As our loved ones age, we have to consider their safety and ability to care for themselves. While the goal is to preserve as much independence as possible, there comes a point where you have to consider their care options.
1. The Type of Care Needed
One of the first things that needs to be considered is the level of care your loved one needs. It’s important to be honest here. You want your loved one to be safe and properly cared for. The only way you can accomplish this goal is to be completely honest about your loved one’s capabilities.
There are many senior care options available to families, including:
· Day programs
· In-home care
· Nursing homes
· Board and care
· Assisted living
Whether your loved one requires 24/7 care or just someone to check in during the day, there are care options available to meet every need. Consider the pros and cons of each option to find a solution that everyone can agree on.
2. How Much Care the Family Can Provide
If the senior is still able to live at home with moderate assistance, consider how much care the family can provide. Large families may be able to contribute more hours to care than smaller families. If family members live far away, they may not be able to contribute any care.
The average caregiver charges $20 per hour on average. Each hour of care the family provides will save dollars. That money can be put towards the cost of care to bridge the gap between what your loved one needs and what your family can provide.
3. The Family Budget
Of course, costs must be considered when weighing your care options. Keep in mind that senior care costs can be offset by having family members provide care whenever possible. Many senior care providers also offer flexible options that will work with your budget.
Not every senior requires round-the-clock care. Many aging adults are able to carry out most of their daily routines on their own, but they may need assistance with housekeeping, laundry and changing bed linens. These simple tasks only require a few hours of work each week.
Once you understand the level of care and how much the family can contribute, you can calculate a realistic budget for your loved one’s monthly care. If care is still out of your budget, there are funding solutions available, such as life settlements, reverse mortgages, Medicaid and Veteran’s Assistance.
4. Credentials and Background Checks
When choosing an in-home care provider, it’s important to do as much research as possible. The provider should have the appropriate credentials for providing the care your loved one needs. For example, if your loved one requires nursing care, in-home caregivers should have nursing credentials.
Also, it’s important to make sure that the agency conducts background checks on all of their caregivers. Many states require home care agencies to run background checks on their employees.
You’ll also want to consider whether your loved one will have an assigned caregiver, or if different aides will be visiting each time. Having an assigned caregiver may provide additional benefits in the form of companionship.