Caregiving has long been a family affair. According to AARP, over one in five American adults serve as unpaid caregivers to loved ones — that’s a whopping 53 million people! As medical costs climb and more boomers are reaching their senior years, this number is predicted to grow, and with it, the emotional stress and financial hurdles facing families with aging loved ones.
Family caregivers have countless options to consider, often while juggling a career and raising a growing family of their own. What does long-term care look like for your aging loved one? Do they stay in their home? move to yours? And just as importantly, can you afford their care needs? These questions can be very difficult to answer. To help you out, Elder Care Solutions offers guidance for making the best decisions for your family.
Navigating Caregiver Options
At some point, you will have a loved one that will need help navigating the challenges of aging. A sign that it's time to step in and offer assistance is often a decline in their quality of life. This will likely involve you in a wide variety of caregiving tasks, from helping with basic activities of daily living (ADLs), to handling medical appointments, to assisting with chores and errands, and potentially troubleshooting issues with medical equipment.
How to serve as a primary caregiver is often challenge number one. Many begin by visiting more regularly and providing care tasks in their loved one's home. This works best for seniors who need help with simple tasks like cleaning, running errands, home maintenance, or meal preparation. Tech tools like medical alert devices will help your loved one stay safe in this type of caregiving situation.
When your aging loved one starts to show signs that they shouldn’t live alone, you will have to consider your other options. Keep an eye out for common issues like sudden weight loss, unopened mail, unpaid bills, and a decline in personal hygiene. Moving your loved one into your home could be a viable solution depending on how much space you have. If this isn’t realistic, you may have to hire an in-home caregiver or start looking at other long-term care options.
Navigating Long-Term Care Financial Challenges
Whether you decide to hire an in-home caregiver or move your loved one into a long-term care facility, you may be facing some prohibitive costs. MyLifeSite reports that the cost to stay in an assisted living facility can range from $5,000 to $8,000 per month! Hiring an in-home caregiver can be just as expensive in some regions, working out to about $52,000 annually.
What are your funding options? Medicare only covers medically necessary, skilled nursing care, on a short-term basis. It does not cover long-term assisted living services. Medicaid, on the other hand, will cover assisted living care for those who qualify financially, but it will also limit your options. Many nursing homes do not accept Medicaid and coverage rarely applies to assisted living, adult daycare, or in-home care. Navigating this terrain is confusing and frustrating for families.
Additional resources can come from selling a life insurance policy, taking out a reverse mortgage, or unlocking other unique home equity strategies. Additionally, there can be great value in leveraging other assets in strategic ways. Not to mention, it is important to also consider long-term care insurance and if you can get paid for your role as a family caregiver. It is nearly impossible for a family to explore all these avenues without help. And you would need multiple professionals to figure out all the directions you could take. Until now.
This is where Elder Care Solutions comes in. Our primary focus is to empower families with their options concerning how to pay for long-term care. Our Care Cost Analysis is a an expert review of your family's long-term care situation that will deliver to you all the ways YOUR FAMILY can move forward to cover care costs.
Don't Go It Alone
Caring for an aging loved one isn’t easy, but it’s a responsibility that many of us will have to face at one point or another. Settling into a new role as a family caregiver will require you to make all kinds of tough decisions. While it’s important to plan ahead as much as possible, it’s also important to take it one day at a time, finding ways to overcome challenges as they come.
Are you feeling defeated by the cost of senior care? Elder Care Solutions can help you review your options and coordinate care services that you can afford. To get started, access the online Care Cost Analysis to help you understand your financial situations and your options for long-term care funding. To learn more, call 540-597-6718.
Thank you to content contributor Julia Merrill.
After numerous years in the medical field, Julia Merrill experienced the challenges that a lot of patients came across when dealing with their medical care. It's her goal to bridge the gap between those who receive care and those who provide it. She created Befriend Your Doc to share tips she has developed to help patients be their own advocate in seeking medical care, dealing with insurance companies, and contributing to their own health and well-being.