At What Cost? 5 Tips for Affording In-Home Senior Care

You’re in the middle of your workday when you get a frightening phone call. Your parent has fallen and hurt themselves. (Turns out they were trying to get out to their car to go buy groceries.)

This is a nightmare scenario that millions of people live on a daily basis. 

You want to do the absolute best care you can find for them, and, you know that they won’t want to be plucked from their homes to be placed in a senior care community. But, can you afford senior care in-home?

The truth is, affording in-home senior care is often cheaper than putting them in a facility, and there are some methods that you can use to make it more affordable than you may have thought. Keep reading to find out all your options.

1. Avoid Home Care With Inflexible Hours 

Many seniors don’t necessarily require a strict amount of hours for care. For example, if they aren’t very active at night or early in the morning, they don’t need someone to watch over them. 

By having someone only come in for a few hours, you can cut back on some of the cost. To this end, you may also be able to have the caregivers come in for a split shift. (For example, have someone there for a few hours in the morning and then for a few hours in the late afternoon, depending on the needs of your parent.) 

2. Compare Agencies 

Like with most services, you shouldn’t go with the first agency that you call. You need to get in touch with multiple ones so you can compare prices. The cost will vary most of the time, depending on where the agency is located (think big city vs. small town).

Make sure that you’re fully researching and calling multiple agencies to discuss services, pricing and review previous client satisfaction.

3. Get Family Involved

One of the best ways to make in-home senior care affordable is to get family members involved, helping you use every resource that you have available to you. If you’re lucky, some relatives may be willing to stay with your parents for a little while so that you can use a caregiving service less often. 

This also helps to ensure that family members aren’t always having to juggle working, taking care of their family at home and assisting their senior relatives.

If siblings can’t stay with your parents, maybe they can pitch in money for care supplies or bills… it’s worth the discussion!

4. Private Caregiver 

While going with an agency is ideal, it might be out of the question for some because of the cost. Private caregivers may be a little bit cheaper, but remember that cost can sometimes reflect the quality of care given.

Private caregivers are not insured by an agency, they may not have had the necessary training and certifications and can sometimes be unreliable (when sick, they won’t be able to come).

Agencies hire competent, well-trained staff and typically have someone available to come in to care for your parent if the regular caregiver calls in sick.

Some people choose to use a mixture of both options to cut back on cost from having an agency watch over their parents for the entire day. 

5. Payment Options

While the above options will cut down the cost of your parent’s care, they still won’t make it free. Here are a few payment options available to you if you still can’t afford to pay out of pocket. 

Collective Sibling Agreement 

Chances are that if you’re worried about your parents staying by themselves, your siblings aren’t exactly thrilled about it either. 

Often times, when an older parent who has multiple children is in need of assistance, there can be tension and personal complications that arise between siblings. (Ranging from one spending more money than another to care for them or taking care of them more than another.) 

If you feel these issues are getting ready to bubble up, you should sit down with them and come up with a collective sibling agreement.

This agreement will help get everyone on the same page (knowing who is paying what for in-home care and who is coming in on a regular basis to physically help out).

If you decide to go with this idea, you will want to talk it over very carefully with your family. The person (or persons) paying out the money should also be given records of all expenses that are paid so they know where their money is going. 

Doing this can save you and your family a lot of headache and family drama in the long-term. 

Reverse Mortage 

If your parents are 62 or older and have already paid off their house, they may qualify for a reverse mortgage to pay for their in-home care. With a reverse mortgage, your parents will sell the equity of their home for cash. They can get the cash straight away or have it given to them in monthly payments. 

The amount of money your parents will receive depends on how much their home is worth and how old they are. While this could be a good option to fix your in-home payment issues, it does come with its problems. 

There are a bunch of strict rules regarding insurance and house maintenance, so it’s very easy to default. Make sure you do your research!

Medicaid  

You’ll probably have a hard time getting Medicaid to cover your parent’s in-home care, since it’s mainly used for care following a hospital stay or for longterm care placement in a nursing home. 

However, this coverage varies state by state. So, do some research. Medicaid may pay for waiver services in your area, which can include the assistance of in-home care. 

Depending on the situation and the state you live in, Medicaid may cover all or a portion of the cost of your parent’s care. It’s worth checking to see if they qualify, and if Medicaid will at least cover a portion of the cost, that takes some of the burdens off your shoulders!

How to Afford In-Home Senior Care for Your Parents 

If you’re worried about your parent’s health but don’t want to place them in assisted living or a nursing home, in-home senior care may be your best bet. Affording senior care in the home can be a little bit of a battle, though, so be sure to look at every avenue from every angle.

Are you ready to start looking around for in-home care for your loved one? Contact us to find out how we can help you.