Senior care can be very expensive. When the need arises for senior care at home, many suddenly realize that, for the most part, there are no government-based programs to assist with the costs. Planning is always very important, and the earlier you can think about the best ways to pay for care, the better.
In this article I will describe five ways you can save $5,000 per year for senior care. Not all of these apply to everyone, but all of us can find two or three of these that will apply.
Here are the five:
1. Start early with a small amount of care. Usually families wait until it’s too late to get assistance, when a fall or medication error can lead to much larger and more expensive needs down the road. When noticing a loved one’s needs are changing, arrange assistance with medication management or a twice a week stop-in by a caregiver (companion.) With safe bathing, companionship and medication compliance, often big events are prevented and independence is lengthened. There is a major difference between $300-$400 per month for care, versus $3,000-$4,000+ monthly.
2. Utilize live-in care vs. traditional 24-hour care. When someone needs fulltime assistance at home, utilizing a live-in caregiver versus a full-time team of shift caregivers can save over $30,000 per year. Live-in care is usually split between two caregivers, and is a wonderful experience for the senior plus peace of mind for the families.
3. Take advantage of VA programs where applicable. There are many veterans in Hampton Roads. Fortunately, there are some programs for veterans, and the surviving spouses of veterans, that can provide additional resources. One example is the Aid and Attendance pension. If you qualify, this program may provide up to $2,000 per month in an additional pension that you can apply towards senior care, up to $24,000 per year.
4. Hire privately with support. The best care experience usually comes from hiring a home care agency like Seniorcorp. However, if cost is a factor and you can direct care, a private hire may be a good solution. At Seniorcorp we can help facilitate compliant hiring and save approximately 20% versus agency care. Average savings are about $7,000 per year.
5. Purchase Long Term Care Insurance. If you are a healthy individual age 50-70, purchasing long term care insurance can be a great way of paying for care. A few tips: only purchase three to five years of care, about $200 per day, with a 90-day elimination period. This is more affordable, covering the majority of your care costs, and can save $10,000 – $20,000 per year, even after paying premiums. If you already have long term care insurance, we can help you budget resources and care.
If you would like further advice, Seniorcorp can help with all of these solutions. It starts with a free in-home assessment from a geriatric expert. Call 640-0557 or go to Seniorcorp.com for more information.
By Tom Knox
Tom Knox is the CEO of Seniorcorp. Seniorcorp is a Home Care Company with 350 employees in Hampton Roads and its sister company CareFamily, provides care nationally. Tom’s company has served over 5,000 Hampton Roads families.