Long-term healthcare costs for seniors can be quite expensive, sometimes even prohibitively so. For seniors on a fixed budget, this can create some difficult situations. Both in-home care and assisted living, on average, cost over $3,600 a month. And, furthermore, this doesn’t even include the cost of medical procedures and medications either. It’s important to realize that many are unprepared for the high cost of senior health care. With this in mind, it’s essential to prepare and to know where you can cut costs if necessary.
Determine One’s Exact Needs
There’s a big difference in the cost of home care and home health care. If only basic help is needed, one may only require a personal care attendant. They can take care of things like bathing assistance, laundry, cooking, and other tasks that don’t require medical knowledge.
In-home health care, on the other hand, means employing an aide who has received medical training. This means they’d be able to perform in-home nursing care like checking vitals, assisting with medical equipment, and administering medications. These professionals will often cost more to hire, though they may not be needed on a daily basis.
Seek Out Tax Credits
In some cases, there may be tax credits and/or deductions available to seniors and/or their families. Be sure to ask your tax preparer about qualifying for these.
Consider Hiring and Independent Caregiver
There are pros and cons to hiring an independent caregiver versus using an agency. While agencies perform background checks, have substitutes available, and are bonded, they’re also about 20 – 30% more expensive. Hiring an independent home care aide can help save a significant amount of money. You should, however, make sure to thoroughly check his or her references.
Find Ways to Lower Other Household Costs
Sometimes the cost of care can be offset to some degree by lowering costs elsewhere, like utility bills. Make sure one’s home is energy efficient, well insulated, and weatherproofed.
Look for a Respite Program
Respite care can sometimes help offset the need (and cost) of home care hours. Often, qualifying families can get some free or low-cost care through one of several non-profit organizations.