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Deductible Medical Expenses

Hello - My mother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia and is now residing in a memory care facility and are looked at as a long-term care community.

There is a monthly charge they only detail as level of care charges.

She is a 2-assist (needs care of two nurses).

I saw on the TT "The Ultimate Medical Expense Deductions Checklist" general examples and nursing care was one example, which I would think applies here as well as per the info provided under nursing services and Qualified Long-Term Care Services (chronically ill individual) under Pub. 502.


So, examples, the care charges include administering her medication, physical therapy, bathing and assisting her with going to the bathroom, getting her in and out of bed and on and off the wheelchair to name a few. 

  • Would this monthly charge be deducible as medical service fees I can enter in TT?

Also, we had to buy her a bed/mattress that raises and lowers to help them get her in and out of the bed.  Without this they would have to get a Hoyer to lift her.

  • Can we deduct this as medical equipment?
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3 Replies
Expert Alumni

Deductible Medical Expenses

Yes, both of may deductible per IRS Publication 502 depending on what are the needs of your mother-in-law.


For the long term community if the services are necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitative services, and maintenance and personal care services  that are:

  • Required by a chronically ill individual, and
  • Provided pursuant to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner.

If your mother-in-law is unable to perform daily living activities (eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence) without assistance then she qualifies.   


For the mattress, the IRS says that medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and for the purpose of affecting any part or function of the body. If the mattress is serving the purpose of mitigating her medical condition then it would be tax deductible.


For good record keeping, prescriptions or medical letters to support these deductions are recommended as well as keeping records of the expense.  


For more information visit IRS Publication 502.  




Deductible Medical Expenses

Thank you.


I forgot to ask but would her "room rent" at the memory care facility she is currently staying to be taken care of because of her diagnosed dementia be allowed for deductions?


And any past admittance at a nursing home charged as "room & board"?

Expert Alumni

Deductible Medical Expenses

You can include in medical expenses the cost of meals and lodging at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to receive medical care.

You may be able to include in medical expenses the cost of lodging not provided in a hospital or similar institution. You can include the cost of such lodging while away from home if all of the following requirements are met.

 1. The lodging is primarily for and essential to medical care.

 2. The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital.

 3. The lodging isn't lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.

 4. There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.


For nursing home: If your dependent is in a nursing home primarily for medical care, then the entire nursing home cost (including meals and lodging) is deductible as a medical expense.


For more information: Medical and Dental Expenses

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