As much as you care about the older adult in your life, the truth is that finances are often a concern when it comes to caring for them. Of course, you’d love to offer everything they could possibly desire as they age: a serene environment, assistance that comes with compassion and dignity, and the ability to remain independent. But then reality steps in (as it often does), and you begin to think that you can’t afford to offer the help they deserve.
So you resign yourself to thinking that San Mateo senior home care is another unaffordable luxury. You may believe that, while regrettable, you’ll just have to place your loved one in a nursing home or similar institution. However, in many cases, nothing could be further from the truth!
The direct savings of home care are very easy to see. At a nursing home, you’re paying for round-the-clock help when your loved one may only need a few hours a day. Even if they require 24/7 supervision, at a facility you may pay for a higher level of licensure than you need.
For instance, if your loved one requires assistance with ADL’s (activities of daily living), such as bathing, dressing, and toileting, a home health aide can provide that. An LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or RN (Registered Nurse) may not be needed unless wound care, dispensing medication, or similar activities are involved. However, just like paying for unnecessary hours of care, at a nursing home you often end up footing the bill for these professionals with additional certifications.
Furthermore, consider that home health agency fees are often 50% or less than those charged by assisted living facilities. And that percentage rises with the cost of living at a nursing home, since nearly all of them charge even more that assisted living centers. Although facilities claim that their costs include things such as utilities and maintenance, these items are often much less expensive in a residential home.
Finally, there may not be as much value in the space the patient occupies at an institution. Instead of an entire house to appreciate, nursing homes usually only grant half a room and a small bath. As for assisted living residents, most of them live in the equivalent of a tiny studio apartment.
There are also indirect savings when you choose home care over facilities. Having an aide at home can cut lengthy and expensive hospital and SAR (sub-acute rehabilitation) stays for older adults. Instead of having to remain in the facility until they are able to completely care for themselves, they can leave sooner if someone is waiting at home to assist them.
Also, the cost of prescriptions, durable medical equipment, and wound care supplies may be inflated at facilities. This is not to say the facilities are overcharging, but a nursing home or assisted living is like a middleman: they need to get their cut in order to stay in business. Receiving such supplies at home eliminates the middle man — and lets you keep the savings.
In addition to the aforesaid indirect savings, there are more that involve protecting your loved one’s health. As they say, “health is wealth,” and it really shows when comparing community living to facility living. With more control over their routines, including diet and sleep schedules, older adults tend to thrive at home in a way they generally don’t in facilities. The risk of developing anxiety and depression is lower, helping to avoid expensive and long-term treatment for these diseases. Finally, those with dementia also enjoy fewer injuries and a longer life expectancy when they live at home.
Consider San Mateo senior home care
If you’re wondering how to help your loved one age gracefully in a familiar environment, consider San Mateo senior home care before a nursing home. Accurately assess your loved one’s true needs — and don’t be afraid to talk to their doctors to see what they think as well. They may recommend care at home instead of an institution, saving you and your loved one stress, heartache, and yes, money!
If you are unsure of how to best help an aging loved one, the trained and compassionate staff at the Institute on Aging is here to help you make that decision and gain the best in at-home care for older adults. Contact us to find out more.