ME 04473
The Bangor Bureau of Veterans Services Office serves veterans who live in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties and their immediate families with a variety of services, including benefits assistance and counseling.
Bangor Bureau of Veterans’ Services Office
35 State Hospital Drive, Bangor, ME 04401
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