I will examine and discuss elder home care costs this time. You are clear on your choice of home care for your elderly loved parent.
Your choice may be based on any of the following considerations: convenience, complying with your parent’s wishes, cost, unwillingness to hand over the care of your aging parent to total strangers, or to make sure her type of lifestyle is maintained?
Then you need to know the type of home care you want to come as close as possible to the actual cost: a simple house help, companionship, or more involved home health care?
The cost of each option will depend on the going rate where your elderly parent lives. Other areas to consider are the cost of equipment, supplies, and home remodeling if needed.
You can see that simply googling homecare costs (which averages around $3500.00/month) or making some phone calls to get the ‘cost’ will not do. It would be best if you did more homework for a realistic estimate.
Let me discuss the more involved home health care that involves medical and professional services.
Medical And Professional Services
The most important consideration to determine or estimate elder home care costs is the type of services needed. Note that no two cases are the same. So what you have here is a guide.
You have to be clear on your loved one’s type of disability, which will dictate the services’ needs: an average healthy aging person may only need home help with daily living activities (ADLs).
But stroke care, post-surgical care; surgical wound care; Intravenous therapy care; Parkinson’s care, etc., may need some skilled healthcare services requiring certified home health care professionals like nurses, licensed vocational nurses, physical therapists, doctors, etc.
Sometimes some people may not know the difference between assisted living and skilled nursing home care and hence ignorant that certified caregivers earn higher hourly rates than those unlicensed. Such a person may need help to make that determination.
In that case, I recommend SeniorAdvisor.com. You will learn a lot more from them. Any dollar value cost for home care costs will be misleading. Only you know your parent’s location and the going rate of these services there.
Time Frame And Location
And you need to know the time frame services are required to figure out the cost. The cost of home care( in fact, or any of the varieties) depends on the number of hours the services are needed.
Also, the residence of your loved one and the cost of living there are determining factors. For instance, in Phoenix, Arizona, home care services’ prices will be different and more expensive in Los Angeles, California. For further reading on this, please read Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Study.
Equipment and Supplies
To determine elder home care costs, the types of equipment and supplies needed, including their fees, will depend on individual cases and locations, as noted above.
In some cases, hospital-grade beds, unique bathtubs, bathrooms, kitchen, and dining fixtures may be needed. When some or all of these fixtures are needed, some rooms may require remodeling to accommodate them.
The costs of these fixtures and the remodeling may also vary depending on availability and location. The type of lifestyle your elderly parent desires may require buying scooters or wheelchairs so that she could go shopping in her favorite stores, visit friends or move around in the house. Depending on a particular situation, a chauffeur may be employed to drive her around.
So far, the discussion on the elder home care costs has been focused on the dollar amount of the services. You also need to consider the quality of services, equipment, and supplies. These will impact the total cost of home care costs. You need to employ services that match your needs: staff with adequate training and experiences, a high sense of duty, and love for their patience.
Help With The Cost
Paying for elder home care services (and any more senior care services, incredibly long term) may be challenging if adequate preparations were not made before the onset of the need. In fact, many families have gone bankrupt because of home care costs.
One could explore a few US options like life insurance, medicare, Medicaid, etc. My caution is to be aware these exist and understand the terms and conditions of your choice. Let me explore these a little further.
Life Insurance is generally paid after death to a designated person, but depending on the terms of the certificate, it could be used to pay for home care and long-term health care services. Again, read the fine prints.
Medicare is a government agency open to qualified individuals. It can be used to pay for in-home health care only. To be eligible to receive this assistance, the elderly senior must, among other requirements, receive the care from a medicare-certified agency. Again, read the fine prints.
Many seniors, sixty-two years and older, are allowed to use the equity in their homes to pay for health care services in an arrangement called Reverse Mortgage. This is a form of loan using your house as collateral.
You can pay back the loan with interest at any time of your choice. The only type of reverse mortgage I personally use and recommend is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). I use it because it is the only type that is federally-insured. You need to acquaint yourself with the terms and the conditions.
Another avenue for help to pay for elder in-home care services is Medicaid, though the more senior person must meet both medical and financial needs. You may be required to undergo a medical evaluation to ascertain this.
Make sure you understand what you are getting into to avoid missing out on any of the provisions. Also, remember the coverages differ from state to state.
Highest among the reasons people choose home care options for their loved ones is to maintain the lifestyle they are used to.
Your home is a familiar, not a strange place. This is where your life memories, your grandchildren, and anything of value live. You are among your own people, not strangers. “There is no place like home.”
Home care costs are no easy task because of many variables like the location where the services will be required and the going rates in the place to consider. And no elderly case is like any other. So the cost you get from googling or from asking another person may be unreliable.
The most expensive service in the home care services is home health care. This option requires home health professionals whose services cost a lot more.
The cost of eldercare, in general, may run into thousands of dollars and can lead to families filing for bankruptcy if they don’t have a full grasp of eldercare. To prevent that from happening, people look for ways to get help to pay for the costs. Four sources – life insurance, reverse mortgage, medicare, and Medicaid, I discussed here. But I think the best option to avoid or reduce the high costs is taking proper care of oneself before aging begins. Eat healthily and exercise regularly.
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