David Lohmann

By: David Lohmann on March 22nd, 2019

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How Much Does At Home Care Cost?

Home Care | Seniors | Family Members

Does your parent or senior loved one require support to make it through common tasks each day? If so, it may be time for you to consider your care options. At home care allows your parent to safely stay in an environment where they’re comfortable, without you having to worry about their well being.

Learn more about the benefits of at home care, and find out more about at home care costs.

How-Much-Does-At-Home-Care-Cost

The Benefits of At Home Care

Before we talk about the cost of at home care, you first need to know more about the benefits of what you’re paying for. As with any transition in life, moving from independence to assistance can be a challenge for seniors. Many seniors find it disheartening to give up tasks that they were once able to complete with ease, like getting in and out of bed or driving themselves places.

At home care, however, allows them first and foremost to maintain a level of independence. They can remain in their own homes, where they are comfortable and have their own routine, while still receiving care and assistance. When you choose an option like a nursing home or assisted living community, your senior loved one has to adjust to a completely new and unfamiliar environment, an uncomfortable and scary change. Home care, in contrast, allows them to stay in their home, reducing friction and challenges that may arise from moving.

A common challenge seniors face is loneliness. While it may be ideal for them to stay in their own homes, they can easily feel bored and lonely if they live alone. With home care, they have access to daily companionship. This is especially beneficial if you live far away from your senior loved one or you’re unable to come visit them each day. A home care professional will come, not only to provide care, but to provide your loved one with a chance to socialize.

One of the greatest benefits of choosing home care for your senior loved one is the level of attentive, personalized care they will receive. Nursing home and assisted living communities can often be overcrowded and understaffed. When that’s the case, many seniors don’t receive the amount or quality of care they need. But, when a senior has a trained at home care professional coming to their home each day, they receive care specific to their needs.

The benefits of at home care over other senior care options are numerous. You may be concerned that this high-quality care is more than you family can afford. Surely, having personalized, individual care is costly, right? Fortunately, at home care is more affordable than you think.


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How Much Does At Home Care Cost?

With the ease and convenience of at home care, you might expect to spend an outrageous amount each week. Instead, home care is often the more affordable option than assisted living or nursing home stays.

When it comes to at home care cost, there’s no single answer, as every senior has different needs and requires a different level of care. Three factors impact senior home care cost:

  • The amount of time for the caregiver visit

  • The number of visits per week

  • The type of care provided (including any additional expenses, like gas for transportation to a doctor’s visit)

In the same way that the cost of living varies per state, the cost for at home care varies, too. The national average is about $20 per hour, but could be more or less depending on your region. So, if your senior loved one only needs an hour of support twice a week, you may only pay about $40 a week for care. This is a far more reasonable price than other options.

One way to minimize home care costs is by choosing a provider that has a care-by-the-minute payment structure. With traditional home care options, you usually have to pay for a four-hour minimum visit, even if your loved one only needs an hour of care. With a care-by-the-minute option, you pay for the exact amount of care your loved one needs, even if that’s only 15 minutes.

So, based on the average of $20 per hour, a traditional option could cost you $80 for a four-hour minimum visit. In contrast, if you only need 30 minutes of care, you might pay $10. You have the power to pay for the exact amount of care your loved one needs, instead of spending more just to meet a minimum.

Calculating At-Home Care Costs

When calculating costs for senior at home care services, you will receive an estimate based off results of a comprehensive assessment of your individual needs by a licensed care worker or home care agency. You can choose to have this assessment verified by your personal physician. Once your assessment is complete, you’ll have a better idea of the care options that best suit your parent or loved one's needs.

There are four ways in which your care costs can be broken down:

Hourly

Hourly care is generally the most common option. It’s ideal for seniors who are still independent and do not require around-the-clock care yet. The cost for an hour of care differs based on your location, the home care agency you choose, and the type of care given, but it can range from about $20-30 per hour. Remember, traditional agencies have a minimum visit requirement, which should be taken into consideration when you’re weighing your home care cost options.

Daily

If your loved one needs a significant amount of care each day, you can choose for caregivers to spend the entire day with them providing support. This is especially beneficial for seniors who have mobility challenges and are unable to care for themselves.

Generally, you can expect to pay between $200 to about $350 per day for daily care. Although, it’s important to remember that this number is dependent on the cost of living within your given region, as well as the amount of specialized care that your parent or loved one needs.

Overnight

For many families, a senior falling at night is a big fear. Overnight care is another option to consider, even if your loved one doesn’t need all day care. The caregiver will stay with the senior all night to ensure they are safe and supported. Overnight care is ideal for seniors who need to get up multiple times throughout the night, or require memory support for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. You don’t want your loved one leaving the house because they are confused at night.

Rates for overnight care are usually not as expensive as daily rates, due to the limited number of activities required. You can expect to pay on average between $120 and $200 for every 10 to 12 hours overnight care. This is the ideal choice for families who are able to provide care throughout the day, but need their own rest at night.

Care by the Minute

The final and most flexible option is to pay for care by the minute. You can provide your senior loved one with any of the options above, but when you choose a care-by-the-minute pricing structure, you can ensure that they receive the care they need and you only pay for the exact amount of care they receive. This provides your family with greater flexibility and control than any of the other options. And care-by-the-minute pricing can save your family hundreds or thousands of dollars compared to other options.

You don’t have to compromise your parent’s comfort for cost. With affordable at home care, especially when you choose care-by-the-minute pricing, you can provide your senior loved one with the best care they need in the most comfortable environment.

About David Lohmann

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