You have a senior family member who is struggling to stay independent in their home. You’ve met with them and discussed the possibility of moving into a retirement or assisted living community and they are vehemently opposed to the idea. In the conversation the idea of in-home care comes up and while they are also resistant to someone coming into their home, they agree it’s a compromise they can live with.
Then you start calling around and trying to determine how to pick a company and what kind of cost you are looking at and it brings up a new concern that is shared by lots of people in the generation moving into their senior phase.
The average rate for reputable organizations is $25 per hour with either a 3 or 4 hour minimum. This is for non-medical home care which focuses on what is referred to as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). These are things like bathing, hygiene, dressing, meal prep, incontinence care, light housekeeping, laundry, transportation, transferring, medication reminders and toileting.
Reputable organizations you can trust to care for a loved one hire their caregivers, they don’t independently contract them. To contract them can reduce a company’s overhead cost, but it places tremendous burden on the caregiver to withhold their own taxes, pay for liability insurance and worker compensation coverage. Companies who contract their staff generally have no experience required and keep their pay rates at minimum wage. These are all red flags and things to avoid.
So if you are looking at a reputable company that charges $25 per hour and has a 3 hour minimum (meaning that any shift at the home must be a minimum of 3 hours and can’t be broken up into three 1 hour shifts) you can start to think about how many shifts per week you need. There are 168 hours in a week so part of the decision is thinking how many continuous hours you think your loved one will be safe home alone. Then you determine how many hours can you get family or friends to help out. Once you have these items figured out you’ll know how many hours a week you are looking to potentially cover with a caregiving company.
Let’s say the amount of hours determined is 15 hours a week (five 3 hour shifts). At $25 per hour the weekly cost will be $375.00. This would produce a monthly cost of roughly $1,625.00.
How does this fit into the budget of the loved one you are trying to help? If they have a long term care insurance policy they can get some, or in rare cases all, of the costs reimbursed by the insurance company. If they were a veteran there are resources available through the government that could assist in covering the cost. Medicare and standard health insurance are very specific about the nature and reason for the care and the coverage is limited in time and cost.
If the loved one is on Medicaid and in Arizona covered under the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS), whichever service provider you have chosen can provide you a list of which companies can provide care covered by ALTCS.
These steps will help you find the right in home care provider to take the best care of your loved one, but you’ll want to start thinking about the options as the need for care increases. If you have an idea of what the maximum in home care cost can be per month, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of when you need to start considering other options.
Assisted living has 2 main options for where you would live. The first one would be the large communities you may have seen or seen ads for. This option provides the loved one with an apartment, beautiful activity and dining places, transportation services and lots of amenities.
The other option is commonly referred to as a group home. It has the same regulations that any assisted living community would have, but it is operated out of a home and will have a maximum of 10 residents. Commonly residents will share a room and transportation services will vary by home. The biggest advantage to a group home is simply cost. They will frequently be roughly half of the cost of the large communities.
Once again there are costs that could be covered by Long Term Care Insurance, military benefits and/or ALTCS. Knowing what your loved one has in advance makes this entire process easier.
If you find yourself approaching the point where these decisions need to be made and you simply have questions you can call us without us trying to sell you to just use our services or use companies that we have kickback relationships with. We don’t engage in those relationships and are only interested in what makes the most sense to maximize their care while minimizing the challenges.
With over 35 years in this business in the Sun City, Sun City West and Surprise area, we know a tremendous amount about what to look for, who to talk to and how your options will work for you. We are locally owned and operated with no parent company or corporate headquarters somewhere. Care from the Heart isn’t just a name it’s a mindset that should be the standard in healthcare. We wish you the best and we’re here if you need us. Please call (623) 875-4440 with any questions.