Cost of Senior Care

The three options for seniors and their families to consider are: home care agencies, nursing homes, and assisted living communities.  Nursing homes have the most intensive levels of care and therefore cost more than the other two options.  To determine what the best option is, one has to first determine the level of care needed and what family care giving resources are available terms of both finances and time.

It is found that the average age of caregivers are 53 years old with 42% taking care of a mother, 14% taking care of a father and 13% taking care of a spouse. The vast majority of seniors wish to remain in their own homes and that should be the option looked at first.  Home care services may only be required for a few hours a week in order to make a significant impact on the seniors’ lives and allow them to continue to remain in their own homes. Often the primary question for the family is how their loved can remain in their own home if it is no longer safe to do so without help.  Bear in mind that Medicare does not pay for personal care or custodial care only. It only pays for part time or intermittent skilled nursing care prescribed by a doctor and provided by a Medicare-certified home health agency so that is not usually an option for in home care.

The Genworth 2012 Cost of Care Survey www.Genworth.com/CostofCare can help families evaluate options to address the cost of senior care.

In the Washington DC area the study found the following costs for seniorcare:

Home Health Aides – offer care to people who need more extensive personal care than family or friends are able to or have the time or resources to provide – $43,472

Adult Day Health Care centers can offer a much-needed break to caregivers. For those who need assistance or supervision during the day but who do not need round the clock care – $23,140.

Assisted Living Facilities are living arrangements that provide personal care and health services for people who may need assistance with activities of daily living, but who wish to live as independently as possible and who do not need the level of care provided by a nursing home.   –  Private, one bedroom – $44,370

Nursing Home Care is for people who need a higher level of care.  They offer residents personal care, room and board, supervision, medication, therapies and rehabilitation, as well as skilled nursing care 24 hours a day. – Semi private room – $88,695

The cost for certified nursing assistants from an agency such as www.thriveathome.com in the Fairfax, Virginia area is under $20 per hour.    For a caregiver to care for a loved in their home for 8 hours per weekday would cost approximately $38400.  Thrive at Home also offers a live-in option whereby the caregiver lives in the clients home. This is an affordable option since care is available a few steps away.  The cost for live-in care is approximately $200/day.


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