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Home Care Vs. Nursing Home

If you’re like the majority of seniors, you probably want to live at home for as long as possible. You like your feeling of independence. The thought of paying for an assisted living facility makes your heart flutter. But there are some activities of daily living (ADLs) like dressing, bathing driving or grocery shopping that can become difficult for some seniors.

In-home care provides seniors with home health care, non-medical care and even companionship. You keep your independence and your house. In-home care professionals come to you.

And with 78 million baby boomers starting to retire at a rate of 8,000 a day, the demand for in-home care will only increase, meaning more competition, better service and lower prices.

One survey shows that 90% of seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Your home is where you’re comfortable. It’s what is familiar. It provides comfort. If you move out to an assisted living community or nursing home, you’re starting over. You may have to room with a stranger.

One study found that those who received in-home care visited the doctor 25% fewer times than those that didn’t receive in-home care. Clients with Alzheimer’s or other dementia diseases, made almost 50% less trips to the doctor.

Not all in-home care is the same. There is service for any kind of need. For example, a man shows signs of Alzheimer’s but is otherwise physically healthy. He may just need help with paying his bills, getting to appointments, etc. He won’t necessarily need medical help yet.

Homemakers or companions provide services such as light housekeeping, transportation, and companionship. These activities are known as instrumental ADLs (see below). People with Alzheimer’s will often use a companion to assist them.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):

Bathing, Dressing, Feeding, Toileting, Grooming, Oral Care, Walking or using a wheelchair, Housekeeping, Laundry, Change linens, General shopping, Transportation, Meal preparations, Managing money, Medication management

Costs of In-Home Care vs. Continuing Care

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of in-home care and continuing care (assisted living, nursing home, etc.), here are some numbers to think about. According to The 2012 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey, these are the national averages for senior care:

Nursing Homes average $222 a day for a private room; $200 for a semi-private room.

Assisted living facilities (“typically include at least two meals per day, housekeeping, and personal care assistance, were obtained for one-bedroom apartments or private rooms with private baths in assisted living communities.”) average $3,300 a month. 

In-Home Care averages $19 an hour for health aides; $18 an hour for homemaker/companion. Additionally, 82% of home health care agencies provide Alzheimer’s training to their employees and 99% don’t charge an additional fee for patients with Alzheimer’s. Most home care services require a minimum of 4 hours so the minimum cost  is $76 /day.

In-home care can certainly be a lower cost solution to assisted living depending on the kind of care you need, and how many daily hours you need this care.

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