Elder Care Costs: Home Care vs Assisted Living & Nursing
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Costs of Elder Care: Comparing Types of Care

March 18, 2015, 02:43 AM

When it comes to caring for your elderly parents or loved ones in declining health, the options for providing them with quality care can be confusing – and costly. You want to provide the best possible care for your loved ones, but can you afford it? To help sort out the options for senior care, we’ve outlined the three most common routes others have taken and the costs associated with each level of care.

Home Care

Depending on your loved one’s medical needs, in-home elder¬†care can be an excellent option to help retain your parent’s sense of independence and comfort. Home care allows for the opportunity to hire a certified health aide or nursing professional on a full-time, part-time, or live-in basis. The cost of home health aides (HHAs) or Certified Nursing Aides (CNAs) varies from state to state and averages to $19 per hour, with some rates as low as $9 and as high as $30 per hour. Not to be overly promotional, but Abcor offers customers a rate as low as $17.14 per hour. It’s important to factor in that cost varies by care requirements, the skills and experience of the HHA, and the type of agency used.

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by fixersuk via flickr

Other licensed medical professionals including Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and therapists are also available for home care, depending on the care your parent requires. Several states offer assistance programs for senior care and many agencies accept Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance to help cover the cost of care. Other costs to consider for the home care option include hiring a geriatric care manager to evaluate the charge’s exact needs, living environment, and to make safety recommendations, which can range from $250-1,000 per evaluation, depending on hourly rates. Home care is the most flexible option and can accommodate most levels of necessary medical care and living assistance.

Assisted Living Facilities

If you decide that your parent may require more structured assistance in managing his or her daily life, an assisted living facility is an excellent, all-inclusive option. For seniors requiring minimal medical care, assisted living provides logistical convenience and a strong sense of community, while allowing him or her to maintain an independent lifestyle. Assisted living facilities provide private or semi-private studios or 1-bedroom apartment style housing with communal activities including dining and recreation, and licensed staff to handle medication and medical requirements. As with the other options, assisted living costs vary from state to state but averages to about $3,000 per month across the US.

This cost typically includes all services associated with these facilities such as food, laundry, and housekeeping, but most facilities offer “a la carte” arrangements where you can pay a lesser monthly fee and add on services as required. Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of assisted living, but many do provide a subsidy depending on the level of medical care offered by the facility. Another option to help pay for assisted living is long term care insurance which is designed to provide exactly what its name suggests, long term care where health insurance cannot. is site down . When weighing the cost of assisted living, it’s important to consider other sources of income that may help offset the cost, such as selling your parent’s current home or apartment and veterans’ benefits.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) or nursing home provides the highest degree of medical care for seniors, as well as housing. For the elderly with advanced medical needs or the inability to care for themselves, a skilled nursing facility is the most cost effective option. Because these facilities function as medical establishments, many health insurance policies may cover some or all of the expense involved.

The average cost of a skilled nursing facility across the US is around $50,000 annually and generally covers all expenses associated with day-to-day living. For the elderly with severe dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, many, if not all, Skilled Nursing Facilities offer special wards to accommodate the demanding levels of constant care and assistance required and are often the best options for care.

Of course, we here at Abcor are biased towards home care in Chicago and across the country. Call us to find out more!

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