It can honestly be said that home is where the heart is. According to a 2014 survey of senior attitudes by AARP, 71% of people from late to middle age prefer to spend their golden years in their homes. The percentage of seniors who wanted to remain in the family home went up to 87% for people over age 65.
Austin seniors are fortunate that there is a wide selection of in-home care options and other resources available to them. Austin seniors who want to remain in the familiar surroundings and neighborhoods that they’ve spent their lives around will have no difficulty maintaining a high quality of life at home.
There are more than 20 agencies that provide in-home care in the Austin region. Every Austin in-home care agency must be licensed and certified by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services to legally provide in-home care services.
Low-income Austin seniors and those at risk of being placed in a nursing home can apply for state provided in-home care assistance. Texas Medicaid has provisions that will pay for in-home health services for low-income Austin seniors.
In the U.S., almost a million people worked as home health aides in 2014. A little less than 50 thousand of them worked in Texas. In 2015, the average wage for home health aides in Texas was a little more than $10 per hour.
According to the Genworth 2016 cost of care survey, the monthly cost of homemaking services in Texas is about $3700 per month, or a little less than $43,000 per year.
Homemaker services will provide a host of valuable services for Texas seniors. The homemaker service provider will aid with grooming, following your medication schedule, and do light housekeeping.
Also, your home health aide will provide commonsense assistance with pet care, meal preparation, and answer the phone or communicate your condition to loved ones. Finally homemaker services will provide valuable social contact and help prevent avoidable accidents and call for medical help in an emergency.
In Austin, the rates for home health aides are very close to the cost of homemaker services. Annually, home health aides in Texas will cost about $44,000 per year. Compared with a median cost of $54,000 per year to live in a Texas nursing home, a home health aide can be a much more affordable option for a similar level of care provided in your home.
Besides providing the same non-medical assistance that a homemaker service will provide, the home health aide will provide critical health monitoring and perform routine medical tasks.
Your home health aide will change bandages, give medication, monitor health signs (like blood pressure), and provide assistance with wheelchairs and walkers.
Texas home health aides are thoroughly trained according to Texas state standards that include a requirement that they work at least one year in a hospital or senior residential facility.
Texas home health aides are also trained in infection control, senior safety, emergency procedures, and senior rights.
Aging is a process, and the amount of in-home care that you require will change with time. It’s important to find the right level of care for your time of life.
Most Texas home health care agencies will offer a variety of customizable packages tailored to your schedule and your unique needs.
Texas seniors can contract for respite care. Respite care will provide in-home help when your regular care provider is unavailable. Ranging from just a few hours to an entire week, respite care can fill in gaps in your regular in-home care.
Respite care is valuable as a way to audition an agency you’re considering using. Particularly helpful for those seniors new to in-home care, respite care will give you an idea of what you can expect when you contract for in-home care.
Austin seniors can also receive part-time care according to their schedule; from a few hours to a few days out of the week. Depending on your needs, you can use part-time care to cover times when you know you’ll need assistance.
Full-time, live-in care is an option for seniors who have much less independence, but prefer to remain in familiar surroundings and near friends/family.
Austin seniors have two options to choose from when contracting for in-home care. Using an agency for your care needs means that you’ll have someone to handle payroll concerns, scheduling replacements when your regular carer is unavailable, and properly vetting employees for certifications and criminal background checks.
If you have someone that you know well or a family member that you want to pay for in-home care services, paying someone directly can be a good option for you. Keep in mind that hiring someone directly will involve properly calculating payroll, taxes, and hiring substitutes for when your primary caregiver is unavailable.
Long-term care insurance is a valuable investment against your future health care needs. If you have a doctor verified medical condition that mandates in-home care and assistance for daily activities, long-term care insurance can pay your in-home care provider.
If you’re a low-income Austin senior, Texas State Medicaid can pay for all or part of your home health aide service. U.S. combat veterans who qualify can take advantage of the VA Aid and Attendance pension to pay for home care.
A great option for seniors that own a home is to take out a reverse mortgage to finance the cost of homemaker services or a home health aide. If you have a whole life insurance policy, consider cashing it out for the necessary funds.
In any event, before you make a big financial decision, make sure that you seek the advice of a financial or legal professional to make sure you’re making the right decision for your unique circumstances.
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