Professional Senior Care Services

Paying for in-home care is one of the biggest issues facing families with aging adults today. It can become very costly for those who have not really planned or prepared for this or have little liquid assets available. Depending on the type of in-home care needed and the location it can cost more. Highly urban areas tend to be more expensive and the cost can range from $10 to $35 per hour. Skilled care involving a Registered Nurse (RN) or Physical therapist usually cost more than non skilled care involving a companion, homemaker, Home Health Aide or Certified Nurse Assistant. Unskilled care is less expensive and involves assistance with activities of daily living such as transfer, incontinence, bathing and walking. It will usually cost more if you hire a licensed home health agency than hiring an individual worker. There are obvious benefits of hiring an agency which can be another topic altogether.

The following are some of the various options that are available to pay for in-home care:

Long Term Care Insurance. You should consider getting long-term care insurance in advance of the time when you can no longer perform the ordinary activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, using the bathroom and preparing meals. When you purchase Long Term Care Insurance you actually purchase a pool of money to be used at a later date. The policy will last as long as you have money in your pool of coverage. Your pool decreases as you use the money for your care. The best time to buy LTC is when you are young and healthy, however, the average age of people who buy LTC is 64.

Medicaid programs: Your loved one may be eligible for a government-sponsored program. There is usually a wide range of programs available within Medicaid for the purpose of home health care but Medicaid may cover these kinds of expenses only for those who meet its financial requirements and benefits can be hard to obtain. Additionally, Medicaid laws vary from state to state.

Veteran Administration: Most Veterans think that VA pensions are only for service-connected disabilities, however, a non-service connected pension is available to low income Veterans for conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. If you are over 65 and need help from someone to bathe, prepare meals, dress or ambulate, you could be entitled to this benefit.

Private Pay: There are several ways personal and family assets can be used help pay for in-home care, including tapping into the equity in your loved one’s home. If your loved one owns a home a reverse mortgage may be a way to convert the home equity into cash to pay for home care. This should be seriously considered because the home will not be available later to be passed to family members. It is a very common scenario for siblings to come together to pay home care by gathering contributions from those family members who aren’t actively helping with daily care.

Medicare: Medicare covers home health care that is temporary and part-time. It’s a common misconception that medical insurance policies and Medicare will pay for long-term care expenses. This misconception stems from the fact that these programs do pay limited benefits for rehabilitation and recovery at a skilled nursing facility immediately following a stay at a hospital. But they won’t pay for the more common situation where you decline slowly and eventually need help with daily living activities, without a preceding stay at a hospital. Medicare simply doesn’t pay for “custodial care” that supports activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom.

Churches: Many churches have become a local resource for free home health care. They may have programs in which their members volunteer to provide free in-home care for those in need.