If there’s an aging-in-place senior in your life, at some point they will probably need your assistance to remain independent. According to the CDC’s Healthy People 2020 initiative, over 25% of US adults aged 64+ live with at least one moderate to severe functional limitation. When that time comes, seniors and their families must choose between receiving care at home versus a care facility. Here’s why home care might just be the best option for your loved one.
The Different Types of Care Facilities
Long-term care facilities vary depending on the services provided, living environment, and cost. Based on an elderly loved one’s needs their family may choose to place them in one of these types of care facilities:
- Skilled nursing facility
- Nursing home
- Assisted living facility
- Continuing care retirement community (CCRC)
- Adult foster care
Benefits of a Long-Term Care Setting
In order to address emergencies or specific care needs most long-term care facilities are staffed around the clock by trained professionals. If your loved one has any functional limitations, living at home can be dangerous. A care facility may also offer seniors much-needed socialization opportunities and community support they might not otherwise experience at home.
Disadvantages of a Care Facility
It may surprise you to learn that a large percentage of long-care services are provided by unpaid workers. This would include family members. The average assisted living facility costs over $4,000 per month, while a semi-private nursing home room can run anywhere from $175 to $1,100 per day depending on where you live.
If your family is relying on Medicare or Medicaid to pay the bills, Medicare will only cover expenses for the first 100 days. This is if, and only if, certain eligibility requirements are met. After the first 20 days, the per diem coverage drops to 80%. To receive long-term care coverage through Medicaid certain eligibility requirements must be met.
Being housed in an unfamiliar environment without daily access to loved ones can be hard on a senior. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, many nursing home residents have been denied physical contact with family and friends for well over a year now. Most facilities have also canceled their recreational and social activities.
Why Care at Home Makes More Sense
When care is provided at home, the biggest challenge is finding informal caregivers with the skills needed to maintain their loved one’s quality of life. Once a family “care team” is able to meet those needs their loved one will reap benefits that they probably wouldn’t at a care facility.
For example, seniors living with dementia or Alzheimer’s tend to respond more favorably in a familiar, comfortable setting. Even if your loved one has to move in with you, being consistently surrounded by people they know and trust is a major positive for their health and wellbeing.
With respect to nutrition, care facilities must serve bland meals that accommodate different tastes and dietary restrictions. Being able to serve your loved one their favorite meals makes it more likely for them to eat a healthier diet. And although there will still be out-of-pocket expenditures, receiving care at home costs much less than at a facility- allowing your loved one to enjoy more of their retirement nest egg!
Where Professional Home Care Comes In
Although serving as an unpaid caregiver is highly rewarding, there will be days when you need to take a break. Over time your loved one’s functional limitations and care needs will also change. Once you start feeling overwhelmed it might be best to hire a professional in-home caregiver with the training and experience that’s needed.
An Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Home
Although caring for an aging loved one at home is highly rewarding, it can also be challenging and stressful. At First In Care, our in-home caregivers support the independent lifestyles of seniors who live in private homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or individual living centers. Our highly trained professionals deliver top-quality services. These include respite care, personal care, companionship care, dementia care, light housekeeping, and even live-in and 24-hour care.
While serving as an extended family in the home, our compassionate caregivers use a unique approach that’s designed to maintain your senior’s quality of life, dignity, and independence. To learn more now about our flexible plans and hourly rates, or to schedule an initial consultation for a senior in Manatee County, FL, today, please visit First In Care at www.firstincare.com!