Families Turn to In-Home Care to Cut Costs

The need for in-home caregivers has grown in recent years. Fueled in part by increasing long-term care costs, in-home care serves as a viable option for families who need just a few hours of care per day, or for individuals who are capable of living on their own but need help with errands and general housekeeping. In some cases, a senior’s family lives too far away to provide these services, and in-home care can provide just the right amount of support to ensure a loved one is being cared for.

But is home care really cheaper?

While Genworth Financial’s 2010 Cost of Care Survey indicates that home care costs are rising more slowly than rates for assisted living and nursing homes, home care can still be a significant expense. If a senior needs constant supervision, or even care for more than just a few hours each day, the costs can quickly exceed that spent for a residential facility.

Genworth reports the average national median hourly rate for homemaker services to be $18 per hour, and for home health aide services (which can offer hands-on care), $19 per hour. For an eight hour day, your costs would quickly reach $144 to $152 per day. In comparison, adult day care services average approximately $60 per day, so if transportation were available, this option would be more beneficial for those requiring supervision while family members are at work.

Home care can augment family caregiving

Many families are opting to enlist home care services to augment the support the family provides, however, to keep costs down. The Mansfield News Journal notes that the number of jobs available for in-home caregivers has increased over the past few years, during economic times that caused demand for many other professions to decrease.

The article refers to a study conducted by the home care agency Senior Helpers. Findings indicate that one-fifth of Americans will be age 65 and older within just a few years, so the need for caregivers will continue to rise. The study also finds that 20 percent of Americans have spent some time caring for an aging loved one. But many caregivers must hold outside jobs or simply can’t do it all alone, so even the help of an outside agency for less than 10 hours per week (the norm for recessionary times, according to Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers) is a huge help.

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