David Lohmann

By: David Lohmann on July 18th, 2019

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Breaking Down the Cost of In-Home Care for the Elderly

Seniors | Family Members

There’s no place like home, right? For many seniors, home is where they’re comfortable and want to spend this season of their lives. However, many families believe that home care is out of their price range. While in-home care for the elderly does have a reputation for being expensive, this fortunately isn't always the case.

In-home care for seniors is likely to become increasingly common, as more than 70% of seniors prefer to age in their own homes. Part of determining if this is the right path for your family is determining the cost of in-home care for elderly loved ones. As a company that offers new, affordable in home care solutions for the elderly, we’re asked about the cost of care all the time. Let’s dive into what factors into the costs associated with in home care for the elderly so you can determine whether it might be a realistic option for you and your family.

What’s the Typical Cost For In-Home Care for the Elderly?

As with any type of care, cost depends on a number of factors, like the area you live in or the level of care needed. While there are many options to choose from and factors that can increase or decrease prices, you can expect to pay $20 to $30 per hour on average for care. With most companies, you have to schedule visits to last a minimum number of hours (typically four hours).

There’s an alternative to this traditional pricing structure for care. Some providers are beginning to offer a care-by-the-minute pricing structure. This model allows families to pay for the exact amount of care time they need, with no minimum. If you choose a care-by-the-minute model, you will likely pay about $1 per minute of care.

To put both of these pricing options into perspective, you need to evaluate other senior care rates. For example, an assisted living facility is about $132 per day, while nursing home care is about $245 per day. You may feel like $1 to $245 is a wide range for cost, and it is! But to narrow that range down, let’s look at the factors that could impact how much your family can expect to spend on in home senior care cost.


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What Factors Affect the Cost of In Home Care for the Elderly?

Here are a few factors that could increase or decrease the cost for in home senior care.

Duration of Care That’s Needed

During what times of day will your senior loved one need care? Do they need help during the day while you’re at work and unavailable? Maybe they need someone to stay with them overnight. Depending on the time of day and the length of a care visit, prices will change.

Duration of care is an important factor to consider, especially if you’re evaluating agencies that have a minimum care requirement. If your loved one only needs 30 minutes of support a few days a week, an agency with minimum visit requirements may not be the best choice. Instead, you may want to consider a pay-by-the-minute model.

Location

Depending on where you live, you may pay more for senior care. When you live in big cities, for example, costs may increase. Agencies often charge more during peak times, like on weekends or holidays. Rural areas can come with an increase in costs, too. If you live in a remote location, and you’re outside of a caregiver’s usual service area, they may charge more to cover travel time and costs.

Caregiver Certification

Every state and agency have different requirements for what licenses or certifications the caregivers must have, but you can generally expect to pay more if your caregiver is highly certified. For example, New York requires that caregivers are RNs (registered nurses), which can make the cost more expensive compared to agencies that use home health aides.

Working Directly with a Caregiver vs. Working with an Agency

Some families choose to schedule care though a home care agency, while others may work directly with a caregiver. The option you choose could impact the in home senior care cost your family pays. Each option comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.

While working with an agency may be more expensive, they take care of everything, from insurance to bonding to background checks. You also have access to a pool of caregivers, so someone is always available when your loved one needs care. Because the agency has a reputation to uphold, you also can feel confident that everyone they employ is qualified and accountable. When you work with private caregivers, on the other hand, you have more control over the cost of care. If you have a private caregiver that you believe would be best for your family, you can always negotiate rates to ensure that’s an affordable option, too.

Type of Care Provided

You can schedule assistance with almost anything for task, from household chores to medical care. If your loved one needs medical care or someone skilled in using medical equipment, this level of expertise may increase your costs. Consider what assistance your loved one will need on a daily basis, and if they need medical care, anticipate an overall increase in cost.

Insurance Coverage

Some insurance policies, like long-term care insurance, may cover some or all of the cost of in-home care. In that case, your family can expect to pay less out-of-pocket for care. As you consider your care options, connect with your senior loved one’s insurance company to find out whether or not long-term care is covered.

Affordable Home Care Solutions for the Elderly

Ultimately, in home care costs depend on many factors, but when you choose a pay-by-the-minute model, you have greater control over how much you pay, and you usually benefit from a lower rate, too. If you don’t need four-hour visits, but would like routine care, like just a few minutes in the mornings or evenings to help with getting ready or preparing meals, it can be a more affordable option.

Agencies that use CaringOnDemand charge by the minute, so you only pay for the care you need. While the national average per day is about $142, with CaringOnDemand, the average is $29 per day. This affordable price means you can provide your senior loved one with the best care possible, while enabling them to stay in their own home.

Ready to find convenient, affordable care for your loved one? Explore your care options now.

About David Lohmann

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