How much does at-home healthcare actually cost? It’s a good question, and not one with a simple answer. Depending on how much help is needed, the cost will vary. Before that, let’s talk a little bit about why people might opt for in-home care.
Why in-home care?
No matter what their age, most people want to live in their own home and their own space. This isn’t surprising, but it can be difficult to fulfill this wish when your loved one requires more help than they have immediately available. Perhaps you have a parent or sibling that lives alone and is needing more help as they get older. Whatever the situation, it’s clear that most people are happier and have a better outlook on life when they can stay in their own home.
Independence is another reason people opt for in-home care. Not all people who need such services are advanced in age; some are may have disabilities or temporary injuries that require a more flexible solution that moving out of their home. Thus, they can get care and maintain their daily routine and independence.
All these factors contribute to wanting to stay at home, but the decision to obtain professional in-home care is put off for many by the cost of such a development.
The actual cost of in-home care
Genworth completes a Cost of Care research survey every couple years, and the numbers from 2019 match a growing trend: that cost of care is only going up. Genworth also offers a tool to help you calculate the cost of care in your area, via entering your zip code. The numbers (per month) are as follows:
Although home health care appears cheaper than a facility, it’s possible the expenses could be equal, if one required 24/7 care. Because while that care is covered in the listed home health aid cost, the cost for food, housing and other necessities aren’t necessarily included.
How to cover the cost
A variety of solutions exist to help people cover the cost of in-home help for themselves or a loved one. Here are the basic options available:
Paying out of pocket, or from one’s own investments and savings. Life insurance policies may also be an option if the person has recently lost their spouse. Some consider borrowing (such as completing a reverse mortgage) to be an out-of-pocket option as well, but this may only be a short-term solution and leave the family members with a sizeable debt.
Another common way people cover costs is through government allowances, such as the medicare/medicaid programs. Veterans also have a variety of Homemaker and Home Health Aid Care available. Some lesser-known options include PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) and even nonprofits. Live Care Foundation offers help for those who need it, so learn how you can Get Help today.
Ms. Harris is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys reading, triathlons, and baking.