With the rising cost of senior care, many of us will reach a point where we have to decide how we are going to care for elderly relatives. While we wish it weren’t a factor, cost is often the main topic of discussion. In this guide, we’ll explore ways to make looking after loved ones more affordable.
But, before we dive into how to reduce the cost of senior care, we must first understand the baseline.
We need to find the answers to questions like:
- What is the average cost of assisted living?
- How much does companion care cost?
- How much does in-home nursing care cost?
- What is the cost of home care vs nursing homes?
These are all important questions, and we’re going to answer them all for you here in this post.
Are you starting to think about the cost of elderly care for someone you care about? You’re certainly not alone. Especially when you consider that the costs keep bumping up every year.
So at this point in time, what is the average cost of assisted living?
According to SeniorLiving.org, the average cost of assisted living is approximately $50,000 a year.
They also give a breakdown of the average cost of assisted living by state if you think your state might be more expensive (or perhaps cheaper) than the national average.
To give you some bookends…
- the most expensive state is Delaware with an average elderly care cost of $80,000.
- The least expensive state is Missouri with an average elderly care cost of $36,000
How much does companion care cost?
First of all, what is companion care? And then, or course, what does companion care cost?
According to Care.com, companion care is more about curing loneliness than it is about helping with physical challenges or ailments.
As your elderly relative gets older, friends often pass away and family may move out of state. This leaves the elderly person without the companionship they desperately want and need. So, companion care is simply a person that will go visit them, hang out with them, and be their companion!
So how much does companion care cost?
Companion care ranges from $17-$31 an hour. The average cost is approximately $24 an hour.
At this rate, if you would want to hire 2 hours of companion care a day. This would cost you roughly $1,500 a month, or $18,000 a year.
It seems pretty steep, but it could be quite a difference-maker for that elderly person that you care so much about!
How much does in-home nursing care cost?
If your aging relative needs more care than just companionship, you may need to start looking into home care for elderly in their own homes.
In-home nursing can help with:
- personal hygiene care
- and of course, companionship as well
With more care, this of course comes with a larger price-tag.
So how much does private home care cost?
According to Aging.com, the average cost of in-home nursing care is about $4,000 a month, or $48,000 a year.
Pretty steep, but perhaps necessary!
What is the cost of home care vs nursing homes?
Wondering about the cost of home care vs nursing homes?
You probably think that in-home care is more expensive than nursing home care, but you’d be wrong. Nursing home care is actually more expensive than in-home care.
How could this be?
It’s simple actually. It’s about about the level of care and the amount of time people are there to care for you.
- With in-home care, nurses come to your house in the morning and they leave in the evening. On average, they put in 44 hours of work each week.
- With a nursing home, you have round-the-clock care just steps away from you at all times.
So what’s the difference in cost between in-home care and a nursing home?
We already established the cost of in-home care. That is roughly $4,000 per month.
As for the average cost of nursing home care, SeniorLiving.org helps us out with that one. They say it’s about $7,200 a month.
So while in-home care is about $48,000 a year, nursing home care is roughly $86,000 a year. Yikes! Now we’re getting pricey!
How much does 24/7 in-home care cost?
Maybe you hate the idea of sending your loved one to a nursing home. You’d rather they stay in their own home, but they may need more care than the typical daytime hours of in-home care.
So how much does 24/7 in-home care cost? Is it way more than nursing home care?
According to HomeCare.org, the cost of in home care around the clock $17,400 a month, or $208,800 per year. It’s a HUGE price tag, but if you can afford it, it’s a really nice option for your aging loved one.
Perhaps all of the above options are just way too expensive. Even $1,000 a month seems well out of reach, let alone the $17,000 option we just talked about!
So how can you reduce the cost of senior care? How can you still be sure your beloved elderly relatives are taken care of, but at a reduced cost?
See below for some great options!
Living with your relatives
Living with your relatives can be an effective way to provide help and assistance while also reducing the cost of care.
If your parents need help with everyday tasks, such as cooking, washing or getting dressed, for example, moving in with them or having them live with you could provide a solution. You can help out while eliminating the need to pay for home care services.
This may not be viable in terms of space or time commitments, but if you have a guest room or an annexe, or your parents have a large house that is big enough for your family, living together could work.
Becoming a carer
More and more people are caring for elderly relatives. As life expectancy increases, and the cost of senior care rises, it has become more common to become a carer for members of your family.
One of the main concerns for carers is giving up their job and their income to be there for loved ones. It can be incredibly challenging to balance the books when you lose regular earnings and you’ve got a household to run and bills to pay.
If you are a carer, or you are thinking about assuming this role, it’s beneficial to look into programs that provide financial assistance for carers, such as CDPAP. If you are eligible for support, take advantage of the benefits available to you. Regular payments can help to ease financial pressures and cover bills if your income is lower than usual.
Benefits and support schemes and plans
If you are looking to reduce the cost of healthcare for elderly relatives, the first place to start is to ensure that they are aware of the benefits and financial support schemes that are available to them. Insurance plans are designed to lower healthcare costs and make services more accessible for older people.
Health risks increase as you get older. It’s not possible to avert every ailment or prevent some conditions, but promoting self-care can help to lower risks.
Encourage your parents or grandparents to make positive lifestyle choices and look after themselves.
- Regular exercise,
- getting enough sleep,
- eating well,
- avoiding smoking,
- and maintaining contact with friends and family members can all help to reduce risks.
It is notoriously difficult to access free healthcare, but if you have family members who are not eligible for insurance plans or support schemes, it is worth looking for discounted services. For example, dental treatment provided by students from dental schools and clinics that operate a sliding fee scale. Search online for details of local facilities, programs, nonprofits and free events.
The Cost of Senior Care is Rising – What Are Your Best Options?
Managing your money can be incredibly difficult when caring for older relatives or family members with chronic health conditions or disabilities. If you are struggling to cover bills, or you’re looking for ways to lower spending, take these tips on board.
Need even more help? Perhaps reach out to health services in your area. Talk to your doctor or a trusted friend. There are many solutions out there. You just need to find the right one for you!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.