10 Myths About Home Care (Part 2 of 10)
Home Care is More Expensive than a Nursing Home
Decisions about home care – sometimes referred to as senior care or elder care – for a loved-one can be overwhelming. What is the best care setting? Who do I turn to for advice? Can I afford the services? Added to the complexity of navigating the long term care system is often a great urgency due to sudden or unexpected changes in situations. Compound these considerations with the fact that most informal family caregivers also have their own work and family responsibilities.
Having reliable, unbiased and timely information is critical as decisions about long term care are made. Sadly, there are many “myths” associated with in-home care. While some are partially true, others are just simply not true. When considering care options for a loved one, it is important that you know the facts about in-home care.
Is care at home more expensive than a nursing home? Perhaps, but not necessarily.
In Arkansas, a semi-private nursing home room costs somewhere between $52,000 and $55,000 annually, with the daily range falling between $100 and $151 per day. If around the clock care is essential for your well-being and your personal values and preferences are such that institutional care is preferred, these are the costs associated with it.
The cost for home care in Arkansas generally falls somewhere between $12 and $18 per hour, with an average of $15 per hour. A quick note here – individual “private contractors” can charge far below these rates, but the person arranging the service is the employer responsible for all required taxes and other withholdings (bringing the cost back up to these averages).
When a loved one lives with a spouse or relative, services are typically not required 24/7, but rather for a period of 24-40 hours each week, based largely on family participation in and involvement with caregiving duties. With this frequency of paid in-home care, the average cost would fall between $360 and $600 per week, or $18,720 and $31,200 annually.
If is possible that other supportive strategies can be implemented to manage costs. These might include medical alerts or medication management, Meals on Wheels, or other supportive services.
In-home care can be a more affordable long term care option that allows your loved one to remain where most people want to age – in their home. Care at home does not have to be more expensive. With careful planning and the right person managing care, expenses can be kept to a manageable level, far below that of skilled nursing facility care.