When searching for the right health care option for your elderly loved one, there are many options. In-home health care, in particular, is a care option of increasing popularity in America, largely due to the fact that it is a popular substitute for assisted living facilities for those who want to stay in their home or retain some level of independence. While no system is a one-size-fits-all solution, there are a number of advantages to receiving health care in the home, making it an option that should be factored into your care decision at a very minimum.
Health Care Cost
In terms of cost, there really is no comparison between assisted living facilities and in-home care. It is common to assume that in-home care is more expensive because you’re paying standard bills as well as professional care, but an itemized list of realistic living costs, coupled with in-home care costs, still works out cheaper.
It’s not uncommon for a financial comparison between assisted living or home care to be made, because people want to know if the professionals are truly worth the extra dollar. Moreover, we all want to take care of our loved ones, but sometimes there is only a certain amount of money with which to do so. Therefore, while the best level of care is the top priority, cost is also a high priority when deciding what type of care to choose.
It is a pleasure to tell you that in-home care is cheaper than assisted living facilities. If forty hours or less a week is required for in-home care, the monthly bill will be less. Those who opt for in-home care rarely need more than forty hours a week, because in-home care is most beneficial for elderly people who may need some help but are not entirely dependent on caregivers.
Think about it this way:
In-home care is usually paid by the hour: you are paying one carer. Caregivers in the United States have an average salary of $10.29 per hour. If your elderly relative just needs someone to get their groceries or do some light housework, you won’t be hiring them for many hours. Even if your loved one has a higher level of need, you’re still spending less money on in-home care than assisted living facilities.
Even a live-in caregiver’s salary only amounts to less than $24,000 per year, on average. This works out as roughly $2000 per month. If your relative requires a live-in caregiver, the level of care in this case translates to that provided in a nursing home. In 2015, nursing homes cost $220 per day for a shared room: a private room is even more expensive. Even these basic figures tell us straight away that nursing home costs are very high, even when you factor in standard living costs when staying at home.
$220 is just the average daily cost of a nursing home. Depending on where you live and how luxurious the home is, you could be dishing out up to $771 per day! When it comes to cost, in-home care wins by a mile.
Quality of Life
First things first: if you care about your aging relative’s happiness and fulfillment as they rise in the years, you should consider what they want. Did you know that 87% of adults who are 65 or older would prefer to stay at home as they age? Granted, sometimes your loved one has serious medical needs that the immediate family members simply can’t cope with. But even if this is the case, live-in caregivers are an option. You may feel more at ease knowing they are looked after by professional nursing staff if in a nursing home, but everyone’s situation is different: you might just be worried they’ll fall, or worried they’re not eating enough. In such cases, live-in carers are more than qualified to do the job. Moreover, live-in carers have to have certifications and qualifications coming out their ears. They can carry out tasks as advanced as changing catheters, so only the most severe cases require residence in a nursing home.
Knowing that most elderly people would prefer to stay at home to age tells us that they would be happier doing so. The quality of life in familiar surroundings where you have friends, family, and a regular routine is much higher than when you’re a resident at an assisted living facility. This is not to say that these facilities are bad, per se, but it’s easy to imagine that residents constantly feel like patients in a hospital instead of elders aging gracefully.
It’s clear that there are significant advantages to opting for home health care instead of moving to an assisted living facility. If you’re still unsure about what to decide, it’s recommended to do some research of your own and consider professional advice about care giving options for the elderly.