Figuring out how to pay for senior care can be a major issue for many families. Retirement savings, the sale of the family home, private health insurance, veteran’s benefits, and long-term care insurance are all potential sources of funding to pay for this type of care. And the ability to pay for care can sometimes be the determining factor for the type of care you ultimately select for a loved one.
The average monthly cost of assisted living in the U.S. is roughly $4,000 a month, or about $48,000 per year, according to Genworth’s latest Cost of Care Survey. The same survey found that long-term, in-home care is typically more expensive for people needing 24/7 care. But in many instances, around the clock care is not needed for those wishing you remain in their home. So the cost of care, whether assisted living or in-home care, greatly depends upon a person’s health and the level of assistance that is needed.
Beyond cost alone, there are other critical factors you should consider when choosing the right living situation for you or an aging loved one. Let’s take a look at what those are.
Listening to Your Loved One
Foremost, the desires of your aging friend or family member should be discussed. You can’t assume that you know where they wish to live as they age, or how they’d like to receive care. For some, they wish to age in their home as long as possible. For others, they may wish to move into an assisted living community even before they need additional care. If their desires match their level of need and budget for care, then this makes the decision easy. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Have conversations early with your loved one so you are always on the same page, and you can revisit the conversation when it comes time to make a decision.
Assisted living and home care offer two different kinds of socialization. Assisted living communities often coordinate meals and activities to bring their community together. With home care, your loved one will have their caregiver to bond with, play games, cook, and do other activities with. A professional caregiver can also provide transportation to go to the movies or to a restaurant. In both cases, the socialization provided is better than no socialization at all.
Next, you’ll want to consider how personalized and consistent you want your loved ones care to be. In assisted living, your loved one might be cared for by any number of different individuals depending on their shift. With in-home care, you will typically have the same caregiver(s) caring for you as long as possible. You will also know exactly when they will be in the home and providing care.
Level of Care
Assisted living versus in-home care can provide very similar care to a certain level. If someone should need 24/7 monitoring and care, as well as help administering medicine or shots, among other things, then an assisted living community is best suited to provide these levels of care. But if your loved one needs care more in the form of general assistance and companionship, the comfort and convenience of in-home care may be a better fit.
Finally, keep flexibility in mind. It’s very likely that the level of care you require will change over time. So start with the decision that makes the most sense for your current situation. Then, should anything change, know that you have options to also change your level of care and where your loved one will reside.
Most importantly, be sure to do your research and understand your options. Speaking to your local assisted living communities and home care agencies will give you the most accurate information for cost and the level of services they provide. You’ll want to interview your options, just like you would for a job. After all, the care of your loved one is among the most important jobs in your life! If you would like to know more about Ella Home Care’s in-home caregiving services, please contact us today for a no-cost assessment.