While quality of life and quality of care are always priorities when researching long-term care options for seniors, cost is inevitably a factor. Costs of in-home care are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Factors include your family member’s abilities, needs and desires – plus the needs and desires of other family members – which means there’s no “one-size-fits-all answer.” However, we can provide general information about the cost of home care for seniors to give you an idea of what it might cost.
For the purposes of this article, we’re talking about home care services, which are different from home health care services. Review our, At Home Care Services Guide, to learn more about home care services, which do not include skilled nursing services such as wound care, catheter care, IV or injections, nursing services, therapists, etc.
In-Home Care is An Affordable Solution
This much we can tell you for sure: typical home care services are more affordable than assisted living or nursing home care options.
While exact figures may vary from place to place, genworth.com cites the average monthly cost for senior care during 2017, in and around the Virginia area, was:
- $3,870/month for Home Care Services
- $4,508/month for Assisted Living Facility (one bedroom)
- $7,148/month (Nursing Home with shared room)
- $7,908/month (Nursing Home with private room)
The good news is that in addition to being cost effective, medical experts find home care services are the best, all-around care option for seniors who do not need intensive medical care.
Further reading: Financial Planning for Your Senior Parents
The Unseen Cost Benefits of Aging in Place: It’s Better for Seniors
While the figures above show that home care is more affordable than facility or institutionalized care, there are other factors to consider as well – the unseen cost benefits of aging in place.
As the baby boomer generation ages, research has uncovered additional cost benefits of aging in place that go beyond the bills associated with paying for in-home care services. According to a multitude of research, aging in place:
- Provides improved mental health outcomes, which minimizes the need for memory care as well as antidepressant and/or anti-anxiety medications.
- Allows seniors to remain in their homes, which can often be refinanced to continue paying for their care and keeps them more comfortable. It also keeps them in their communities, which makes it easier for them to maintain valuable social connections.
- Increases senior independence, which promotes better exercise, diet and social engagement – all of which lead to better physical and emotional health.
- Faster and more complete healing during/after illness or injury, which reduces hospital stays and/or readmissions.
- Allows a blend of both professional home caregiver and spouse/family caregiving, which can significantly reduce the total, long-term costs for home care.
Here’s another insightful statement from Marilyn Rants of the Sinclair School of Nursing:
“Adults want to remain healthy and independent during their senior years, but traditional long-term care often diminishes seniors’ independence and quality of life,” said Marilyn Rantz, professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing. “Aging in Place enables most older adults to remain in the same environment and receive supportive health services as needed. With this type of care, most people wouldn’t need to relocate to nursing homes.”
Is Home Care the Right Decision?
Some of the most common signs that it’s time to consider home care services of one type or another include:
- Inability to drive to routine appointments or social outings
- An obvious decline in physical, mental or emotional well-being
- Complaints of being lonely
- Signs that daily hygiene habits are being ignored
- The house is looking unkempt, untidy and/or unsafe
- Bills aren’t being paid, prescriptions aren’t being filled, errands aren’t being run as they should
- The refrigerator and cupboards are sparse or contain only processed/unhealthy foods and snacks
- Unusual forgetfulness
- Bruises and/or injuries seem to be the norm
Any or all of these signs are indications it’s time to look into home care options. Often, a simple check-in and basic home care services a few times a week are all that’s needed. Other times, you may determine full-time care is necessary.
Medicare and Medicaid Offset Home Care Costs in Certain Circumstances
Because home care services are not considered skilled care, costs are typically paid out-of-pocket. There are exceptions, though. If your loved one requires medical care, treatment and/or recovery options, some of the daily homemaking and personal care aspects of home care may, indeed, be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and/or a private healthcare insurance policy.
The representatives from your home care agency will help to sort these details out, as can the support of Medicare representatives. We recommend reading Medicare, Medicaid and Home Care to learn more.
Home Care Should Establish Overall Contentment
Smart use of home care should accomplish the happy medium of high-quality care, independence and overall well-being – without completely breaking the budget. Because each case is unique, it’s difficult to know for sure if home care services will meet your needs without consulting professionals.
If you think your senior loved one might benefit from in-home care, schedule a free consultation with Georgetown Home Care today or contact us here.
Additional resources to check out: