Caring for an aging parent or family member can be a difficult, stressful situation. It can also be a very expensive process. Planning your own care after retirement can also be a difficult and daunting process. There are so many different options and a wealth of information to try to sort through. You want the best possible care for yourself or your aging family member. It is estimated that 70% of individuals turning 65 will need some sort of long-term care. The idea of nursing homes can be daunting. Many people also often have a negative connotation associated with nursing homes. However, there are many reputable care providers, both in-home, as well as facilities, that can offer professional and compassionate services. It is important to do the proper research in order to find the type of care that best suits your needs and that fits within the price range that you can afford. It may also be helpful to read reviews for the care providers in order to get a deeper understanding of what type of service you can expect. You also should see what services the individual's insurance will cover. Many people purchase long term care insurance which will be very beneficial in this situation.
If you are on a budget, there are several cost-effective options to consider, including creating a network of trusted family members/friends to act as informal caregivers and looking into finding a paid caregiver. Typically, relying on a network of friends and family is the ideal situation. This often means that the aging individual can continue to live in their own home and can rely on people they already know and trust. This reduces a lot of stress for the individual and everyone involved. It can be difficult to move from your home in the later stages of your life. If there are no available friends and family to help the aging individual, it may be necessary to search for a paid caregiver. This often means that the individual will still be allowed to remain within the comfort of their own home. Typically, these paid caregivers will come into the home a few times a week and assist with tasks, such as personal hygiene, medication, and light housework. This can be less expensive than other options. Typically, hiring a home health aide costs about $18 per hour.
Another option, if you are on a budget, is adult day care. This is a facility that helps to care for adults during the day in a safe environment. These are very similar to the day cares for children. However, these facilities offer services, such as health monitoring and exercising. Typically, the cost for adult day care runs at about $70 per day. This is a good option for individuals who have family members/friends that care for them but need to work during the day. Adult family care can also be a good option. This type of care involves a small assisted living group. This type of care is different from nursing homes because its typically in a residential setting with a smaller group of people.
You may also want to look into resources that are offered by churches. Many churches offer services such as medical transportation and help with shopping. They also sometimes have volunteers that help prepare meals and complete other day-to-day tasks.
It is important to note that if the individual is a veteran, there are typically many resources available, such as programs that increase monthly pensions in order to pay for services. Lastly, you may want to consider consulting an elder law attorney. They can often help you navigate the costs and options regarding long term care.
Overall, caring for an aging loved one or planning your own long term care can be a difficult task. Luckily, there are many resources available. Depending on your situation, you may be able to find resources that decrease the overall costs associated with long term care. It is also important to realize that the cost of assisted living and other long term care services varies from location to location. In some instances, it may be beneficial to look for care in a different region due to lesser costs. Outlying communities can often be more affordable than cities. You should also inquire whether pricing is flexible. Often, facilities may not have a set price and may be able to work with you or offer you a move-in incentive. Research is the most vital aspect of choosing the best services. You can find a wealth of information online and you can speak with other individuals going through the same process for support. Most people will require some form of assistance in their later stages of life. So, it is important to recognize that you are not alone in this process and there are many different options available to you, even if you are on a budget.