Elderly Long Term Care Costs Will Always Be Part of Life
All seniors should consider planning for long term care costs. This is because Seniors often face the prospect of entering a nursing home to receive long-term care. And, for most seniors a nursing is their final residence before passing away.
At other times, for the more fortunate, the elderly person will remain at home and receive some type of assistance with his or her everyday activities. Both of these options can involve considerable expense to the senior. As a result, care should be taken to claim every tax deduction available in these situations to help abate the costs.
Deductible expenses include the entire costs for medical care, meals and lodging for a nursing home resident; of course, the main reason for being in the nursing home is to obtain medical care. Otherwise, only the portion of the expense actually spent on medical care is deductible. For a senior receiving services at home, maintenance and personal care expenses, such as cooking and cleaning, are deductible.
Is Long Term Care Costs Only for the Chronically Ill Senior?
In both situations, the person receiving the services must be a chronically ill patient and the services must be prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner. A chronically ill patient is:
- A person who is unable to perform at least two of the following daily tasks without substantial assistance from another person for a period of at least 90 days: eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing and continence. or
- Someone who requires substantial supervision for their protection from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.
To deduct long term care costs for my elderly parent, do I need to have a medical license?
The person providing the services need not be a registered or trained nurse, but if the service provider is a spouse, child or parent of the patient, such relative must be licensed to provide such services.
Thomas J. Holmes, JD, Chief Tax Specialist, Co-Founder, and Partner at Joseph Cahill & Associates / WorthTax
Thomas Holmes is the Chief Tax Specialist, Co-Founder, and Partner at Joseph Cahill & Associates / WorthTax. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree at Boston College and his Juris Doctor at Suffolk University Law School. Tom has been involved in tax preparation for over 30 years. He is the primary instructor for our annual tax school through which we train our new tax preparers each year. Tom also conducts the annual tax update seminar as well as other advanced seminars for our more experienced preparers. Read more about Tom and the other partners of WorthTax.