Many people think that they can save money by looking after their parent or loved one in their own home. When looking at the costs of assisted living at face value it’s easy to just see the bottom line and how much they are going to have to budget each month for assisted care. But the hidden costs of in-home care are usually overlooked. If these are calculated fully you will quickly see what a great value assisted living can be.
Here are some things to consider when looking at the costs of long-term care:
- Homecare Costs Are Usually Always Higher: If your parent or loved one comes to live with you the cost of their care could become quite high and unpredictable. You may have to make costly adjustments to your home, such as installing stair lifts, specialized bathrooms, or guard rails. What happens when you go on vacation or need time away? You will have to pay for a qualified caregiver to take over and that is not a cheap option. With an assisted care facility, the long-term costs are always lower than in-home care.
- The Real Hidden Costs: As with any transaction there are hidden costs, and not always monetary ones. You will have to think of the impact on your family of having a loved one with specialized needs come to live with you. The stress of constantly caring for a loved one in the home can have a big effect on you and on your relationships. Your social life may become restricted and you may feel tied more to the home. Your health may be affected. Turning your home into a mini-hospital will have an effect on all of you and you may even begin to resent your loved one’s presence.
- Fulltime Care Is Better: When you are paying for the fulltime care of a loved one in an assisted care facility you know what you are getting for your money. The residential home covers all of your loved one’s needs without any surprise costs such as extra nursing care. All their meals and day-to-day living costs are covered, and many homes have plans that include on-call doctor visits. For you to call a doctor to your home on a regular basis will cost a lot more. In an assisted care home, the staff are trained to spot changes in your loved one’s condition, changes you may not spot at home. Early intervention usually saves time and money and is better for your love one’s long term health prospects.
- Reduced costs: An extra benefit of having your loved one live in an assisted care facility is the reduced costs of their annual living expenses. They do not have to pay property tax on their homes, no more maintenance fees for upkeep of the garden and they will not have to do those annual repairs to the home either. Security, utilities, trash removal, travel costs, snow clearance, housekeeping and meals are all taken care of when they move to their new home. All money goes towards their care only and this can be beneficial for all involved.
It’s important to be aware of the hidden costs of caring for your loved one at home. You can take steps to reduce them and save money in the long term. The effects on you and your family are not always quantifiable, but making your loved one comfortable in a good care home will make the quality of life better for all involved.