What is In-home care?
In-Home care, also known as non-medical home care, refers to services provided by a home care agency. Home care agencies match professional caregivers with seniors (and disabled individuals) who cannot care for themselves at home. Caregivers are responsible for tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and or running errands.
In-home care helps seniors and disabled individuals maintain their independence and stay in their home environment.
Living at home without assistance can be quite difficult for older adults, especially when they suffer from health issues. The costs of Home care services vary, depending on many factors.
The biggest factor being, how many hours a caregiver spends with a senior. Other factors include whether other services are required by the elderly and any additional supplies needed to support the care.
The founder of AgingCare.com, Joe Buckheit, says, “Home care as a whole is a very individualized service. The costs of the services differ according to the region and agency, as well as the services themselves.”
If you are thinking of using a home care service, we are sure this article will help you.
Here we discuss:
- The calculation of home care costs
- The difference between in-home care provided by a private agency and a state-based agency
- and other important topics you must be aware of before getting started with care for you or a loved one.
- Cost of in-home care by the need
- In-home care for the elderly cost by state
- Cost of 24/7 In-Home Care
- The Cost Based On The Health Of The Senior In Need Of Care
- Home care cost plans
- Private In-Home Care Aides Vs. Agency Home Care
- Different ways to pay for home care
- Personal Care services Vs. Home Care services
- Home care Vs. Nursing homes
- Home care Vs. Assisted living facilities
How is the cost of in-home care services calculated?
Before you hire a private or home care agency, it’s imperative to understand the cost calculation. CareScout (a Genworth Financial Company) researched to find out how the in-home care cost is calculated.
The company contacted 57,981 providers to complete 14,326 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day health facilities, and home care providers.
The research came up with the following data:
- More than 90% of home care agencies charge by the hour; however, some agencies offer discounted monthly contracts.
- Prices vary based on geographical location, licensing requirements, and the intensity of care required.
- In 2020, the median cost for home care in the United States was $24 an hour.
- Seniors can expect to pay $4,481 a month on average for full-time care at home. This includes in-home care of 44 hours a week.
- According to Consumer Reports, the annual cost of in-home care rose from 1.88% to 3.80% from 2004 to 2020.
Cost of in-home care by the need
As stated above, the main factor affecting the cost of in-home care services is based on what services a loved one needs and how often they need them. As the requirements vary from person to person, so does the cost.
Before looking for a home care service provider, you need to consider exactly how much assistance an elderly requires. Do they live independently? Do they have a full-time requirement? It’s highly suggested that all family members are involved in each agency’s assessment process before care begins.
If the services provided requires higher training or experience, the price for your senior care services can increase slightly. Depending on the requirements, the agency you hire will come up with a plan.
Each home care agency is different. The services provided by the agency can vary from companionship, Respite care, live-in care to helping with personal care.
In-home care for the elderly cost by state
Another factor that creates a significant impact on the cost is your state. You will note that each state has different pricing. If you live in a region where the cost of daily living is high, it can cost you more money. But, if you are from a region where the cost of daily living is less, you will be paying comparatively less money. Here we have classified cost by state:
Most affordable states for home care
- West Virginia:$18.50/hr
- North Carolina: $20.00/hr
- Tennessee: $20.50/hr
- Georgia: $21.00/hr
- Kentucky: $21.25/hr
- South Carolina: $21.38/hr
- Pennsylvania: $24.00/hr
Most expensive states for home care
- Washington: $31.16/hr
- Massachusetts: $29.00/hr
- New Hampshire:$28.50/hr
- Alaska: $28.00/hr
- South Dakota: $28.00/hr
- District of Columbia:$26.13/hr
Download Genworth Financial’s full list for costs of home care by state
Cost of 24/7 In-Home Care
Agencies and private caregivers have different price segments for 24/7 home care. The price of care depends on several factors, including care aides, sleeping arrangements, and room & board. Besides this, it also varies by model. 24/7 home care can be categorized as follow:
Under this model, the caregiver provides round-the-clock care to the elderly. This can include three caregivers working 8-hour shifts or two caregivers working 12-hour shifts. Non-sleeping visits cost more than sleeping visits, as caregivers are always awake and available for assistance.
Caregivers are normally paid the same hourly rates for all shifts. Depending on the agency, the average cost for non-sleeping 24/7 home care can cost about $17,280 a month.
Sleeping visits are for seniors who need full-time assistance throughout the day but, caregivers can sleep through the night. This can be 10 to 12 hours of the shift. Depending on the agency, the rate can range somewhere between $120-$200 for a shift.
A live-in caregiver provides daily assistance and emergency support throughout the night. The rates of live-in caregivers vary, depending on lots of factors. Before hiring an agency, make sure you create a contract for responsibilities, fees, etc.
