For many aging adults, the thought of leaving their home to live out their days in a nursing home or other long-term facility can be disheartening. Fortunately, this is not a choice you have to make. If your loved one wants to remain in the comfort and privacy of their own home, in-home care services are available. In-home care is a type of supportive care in which professional caregivers provide daily assistance to seniors to ensure that their activities of daily living are met.
In-Home Care vs. Nursing Homes
Apart from in-home care, nursing homes are one of the most common solutions for seniors who need daily assistance. When trying to decide between the two, it is important to consider the significant differences. Home care is a more private option that results in less disruption and a more personal relationship between senior and caregiver. Seniors are also able to remain more independent in a home setting and tend to be more familiar and comfortable with their surroundings.
Nursing homes are different than in-home care as they are often staffed by a variety of medical professionals who can provide round-the-clock care. Most nursing homes are also secure which can be beneficial to seniors with conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
That being said, there are also some drawbacks to choosing a nursing home: a nursing home may make your loved one feel “old” as these facilities often take away a person’s independence. There is also a long transition period before a nursing home can feel like “home,” and for some seniors, this may never happen. In addition, nursing homes are often very expensive compared to most in-home care services.
Factors that Influence Care Costs
As more seniors choose to age in place, the cost of in-home care is rapidly changing. Home care has become an affordable alternative to traditional options like nursing homes. However, there are a number of factors that may influence the price of in-home care. First, the amount of care needed is taken into consideration. The more care that your loved one needs; the more costly care will be. Other factors that can influence cost include the person’s level of health and where they live. Some parts of the country are simply more expensive than others.
Why In-Home Care Costs Less
In-home care can cost substantially less than nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. With nursing home care comes the cost of a room, the convenience of on-site medical professionals, meals and snacks, entertainment, and round-the-clock access to services and amenities. Home care services eliminates the cost of a private or shared room. With home care, you are also not paying a premium for items such as food, entertainment, and amenities. When you choose in-home care services, you are only paying for the caregiver’s time which can range from a couple of hours a day to 24-hour service.
In-Home Care and Insurance Coverage
Many people are unaware that Medicare and other insurance carriers will pay for the cost of in-home care services. Services that are covered by Medicare typically include intermittent skilled nursing care, certain therapies, and care performed by a home health aide. To qualify for home care services, you need to be homebound or require skilled nursing services on an intermittent basis. Your loved one will also need to meet with a doctor face-to-face at least 90 days before starting in-home care. Your doctor will then sign a home health certification that confirms intermittent skilled care is needed.
Other types of insurances also cover in-home care services. Many seniors purchase long-term care policies through an insurance broker or agent. Some employers also offer group long-term care policies and benefits for family members. There are also other sources for long-term care insurance, such as plans offered through organizations or state partnership programs. With a joint policy, you can buy a single insurance policy that covers more than one person which can be useful if you have two aging parents who would like to receive in-home care services. Compare your options to consider which is best for your loved one.
Other Differences in Care Services
While it is important to consider the financial factors involved in your decision, also take note of other factors that could influence your choice. Both in-home care and nursing homes have their own set of pros and cons. What may be right for one person may not be right for another. One of the biggest differences between the two is that in-home care provides individual compassionate care. While nursing home attendees may care for their patients, they do not have the opportunity to form relationships like a home health aide who works one-on-one with a patient would.
In-home health services are far more than just help with basic needs like meal prep and transportation. A home health aide can assist in all activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, walking, continence, and eating. If needed, a home health aide can also provide your loved one with medication reminders, help with light housekeeping duties, rides to and from doctor appointments and grocery stores, and similar tasks. If your loved one requires more advanced medical care, a treatment plan can be put in place that calls nurses, therapists, and other professionals into the home.
Learn More About In-Home Care
Cost is one of the most influential factors for families trying to decide between in-home care services and alternative long-term facilities like nursing homes. As no two services cost the same, it is important to do your research to determine which is the best option for your loved one. On average, in-home care services cost considerably less than nursing homes and many seniors prefer to stay in their own home. Your loved one’s insurance company may also pay for some or all in-home care services. For more information about the cost of in-home care or to learn more about these services, contact Comfort Home Care today.