Imagine waking up and receiving a call that your loved one has been to the hospital. You rush there in your pajamas and turn the car key with extra force as if it will get you on the highway faster. When you get there, you learn that your loved one was admitted for a fall but, it turns out that fall was the first sign of Alzheimer's. You now have to form a plan of action for taking care of them including how you will find the time and resources to finance their care.
The Cost of Home Care
Research shows that over 60% of family caregivers worry about receiving a similar call from a hospital indicating that they will have to find a way to finance care for a parent. It's understandable, providing care can be both expensive and overwhelming. Many resort to quitting work to spend more time at home with an aging parent or cut into their retirement funds to afford trips to the hospital, new prescriptions, or safety equipment for the home.
A 2012 report by National Public Radio (NPR) has found that an individual will spend an average of $44,385 on care for their parents or elderly loved ones excluding the cost of lost wages and cuts to retirement savings accounts. When the costs are this high, it can help to check out online resources to make affording senior home care easier.
Cutting the Costs
Center for Benefit Access: The National Council on Aging provides a tool to help organizations enroll seniors and younger adults with disabilities into benefit programs so that they can remain healthy and in control at home.
Medicaid.gov: A website to shop for federal policy and program information about Medicaid and the Basic Health Program. Medicaid's services can cover doctor's visits, prescription drugs, and preventive care.
Benefits CheckUp: An application to see if you can apply for help affording prescriptions, health care, food, or utilities.
Medicare.gov: Look to see if you can apply for Medicare. It can help cover the cost of prescriptions, inpatient hospital care, admittance to a skilled nursing facility, home healthcare, hospice care, and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund.
Elderlife Financial Services: See if you can apply for veterans' benefits here to help pay for healthcare. Or, browse to find out resources to help finance care for an aging parent or loved one.
Top Discounts for Seniors: Outside of programs and loans to help finance care, there are also many discounts to help you afford travel, shopping, food, and telephone bills.
We hope that these insights can help you or your aging loved ones anticipate and prepare for the cost of home care. For more information about the cost of home care services, refer to our guide: Home Care Pay Options.