You probably thought, once your kids drove themselves off to college, that your days of saving your pennies were over. After all, you have an IRA, right? Well, even if you’ve been responsible, it’s a good idea to save for one of life’s other probabilities: parental frailty. According to a recent survey, most people drastically underestimate how much help they’ll need when they’re older. Only about one third of the aging population believes they’ll need long-term care such as in home care or hospice care, for example, when in fact the actual percentage is about 70%. Women especially are three times more likely than men to need some sort of geriatric care management. So, what are your loved ones options?
1. In Home Care: Helping Around the House.
Some older people can manage the basics just fine, but find tiring chores such as doing laundry, mowing the lawn, etc. just too hard to bare anymore. For these situations, it might be best to hire a home care service that specializes in homemaking. This is the cheapest, least “invasive” kind of in home care, and will only cost a family an average of $19,760 a year. This is also a great in home care model to try first if your loved one is resistant. You might find they get so used to the help that, if they need more assistance down the road, it will be easier to persuade them.
2. In Home Care: Health Assistance.
Of course, there are in home care options that are a little more involved, especially for those patients with ambulatory issues or some sort of debilitating disease, such as kidney disease or advanced diabetes. In fact, the majority of those facing hospice care received hospice care services in their home last year. This sort of care costs an average of $21,840 a year.
3. Assisted Living.
Assisted Living communities are for the elderly who can’t safely live by themselves anymore, but who at the same time don’t require the intense level of supervision characteristic of a nursing home. Assisted living staff typically helps with administering medications, daily activity, food, and housekeeping. Assisted living costs an average of $41,724 a year.
4. A Nursing Home.
For seniors suffering a degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, nursing homes are a great way to give them comfort and high level medical care and yourself peace of mind. At a nursing home, your loved one will receive around the clock, skilled medical care from accredited doctors and nurses. Nursing home care costs an average of $87,235 a year, but is often covered by insurance.
If you’re still not sure what sort of care to arrange for mom and dad, don’t be afraid to discuss it with them. After all, they are adults, and they deserve to be heard.