Planning for Care Costs
Evaluating the cost of care is a necessary part of the process, and we know it can be challenging to navigate. Our Senior Resource Specialist helps families identify their needs and access services so that they can feel confident in their care-planning decisions.
The Cost of In-Home Care vs Facility Care
Deciding between placement in a facility and in-home care is a common dilemma families have to work through. The cost differences between in-home care and assisted living, memory care, and nursing homes should be weighed against the desired outcomes, quality of life, and opportunities to control some costs.
Cost comparison basics
Costs for care can vary widely no matter what care option you choose. It depends largely on the individual’s needs over time, the amount of care the family is able and willing to provide themselves, and regional cost of living differences.
Below is a chart from Senior Living that compares the median cost for care nationwide based on 40 hours of care per week. Your actual cost for care may be higher or lower but this gives you a general overview of potential cost differences between care options.
In the chart above, you can see that a home health aide for 40 hours a week might be more expensive than an assisted living facility, but less expensive than a nursing home facility.
Depending on the level of care needed and the amount of hours per week required, in-home health costs could be significantly more than even a nursing home facility or they could be drastically less. Every individual’s needs are different, which is why we can’t provide a simple calculator tool or give instant quotes.
However, there is one thing for certain about in-home care vs facility care — the cost is much more flexible.
Flexible cost of in-home care
When an individual is moved to a managed facility like assisted living, memory care, or a nursing home, there will always be a baseline cost for care. Like staying in a hotel, there’s simply no room for negotiation on costs for housing and baseline services. With in-home care, you have a lot more freedom to manage costs because the individual is already living in their own home.
Here are just a few ways that in-home health costs provide more individual control over costs:
Helps families stick to budgets and financial planning goals
In the in-home care setting, you have the option to distribute some amount of care between family members and other service providers.
Perhaps a child or partner wants to provide full care two days a week and have in-home care assist 5 days a week. Or maybe you need tapered services following a surgery where the individual needs 24/7 care for a week, then decreasing levels of care over the next few months.
In-home care provides that flexibility and allows families some control over monthly out of pocket expense.
Increase, decrease, or suspend services at any time
With in-home care you can respond to sudden changes in circumstance by making changes to your services at any time.
When a family member is in town for a visit or the care recipient is hospitalized, the in-home care services can be put on hold immediately. If the individual suddenly needs more help at home due to an injury or further declining overall health, services can be increased quickly. Having the ability to adjust hours based on changes in overall family schedules is another benefit to care at home.
The ability to make these changes and make them quickly can provide overall cost savings compared to a long-term care facility.
Only get the services you need
In a long-term care facility there are certain services that you will pay for whether you necessarily need them or not. The assisted living community or nursing home has their own overhead like maintaining community rooms and buildings, landscaping and grounds maintenance, and janitorial services. Understandably, those costs are passed on to residents so that the facility can continue to operate, but it can be an added expense that you cannot adjust from month to month.
With in-home care you can tailor your care plan to get only the services you need, which can help minimize your out of pocket expenses for care each month. You can adjust days, hours, and types of services as-needed. Also, since the care recipient remains in their own home they or their family can continue to make changes to the home environment to save on other types of costs like grocery bills, utility costs, yard maintenance, etc.
Focused on quality of life for the whole family
In addition to enhancing the quality of life for the elderly person, it is also our goal to support the family unit to function in a smooth and predictable manner. Our customized care plans provide families caregiver support they can rely on, help them manage their own busy schedules, and stay within their budgets.
Once you’ve determined that in-home care or facility care is the right fit for the supports your family needs, you then need to find ways to pay for that care. This can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially if it is something you haven’t done before.
Focus Healthcare makes this process faster and easier by connecting clients to resources and providing services that help meet individual and family needs.
Want to do a little more research on your own? The Alzheimer’s Association has an excellent series of articles about the different types of care options that are available. While targeted at Alzheimer’s patients, the information is really very helpful for anyone struggling with the array of choices available for individuals requiring daily living assistance.
Learn About Payment Options & Resources
We support a variety of payment options and are happy to assist families in finding legal, financial, and other types of support within their communities. Click the button below for a list of accepted payment methods and community resources that you or your loved one may be eligible for.