As people age, health becomes an increasing concern, sometimes to the extent that they are no longer able to safely operate independently. At this point, assisted living or at-home care are the most popular ways to effectively look after them. But what do they entail, exactly, and how much do they cost?
Assisted living facilities provide services to seniors who are mostly independent, but may require assistance with certain functions. These facilities can vary in size from a small house with a few residents to a large building with many residents. The type of care can run the gamut from basic personal and medical care to providing on-site physical activities.
Typical services include meals, supervision, security, light housekeeping, personal care, and help with medications. Extended services can include nursing, social activities, transportation and memory care. More upscale facilities may offer enrichment amenities like swimming and golf.
Costs of Assisted Living
The average monthly cost of assisted living in the U.S. is around $3,600 per month. This is the average for the country, so the costs vary based on facility. The types of care, the type of facility and the amenities provided will determine the costs. Additional dementia care adds an approximate additional $1,150 per month.
For seniors resistant to leaving their home or children who prefer to keep their parents nearby, home care can be provided via home health aides. These aides vary in terms of qualifications of services provided, but common services include general caretaking and health management.
Costs of Home Care
Calculating the costs of home care is more complicated than calculating the costs of assisted living. The types of services needed, the type of home health aide, the hours needed and hourly rates all have to be assessed, rather than paying a set facility fee. Statistics for average hourly rates for home health aides vary widely from source to source, but typical average hourly rates for the services of a home health aide, depending on the area, appear to range most commonly from $10.00 an hour to $19.00 an hour.
Paying for Care
Medicare will not pay for assisted living or at-home care. Medicaid will pay if there are no assets. During the process of asset declaration, many people will let a life insurance policies lapse in order to deplete their assets. However, selling a life insurance policy can be a much better option. Seniors can sell a life insurance policy, and can also then convert it into a Medicaid life settlement to pay for senior care. This allows for a greater amount of autonomy in selecting care options as well.