The Cost Based On The Health Of The Senior In Need Of Care
We have already said that the cost varies based on multiple factors. One of the important factors is health. Depending on the health of the elderly who requires care, home care cost might increase.
Families choosing home care are starting to acknowledge they need more assistance in keeping their loved ones safe at home. The home care agency you choose will help you decide how many hours of care are necessary for your loved one.
Home care cost plans
These are pricing plans based on Genworth’s median national average, home care cost of $24 an hour:
- Seven hours a week: 7 hours/week assistance makes it around $713 a month. Most agencies have a minimum requirement of seven hours a week. This plan is ideal for healthy and independent seniors. This might include companionship, meal preparation, housework, and cleaning.
- Fifteen hours a week: 15 hours/week of home care makes it around $1528 a month. This plan is ideal for those seniors looking for the assistance of 2-3 hours daily. The caregiver can help with bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and other such activities with extended hours.
- Thirty hours a week: 30 hours/week of home care makes it $3055 a month. Thirty hours a week means six hours a day. This plan is ideal for seniors who prefer (or require) more companionship.
- Forty-four hours a week: 44 hours/week of home care makes it $4481 a month. This plan can be good for seniors who want full-time assistance and seniors who can’t be left alone. Under this plan, the caregiver could help with various ADLs like dining, bathing, and toileting. Besides this, the caregiver could also assist with dementia care at home, incontinence assistance, or help with chronic conditions (per request).
Private In-Home Care Aides Vs. Agency Home Care
To find a home caregiver for the elderly, you have two options: either hire a private home caregiver or use a licensed home care agency. Both have their own pros and cons.
Private in-home caregiver
Buckheit says, “There is no payment structure for hiring a caregiver individually. Generally, private hire refers to arrangements between the family and the caregiver, where the caregiver and client agree on all fees, payments, and taxes.”
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, hiring a private in-home caregiver can be a good idea. Private caregivers cost less compared to agencies because they set their own rates. However, you may need to pay some extra money to conduct background checks or to have a lawyer review contracts.
Agency in-home caregiver
On the other hand, home care agencies usually cost more than private in-home caregivers. However, it can be beneficial in so many ways. With a licensed agency, the family does not have to worry about scheduling and paperwork. Most agencies manage contracts, insurance, taxes, etc. Besides this, another advantage of hiring an agency is that when a home aide is sick or unable to provide service, the agency provides a replacement caregiver, which wouldn’t happen with a private in-home caregiver.
Caregivers work under agencies. And agencies have to pay salaries to their employees, workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and payroll. This means you will be paying more money with an agency compared to a private in-home caregiver. However, Homecare agencies have proven to be more dependable.
In-home care Vs. Assisted living facilities
Depending on your situation, assisted living can also be a good option. Whether you select home care or assisted living, both offer similar services, including helping with ADLs.
Note: Neither is designed to assist seniors with extensive medical care.
To figure out which one is perfect for you, you need to understand the differences:
- First of all, assisted living communities have nighttime staff onsite to assist during any emergency. Compared to home care, it is based on the plan you select.
- Assisted living includes restaurant-style food and snacks. Under home care, the caregiver may prepare the food, but the cost of groceries is not included.
- Assisted living includes maintenance-free living. Compared to home care, the homeowner pays the costs for rents, mortgage, maintenance, etc.
- Home care agencies are more personalized than assisted living facilities, as, in assisted living facilities, there are a ton of other seniors to care about.
Home care Vs. Nursing homes
Nursing homes are expensive as compared to home care and assisted living. They are ideal for the elderly who needs comprehensive medical care with personal care services.
If we compare the pricing with nursing homes, in-home care can cost around $4481 a month (44 hours a week), and a nursing home can cost around $8821 a month for a private room. Let’s check out some differences between home care and the cost of a nursing home:
- The first major difference is nursing homes charge round-the-clock pricing, while home care costs are usually on an hourly basis.
- Nursing homes have licensed medical professionals and certified nursing assistants to help with any medical emergency, while home care service providers are not usually qualified to provide medical assistance.
- With home care, the elderly get one-on-one assistance. On the other hand, nursing homes have a large, rotating staff.
Covering the cost of in-home care
For some families, it can difficult easy to pay for the home care service. But, there are certain ways to acquire funds for that. It includes VA programs, reverse mortgages, etc.
Does Medicare pay for in-home care?
Medicare does not cover any non-medical or in-home care services. You can take advantage of Medicare options only if you require home health care services. Medicare covers home health care prescribed by doctors and is carried out by a skilled professional. Note that a home health aide is usually intended to provide short-term care for seniors.
Does Medicaid pay for in-home care?
