Homecare: Making the Decision About When and Where
Most of us want to remain as independent as possible. Sometimes, all that may be required is a simple medication reminder. However, if getting ready for your day has become more difficult and you require some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, grooming and getting dressed, there are caregivers that can assist with these tasks. The first step is realizing that you need additional support and then asking for it.
Asking for help and the fear of losing independence and control can be challenging. There are community resources available to discuss these very topics, including: Registered Nurses and social workers. These professionals are well versed on what resources are available in your area.
Next, take some time to consider whether or not you’ll stay in your home or move to community. Monthly charges range from $2,000 to $8,000 per month (depending on the level of care). Your financial situation and family support system will likely influence your decision to stay at home with extra help; or move to a community. This is a tough decision and may require downsizing and selling your home. Take your time and do this in steps.
How will I pay for this in home services?
Medicaid: funding for those with limited financial resources may receive assistance with some or all of their home care expenses from Medicaid.
- Medicare: is available to all adults 65 and older. However, Medicare is meant for acute health episodes, and not long-term care. Those that are homebound, need skilled services, and require intermittent help may be able to receive some home health care services under Medicare funding.
- Long Term Care Insurance: Each policy is different, with some covering only nursing home costs- but many current policies allow for homecare services.
- State Programs: older adults that do not qualify for larger government programs like Medicaid may qualify for more local state programs, because states have greater freedom in establishing requirements for their programs
- Private Pay: Many families choose to perform many of the home care services for a loved one, themselves. Yet, some seniors require skilled services. For families that do not meet eligibility requirements of certain programs, out of pocket funding may be unavoidable.
- Non profit support: there are many other non-profit organizations, volunteer groups, or faith based organizations that may also help. Check your local area agency on aging for more information.
Although paying for home care is expensive, there are many options for seniors and their families. Learning more about Medicaid, Medicare, long-term care insurance, and various state programs can help older adults as they navigate the financial aspect of long-term care.