Supporting an older parent or relative can be a huge financial burden. However, there are budget-friendly options that can keep your senior loved one at home and safe. And it can be done without breaking the bank. Here are some ways to find affordable senior home care.
Medicare offers routine home care such as, helping beneficiaries bathe and dress while providing basic medical care. But this care is on a part-time or intermittent basis, and only if prescribed by a doctor as part of a larger plan of care. Unfortunately, Medicare will not pay for full-time or long-term home care.
Then there’s Medicare Advantage, private insurance that matches Medicare’s coverage while providing additional benefits. One of those benefits is limited long-term home care aid.
Every state runs its Medicaid program differently. Many states allow its residents to use Medicaid to cover assisted living communities or in-home care. While other states offer PACE, a small but growing Medicaid program. It pays for in-home care, adult day care, hospital and nursing home stays, prescriptions, and medical related transportation. Check to see if your senior could take advantage of the PACE organization.
Veterans 65 or older who served during wartime (not necessarily in combat) may be eligible for financial assistance through the VA to help pay for in-home care. This assistance is based on applicant assets, income and needs. Applicants with income over a certain threshold may be denied, though decisions are determined on a case-by-case basis. You can contact a local VA benefits office to see if you or your loved one qualifies.
Use Private Caregivers and Home Care Agencies
Hiring a private caregiver typically costs 20-30% less than hiring a caregiver through an agency. By contrast, using a home care agency is more expensive, but it has benefits. These agencies do the legwork of finding qualified, competent caregivers as well as taking care of insurance, taxes, and backup care.
A third combination option is to hire a private caregiver and an agency caregiver on an as-needed basis. That may be the best of both worlds; providing the necessary coverage while relieving some financial stress. It can ensure that your senior will always be kept safe by a qualified professional.
Get Family Involved
If they are willing, family members can get involved. Local family members can stay with a loved one some days while out-of-towners can take care of household bills and ordering supplies. In addition, a relative could schedule time off to relieve professional caregivers whenever possible.
Using a combination of private caregivers, local agencies and family members can drastically reduce the cost of caring for your home-bound senior.
Finally. caring for an aging relative can be emotionally and financially draining. So, ask for help from government agencies and your larger family to keep your loved one safe and in their home.