September 07, 2011 // Franchising.com // With the collapse of the housing market, older Americans can't sell their homes and move into assisted living. So in these desperate financial times, they're turning to an alternative source for care that will save them money in the long run. New research reveals in-home care is much more affordable than the cost of a nursing home. So much so, that at least a third of seniors recently polled said they wouldn't even be able to afford a single month of care in a nursing home.
A new cost-of-care survey by Genworth Financial (a company that specializes in long term care insurance) reveals the cost of facility-based care, such as nursing homes, has steadily increased over the past six years - an increase of more than $17,000 a year. However, the cost of in-home care has marginally gone up, making it still quite affordable.
That's why Senior Helpers, one of the largest in-home care companies for seniors, wants to raise awareness about the affordability of in-home care for the elderly. "So many of our seniors have found that in-home care is a great solution during this recession when they need some extra help," says Peter Ross, CEO and co-founder of Senior Helpers. "Plus, now seniors are using equity in their own homes to pay for help. A recent survey commissioned by Senior Helpers reveals that 94% of seniors would rather live in their own home as they age instead of in a nursing home or assisted living facility. We want seniors to know they can remain independent and stay in their homes and still get quality care."
Over the past six years, the cost of facility living has increased more than 4%/year – while the cost of in-home care has slowly climbed by about 1%/year
In-home care is MORE AFFORDABLE than the alternatives:
Nursing Homes: Provides skilled nursing care, 24 hours a day. The average cost for a private room is roughly $78,000/year.
Independent Living Facilities: Provides housing, meals, personal care and 24 hour supervision. The average cost can be up to $42,000/year.
Assisted Living: Provides "hands-on" personal and medical care for those who are not able to live by themselves, but do not require constant care. The average cost is roughly $39,000/year.
Continuing Care Communities: Require a contract in advance for a lifetime commitment from the community to care for the senior. Entrance fees range from $20,000 to more than $400,000. In addition, seniors pay a buy-in fee to the community and monthly maintenance fees.
In-home care provides a low-cost alternative with the luxury of being cared for in your own home. Plus, seniors can use the equity in their homes to pay for their care. The average cost for in-home, non-medical care is $19/hour. If you calculate care for 4 hours a day/5 days a week, that adds up to only $19,760/year.
"Too often, family members feel the pressure care for their aging loved one without outside help. In fact, 40% of caregivers who work full time report missing work on a regular basis to care for an elderly loved one," says Ross. "Senior Helpers' caregivers can be there for your loved one from just a couple hours a day to eight or more hours a day. They provide a wide variety of care such as bathing seniors, monitoring medications, running errands, cooking meals, or simply keeping your senior company."
This story can touch a huge portion of your audience. Help us tell this emotional story that has concrete solutions. Senior Helpers hopes to educate your community about the cost of long-term care and provide a solution during these tough economic times. We are happy to provide interviews with seniors and their adult children, as well as elderly care experts.
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Sources: Genworth Financial 2011 Cost of Care Survey, journal Health Affairs (July 2011), Stay At Home Score Quiz, U.S. Census Bureau, 2010, survey by the SCAN Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (boomer study), AARP
Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility. The company has nearly 300 franchises in 40 states and one Canadian province offering a wide range of personal and companion care services to assist seniors living independently with a strong focus on quality of life for the client and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable, consistent and affordable home care. For more information, please visit: http://www.seniorhelpers.com/