Home is your comfort zone, and many seniors want to stay there as they continue to age. AARP completed a survey in 2014 that found 71 percent of adults between 50 and 64 wanted to stay in their current home instead of moving to a different senior living option. This number increased to 87 percent for those over 65. Aurora offers several options of services to help seniors live this dream, and they can stay home safely.
There are almost 100 health care agencies, including both medical and nonmedical in Aurora. You can find a directory on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website.
Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment oversees the home health agency licenses.
Low-income seniors with minimal assets may be eligible for home health services through Colorado’s Medicaid program.
In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that there were nearly 820,000 health aides in the United States, with about 12,200 in Colorado.
The average annual salary for home health aides in Colorado for 2015 was $26,190.
In 2016, the average daily cost for homemaker services in the Aurora/Denver area was about $144. If you figure this daily average with a five-day week for 52 weeks, this equals $52,624 a year.
Homemaking services provide assistance with everyday household chores including cleaning, errand running, grocery shopping, preparing meals, laundry, home organization, and washing dishes. There are other homemaking services for:
Personal hygiene assistance.
Social activities and mental engagement like playing games and letter writing.
Pet care such as feeding or walking the dog.
Reviewing home for safety hazards.
Regular communication with family about the senior’s physical and mental health.
Homemaking services are a solution for individuals that can handle their health but may need some help with regular household chores to live at home. This service also provides daily companionship to prevent loneliness and depression.
If you need some medical assistance, you can hire a home health aide, which this service costs slightly more at $150 day. If you compare these rates to the average Denver-area nursing home rates, you will notice that there is potential to save money. The average cost for a semi-private nursing home room was $249 a day, and a private room averaged $282 a day. With these averages, you could possibly save $35,000 - $48,000 a year dependent on which room and nursing home you select.
Home health aides will complete nonmedical chores like homemakers. However, they can also provide some medical care like monitoring blood pressure, bandaging and checking wounds, and assistance with mobility devices.
Home health aides are generally employed by home care agencies. They are required to meet both training and experience requirements set by the state of Colorado. Aides must complete both classroom and hands-on clinical experience, managed by a registered nurse. Because of this training, home health aides are able to check blood pressure, help with walking, and distribute medications. Some aides can also monitor medical devices like a ventilator.
Your care needs may change, and there are options to fit every level of care. If you work with an agency, they can create an individualized plan to give you the care you need. You can also update regularly when you need additional help. Here are some options available.
For temporary care, while your caregiver is unavailable or needs a break, respite care can provide assistance for a couple of hours or days. This type of care time can help you try out other aides or agencies to see if you want to hire them down the road.
If you need help on a weekly basis for only a few hours or a few days, part-time care can assist you with your household task like shopping, planning and prepare meals, laundry, and house cleanings. Part-time care is an option for seniors that don’t need medical aid but want help with chores.
For those who need care 40 hours a week, full-time care provides care while family members work; full-time care can also be overnight.
For seniors who need around the clock health care but want to live at home, live-in care will provide 24/7 care. Multiple caregivers typically split the work.
First, you will need to decide if you want to work with an agency or hire directly. Agencies may cost more but they also manage taxes, payroll, insurance, and licensing. Plus, an agency has several aides to provide backups in case of an emergency.
You can hire directly so you have the final say in the hiring. You can also choose to hire and pay a family member. If you do hire directly, you are in charge of wage reporting, taxes, insurance, and accounting.
When you begin your search, you can always start by asking for referrals from family, friends, or neighbors. Online reviews also provide valuable feedback. You can also look at the Better Business Bureau to see if the agency has a grade or any complaints filed.
If you have a long-term care insurance policy, this policy may pay for some home health care expenses if your doctor gives the needed verification stating these services are essential for your medical condition. Low-income seniors may be eligible for home health services through Health First Colorado, which is Colorado’s Medicaid program. Wartime veterans along with their widows may qualify for a VA Aid & Attendance pension to cover home care costs.
If you don’t have any insurance or benefits, there are other options to pay for your care. If you own your home, you can look into a reverse mortgage, which uses the equity you have in your home. You can also cash out a life insurance policy early. There may be tax or inheritance penalties with these options, so you should discuss the details with your financial planner, attorney, or accountant before making a final decision.
Find assisted living in Aurora near you.