Continuing to live independently is one of the many options aging individuals may consider after retirement. In fact, 90 percent of seniors reported that they would prefer staying in their own home as long as they can.
If this is something you or a loved one is interested in, it is important to know what types of in-home assistance are available to meet one’s wants and needs to make sure living at home is a desirable and financially-sound decision. After all, having the right home care can ensure a longer, more stable, happier life.
Daily Task Services
As one ages, cleaning around the home can be increasingly difficult. Seniors who have trouble getting around, vision difficulties, or problems bending down, reaching up, or picking up heavier objects will be greatly assisted by having a housekeeper.
For those who prefer consistent care, there is also full-spectrum home care available that includes general housekeeping, cooking, grooming, transportation, money management, and/or medical care services.
As with housekeeping, keeping up with yard work can be a more challenging task for some seniors. Not only that, but cleaning up weeds, trimming trees, and mowing the grass can be time-consuming and exhausting for many, so leave it to a professional gardener for help.
Meal Deliveries or Preparation
There are options to have premade meals delivered straight to the home (e.g., Meals on Wheels) or even individuals who will help prepare meals right then and there. For seniors who would rather do their own cooking, there are nutritional services to ensure they are receiving a well-balanced diet, especially if there if declining health is something to consider.
Errands, Shopping, and Transportation
Whether or not a senior citizen can drive, there are professionals out there who will gladly pick up groceries or other items and run errands for those who have trouble getting around. There are also services that will pick up senior citizens and take them to the destination of their choice.
Bathing, Dressing, and Walking Assistance
Mobility difficulties are a cause for concern when there is a potential for a senior citizen to fall and get injured. Turning to services that can provide walking, bathing, and dressing assistance can be a great idea to allow a senior citizen greater independency living at home while still ensuring they are safe.
Medical and Mental Assistance
Nurses or Health Aides
From Alzheimer’s and dementia care to assistance for post-surgical procedures, nurses or health aides can provide a wide range of services for senior citizens. They may offer cognitive or physical therapies, management of IVs and catheters, heart rate and blood pressure monitoring, and general care for wounds or surgeries.
For both mental and cognitive ailments, senior citizens can receive special counseling services online, over the phone, or even in-person at home. Counseling is especially crucial for seniors who have suffered mental trauma from war, are suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementias, or are dealing with the death of a loved one.
For elderly folks who need someone to talk to and spend time with, there are companions out there who are specifically available to keep company for senior citizens who need it.
Finding In-Home Care
Be sure to research both online directories and databases as well as individuals or local organizations within your area for in-home services.
Costs of Living at Home
For seniors receiving non-medical home care services, the national range varies from $16 to $26 per hour. Private individuals may offer lower fees. As for medical-related services, the costs may range from $16 to $27 per hour. The hourly rate is also dependent on whether or not the individual providing services is licensed or not.
The cost to live at home will drastically vary from one individual to the next considering that there are several types of at-home services that may or may not be relevant for a senior citizen. Some services may be needed around the clock. Other services may only be needed a few hours or less each week. How long and how often a service will take is important to factor into the costs.
Cost Alleviation for In-Home Services
Because costs can add up quickly, it's important to know what kind of benefits and payment methods one can turn to for in-home senior care, such as:
- VA benefits
- Health insurance
Keep in mind that many home service costs may have to be paid for out-of-pocket, especially for around-the-clock care.
Apart from any in-home care expenses, there will be estate-related expenses for seniors staying at home from water bills to property taxes. Along with such, it will be important for senior citizens to create or revise a formal estate plan to ensure their property and other assets can be properly distributed based on their wishes after they pass.
Another crucial part of an estate plan is giving power of attorney to a trusted loved one in case something happens to the senior citizen unexpectedly such as a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
Without an estate plan, distributing assets can become significantly harder on family and friends who are already dealing with the emotional trauma of the passing of a senior citizen. That said, a senior citizen can make things easier later by creating a plan now.
For those interested in forming or editing a legal estate plan, please contact our Idaho Estate Planning team today.