If Medicare doesn’t seem to be the right fit for you, you can consider Medicaid. Depending on the state you live in, Medicaid can be used to cover some home care services. This is ideal for low-income seniors.
Barnett says, because of the desire to delay or reduce institutional care for the elderly, In almost all states, Medicaid now covers both medical and non-medical in-home care. There are, however, strict eligibility requirements for services funded by Medicaid. Each state determines programs and requirements.
For non-medical services by Medicaid, you can consider the home and community-based service waivers (HCBS waivers) program. The program includes assisting with ADLs. Apart from that, the Medicaid Cash and Counseling program can be used by family caregivers to get monetary benefits.
Contact your state Medicaid office for information and benefits options
Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer varying degrees of services for Seniors who still want the option to live independently and desire help with activities like getting up in the morning.
Care Retirement Communities are for people who do not want to live their final years in a nursing home. Instead, CCRCs offer flexible options where seniors can move between different living arrangements that meet their changing needs ― such as independent retirement living, assisted living and skilled nursing care.
While CCRCs offer tons of options for seniors, they are amongst the most expensive long-term-care solution available.
There is usually a one-time entrance fee and monthly maintenance fees. A typical entrance fee ranges between $79,500 and $750,000, and a monthly maintenance fee ranges from $1,400 to $5,300.
There are also three types of care contracts that play a major role in fees.
1. Extensive or Life Care Contracts are the most expensive option. This type of contract offers pricing on a per-person basis and covers all long-term care costs with no additional fees. No matter what the needs the seniors require, they will pay the same predictable fee every month. In this way, families can plan a payment schedule for the remainder of the senior’s life.
2. In contrast to a Life Care Contract, a Modified or Continuing Care Contract limits the number of days that the senior can receive long-term care. The senior can also purchase additional care for a discounted rate if needed. In other words, although less expensive, it may also have unexpected long-term costs.
3. Fee-For-Service Contract is the most affordable In terms of monthly rates. For long-term care, however, residents will have to pay separately. However, Expenses will be high if extensive care is required.
Different ways to pay for home care
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has programs to help with home care. There are various programs by VA. Each program covers different qualifications and services. Depending on your situation, the right program will vary. The best way to find the right program is by talking to a social worker in the VA.
When there’s a shortage of funds, many seniors often go with the reverse mortgage to meet in-home care expenses. What reverse mortgage does is it allows a homeowner to take out a loan that allows them to convert a portion of the value of their home into liquid assets. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is the federally insured type of reverse mortgage. And they are backed by HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
Before applying for the reverse mortgage, these are the eligibility criteria you should know about:
- The applicant applying must be at least 62 years old.
- Must own the property outright or be able to pay off a significant portion
- Must have no federal debt
- The principal occupant of the property must reside there.
Private pay sources
Apart from the above-mentioned ways, some private pay sources can be used for home care services. The private pay sources can include:
- Savings-You might have savings, which can be used to meet home care expenses.
- Stocks-You may have purchased stocks long before. Selling those stocks can be a good way to get some liquid cash.
- Retirement income-Another way is using your retirement income for home care expenses.
- Selling or renting a family home-Selling or renting the house can also help you generate liquid cash.
- Help from friends or family
- Long-term life insurance policy-If you have long-term care insurance or private health insurance, there’s a chance that you can receive money for home care. It depends on your policy and coverage.
Get personalized advice to find in-home care for your family.
We have seen that there are so many funding sources one can use for home care. For some people, understanding various funding sources may seem a bit difficult. This is when the importance of seeking personalized advice comes in. Getting personalized advice or assistance will help you plan for home care costs the right way.
Elder law attorney
One of the best ways to plan for your home care costs is by seeking assistance from an elder law attorney. Many attorneys have good knowledge and experience in financial planning for the long-term, Medicaid, Medicare, taxes, etc.
Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced accountant can help you evaluate your family’s financial and additional ways to pay. The accountant will also help you save taxes in the right ways.
Certified financial advisor
The financial situation of each person is different. Hiring a certified advisor to help with financial assistance can help you figure out how to manage finances for home care services.
Senior Living Advisor
Getting assistance from a Senior Living Advisor (SLA) can also help you figure out the right funding source for in-home care. SLAs already have experience in assisting with home care services.Continuing
The cost of home care services varies depending on the levels and types of services needed. There are different types of equipment, transportation needs, medication management skills, and so much more that need to be considered when pricing a plan for any senior in need.
At Linda’s Care Home Care, we understand how important it is to provide customized care and offer flexible payment options tailored to your specific needs. To find out more about our wide range of prices or ask questions about what might work best for you, contact us today or fill out a Free consultation and let’s see if we’re a great fit for your loved one!
“Cost of Care Survey.” aplaceformom.com. https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html, 4 Nov. 2020. Web. 24 Jun. 2021.