Planning for life events such as a wedding or graduation is easy. But navigating other life events can be a little more difficult. One such event that people often have trouble with is planning for healthcare and daily living needs in later years. If you have a relative who may soon need some type of in home care, then being prepared is essential.
Costs of in home senior care as opposed to other types of care are one of the biggest aspects you will want to consider for your loved one. Here are some things to watch for when researching the cost of home care:
Is there a contract?—A contract protects both the client and also the care agency. All senior care services and facilities should have a contract, whether in home care, assisted living or memory care. The document spells out what each party can expect. Costs, time and duties should be included. Make sure the contract is clear and easy to understand.
Is the caregiver fully qualified ?—Most states have license requirements. Caregivers in your home should be screened, licensed and bonded by the agency you choose. The agency should have no objections to your request for state and local documentation of these permits. A good question to ask is ‘What happens if my caregiver leaves the agency?’ This may happen when you have someone coming to the house. Make sure you are prepared to find new caregivers quickly should the need arise.
Is the comparison of costs realistic?—One way to take care of an older relative may seem more cost effective on paper over another way, so make sure the itemization is similar. In home care may seem less expensive at first versus other types of care, but hidden costs, additional needs and 24-hour care may move your costs upwards fast. Also, consider what will happen if your loved one needs more care all of the sudden? You need to look at the cost and disruption of that sort of transition.
Have you checked your relative’s insurance?—The insurance company may able to direct you to a program that fits your financial needs and insurance parameters while giving your loved one the help he needs. You may find the real cost for in home care may not be covered by insurance, where as a long-term care community may be a good choice for financial reasons.
With some advance cost planning and understanding of in home senior care, you’ll be better equipped to choose which type of care can be the answer to your parent’s needs. Keeping costs in mind as well as the quality of the caretaker, range of services, and facility is a winning plan for the next stage of life for your loved one.