How to Find the Right Affordable Senior Care for Your Parents
For seniors living alone, there comes a time when the stress of independent living gets in the way of living a full, happy life. When a parent or loved one reaches a certain age, it’s time to start thinking about ways to make their day-to-day lives either through long-term facilitated care. But even if you know that you want to find good care for aging parents or relatives, where do you start your search? To begin with, there are different levels of care to choose from, based on your parents’ level of independence. There are also a ton of wide-ranging options when it comes to yearly care costs. If you’re trying to find Affordable Senior Care and you’re stumped about what to do next, here are a few ways to narrow down your search.
Search by State
The cost of assisted living and in-home care for seniors can vary from state to state. While it’s never ideal to have to uproot your loved one to settle in a completely new environment, if an aging parent is in need of a more long-term option like a nursing home or assisted care facility, it might be necessary to avoid inflated costs. For instance, nursing home care in a state like Connecticut or Massachusetts, at a monthly cost of around $5,000, can be twice the price of care facilities based in Michigan or Georgia. However, before moving your loved one across the country, factor in the long-term expenses of such of a journey, including moving costs and the total sum of all your trips back and forth. If you’re moving a parent to a facility where there isn’t a lot of family nearby, you could end up paying back those savings in travel costs.
Search by Need
If your loved one has a specific ailment that’s requiring them to seek long-term care, you don’t want to move them into a facility that’s too generalized, or that doesn’t specialize in that type of care. Even if your parent is dealing with a lot of trips to the doctor and needs a lot of looking after, it’s still a better idea to spring for specialized, a la carte care, or to simply hire a nurse, rather than enrolling them in a full-time facility. Although nursing homes and assisted living homes can offer the kind of round-the-clock care that makes it easier for seniors to keep ahead of health concerns, it’s not always the best option for adults suffering from a very specific type of illness. Don’t assume that just because your parent is having a hard time navigating their illness they’re not able to keep living a mostly independent life at home.
Consider the Time Commitment
If you’re the main caregiver for an aging parent, you’re already used to giving a lot of your time and resources to the cause. Even if it feels like you’re saving money by acting as your parent’s primary caretaker, you could be paying the cost in other ways. If you’re not ready to bear the cost of a full time assisted living facility, consider hiring in-home care. It will cost less overall and will help take some of the burdens off of you as sole caregiver. If your parent is still largely independent, having someone come in even for just a few hours a day can make a big difference for your senior’s quality of life.
Look Into Long-Term Care Insurance
Many adult children of aging parents start thinking about long-term senior care early on. If you know that assisted living or a nursing home is most likely going to be in your parent’s future, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start up a fund as early as possible. As many seniors know, relying on Medicare and Medicaid can often create problems with health coverage later on. When you invest in long-term care insurance for your loved one, you’ll be a bit more prepared for what’s down the road. You can even look into financing if you’re having trouble finding the money upfront.
Research Benefits and Payment Flexibility
Don’t assume that healthcare for your aging senior has to come out of your pocket. If your parent or loved one has veteran status, it’s always a good idea to look into what kind of coverage is offered by VA hospitals and care facilities. If your parent doesn’t have any type of disability or veteran status, ask about flexible payment plans and discounted rates at a few of your top assisted living choices. Many facilities factor in more affordable care packages and payment plans for lower-income patients.