Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Recognizing the Costs of Senior Care

If you have aging parents, you have probably already begun to think about the care they will need in coming years. But have you put enough thought and planning into it? Nursing homes and even assisted living can become very expensive if your loved one is there for several years. Medicare, Medicaid, and long-term care insurance have limitations on what they will cover and can take time for approvals or appeals to go through, leaving families to pay out of pocket. 

One study estimated that the annual cost of a private nursing home room is around $91,250. If your elderly parent is in the nursing home for just five years, this adds up to a whopping $456,250. If they stay longer, this cost only rises. Assisted living and rehab facilities come with their own expenses as well. For those with dementia, it can be even more challenging because they are physically healthy but their memory is slipping. Between your senior’s savings and insurance coverage, this may not be enough to cover costs, which means the family is often left to cover the remaining balance. This can be tough, especially when you are trying to provide for your children and save for your own retirement.

There are several ways to help prepare for the costs of senior care:

  • Plan ahead and start comparing pricing, insurance plans, and living options. Know what each service covers and how much you can expect to pay. Although pricing will change with time, it can give you a ballpark estimate. It may be more affordable to increase the amount of in-home care before transitioning to assisted living.
  • Know your senior’s finances and what they can afford. You may want to work with a financial planner to more effectively budget their savings and maximize return. This will also help you to judge what levels of care they can afford and for how long. A professional can work with you to determine the difference between what insurance or Medicaid will pay versus what your senior will owe.
  • Compare options before making any decisions. Talk to the family and see if others can pitch in to provide care so that less assistance is needed. Make use of in-home care to support your aging parent in being able to stay in their own home for as long as possible, especially if assisted living or a nursing home is more than they need at the time. Providers like Always Best Care even offer assistance tailored toward those with dementia to provide them with high quality, affordable care.

The average lifespan has increased over the years and this means more strategic long-term planning and saving is necessary. Don’t let the cost of senior care catch you by surprise. Make sure you start planning early and know your options.

To learn more about how in-home care can help defray costs, contact Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville at (828) 989-7263 or visit us online. In addition, when your senior is ready for assisted living, we offer complimentary assisted living placement services and have strong ties with local resources.

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