How much does 24 7 in home care cost is a concerning question most seniors face when staying independent. No one wants to leave their home where they’re most comfortable with a new and different environment. And, because seniors prefer to receive care in their homes, home care has become the fastest-growing occupation. This is because of aging baby-boomers and a growing elderly population – this combination increases the need for home care services. Home care is popular as it allows elderly family members to stay in their own home with the least cost. In comparison, institutionalized care in a nursing home or assisted living arrangement is quite a bit more expensive.
And while some may think Medicare could help defray the costs, the reality is Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care. Long term care pertains to help with basic personal tasks such as bathing or using the commode. These are considered daily living activities and Medicare doesn’t offer support for this. Paying for services, then, falls on individuals or their families.
Is 24/7 In Home Care Financially Attainable?
The answer depends on financial circumstances and the level of care needed. For major illnesses such as cancer, for example, there are programs available that are different from regular home care. The nature and complexity of caring for a person with a major illness require special care teams. These teams help manage medicine and extreme pain. Hospitals and oncology clinics have special teams as part of their services. As for patients, they can pay with both government and private insurance plans. Carefully review the private insurance plan to determine if chronic care or long-term care coverage is part of the policy.
Another possibility to help pay for care is your local religious organization. Members of religious organizations may find there are funds available to help offset home care costs. There may also be church volunteers offering home care check-ins or care as part of their ministry to their church. Check with the clergy at your organization to see what help is available.
Generally, though, when asking how much does 24/7 in home care costs consider some of the following ways to afford it.
- Downsizing your home
- Long Term Care Insurance (LTC)
- Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) or a reverse mortgage
- Veterans Administration (VA)
Is Downsizing Your Home Right For You?
First off, downsizing your home can be the quickest way to release equity to pay for in home care. This could mean buying a smaller home or moving in with adult children. Naturally, this option isn’t possible for every property owner. You may not have adult children to move in with or the property could need substantial work to increase its value. And, too, even if downsizing were possible, the capital available may not be enough for another home depending on the area you live in.
Will Long Term Care Insurance Help or Hurt?
Whether you downsize your home or not, 70% of people over age 65 will need some type of long term care services. When you don’t have savings available you may want to carefully consider Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance. Do your research on this particular kind of insurance. It’s not necessarily cheap and premiums go up as you age. Also, not many major insurance companies offer LTC insurance because it doesn’t make them enough money. This means when you need the benefits in the next 20 to 30 years the insurance company may no longer offer the insurance or the company goes out of business. In either case, you’re out all the payments you already made and it may not be possible to recover any of it. Discuss your LTC insurance needs with a financial planner to determine if it’s the best choice for your situation.
Could A Reverse Mortgage Help With In Home Care Costs?
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) or a reverse mortgage, is a loan taken on the equity in your house. The FHA allows people over age 62 to convert their home equity into a large sum of cash, a credit line, or a series of regular monthly payments. This equity release could provide funds needed to remain in your own home while receiving care. Since the HECM is not an equity loan it doesn’t have to be paid back. Lenders recover repayment on the loan from the proceeds of the sale of the property.
When payment for your home is received from a lender it isn’t taxable, there are no interest or principal payments to the lender and the payment doesn’t impact Social Security or Medicare benefits. This makes a HECM a very desirable path forward for many seniors.
A few ways to receive your payment from a lender include:
- Receive a “lump sum payment” at closing without tax consequences.
- A series of monthly payments from the lender based upon a fixed number of payments.
- A line of credit to be drawn upon at any time.
- A combination of payments and a line of credit.
What About the Veterans Administration?
The Veterans Administration’s pension program pays for personal care and attendant home services. This is through the veteran’s pension title Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. This VA’s plan is meant to help elderly veterans attain in home care. As long as individuals have a qualifying medical condition they can receive financial help.
A surviving spouse of a veteran may also qualify. He or she would have to be married to the veteran at the time he or she passed away. This veteran benefit process can take weeks or even months to process. The good news is all benefits are back-dated to the original filing date. Consider getting advice from an elder law attorney as the process can be confusing.
Worrying about how much 24/7 in home care cost is a concern for many seniors heading into retirement. There are options such as downsizing your home, taking out a reverse mortgage, adding long term care insurance to your financial portfolio, and seeking help from agencies such as the Veteran’s Administration. There can be a lot to think about when figuring out a plan to handle this which is why Guardian Home Health is here to help you. Contact us to see how we can assist you with your home care needs.