The majority of Americans over the age of 50 want to live in the comfort of their own home as they get older. AARP conducted a 2015 survey, showing that of adults in the 50-64 age group, 71% of them want to age at home, while of those in the 65 and up age group, over 87% want to continue living at home. Luckily for older adults in the Cincinnati area, the community offers many in-home care options that allow you to live at home safely and many cost less than nursing home care.
There are over 30 in-home care agencies providing services to seniors in the Cincinnati area.
Nationwide in 2014, nearly 800,000 people were employed as home health aides and over 65,000 worked with patients in Ohio.
Home health aides were paid an average salary of $20,980 annually in 2014.
According to Genworth’s 2015 survey, homemaking services averaged $121 per day in the Portland area. Annually, seniors can expect to pay a median of $44,341 for care based on a 44-hour work week over 52 weeks.
Seniors hiring homemaker services can expect help with a variety of things around the home like grocery shopping, providing transportation for medical appointments, picking-up prescriptions, cooking meals, and light housekeeping and laundry. Other services offered may include:
Help with grooming and dressing.
Companionship and interaction.
Assistance remembering when to take medications.
Small tasks such as caring for pets or houseplants.
Chatting with family and loved ones about your health.
Homemaking services are perfect for seniors who are able to manage their own at-home health treatments and care but who need assistance around the house with daily tasks.
In Cincinnati, in-home care provided by a home health aide is just a bit more expensive daily than homemaker services. Seniors can expect to pay, on average, $129 per day for home health aide care. Compared to the $230 daily average price of nursing home care, seniors will save over $37,000 annually by choosing an in-home service provider over facility-based care.
Home health aides are able to provide additional assistance of a medical nature on top of the homemaker services described above. For access to services like blood pressure screening, pulse checks, toileting, bathing, or help with major medical devices like wheelchairs, a home health aide is your best option.
Arranging to have care available at the best times for your schedule is an important step to living safely at home as you age. Agencies will typically offer customizable plans made up of the following options:
Respite care for when a primary caregiver needs time away from their duties. This can be for a few hours or a few days depending on your needs.
Part-time care gives you regular access to care for a few hours or days per week where a provider can assist as needed around the home.
Full-time care is perfect for seniors who need help during the day when their family is at work and is based on a 40-hour work week.
Live-in care is an option for seniors who need consistent access to care. Typically, more than one caregiver will work with the client, one staffing daytime and other overnight hours.
When you’re choosing the right in-home care provider for your needs, start by determining if you want to work through an agency or to hire someone directly. Agencies give you limited control over exactly who will be providing the care, but they are responsible for the business aspects including things like payroll, taxes, background checks, certifications, and insurance of the caregivers.
Hiring directly is an option that gives you more control, and also allows you to hire a family member and compensate them for their time and care. It’s important to be aware that, if you choose to hire directly, you are essentially an employer, and will then be responsible for all of the business requirements like payroll, withholding Social Security, insurance, and IRS reporting.
When making your choice, be sure to take the time to research your options. Ask for recommendations in your area from friends you trust, and read online reviews from reputable sites like the Better Business Bureau of Cincinnati.
Seniors with a long-term care insurance policy may be able to access the benefits to pay for in-home care, if they have a condition verified by a medical doctor that requires help in their home. Wartime veterans, and their widows may be eligible for a pension from the VA Aid & Attendance program to help pay for care, and seniors with a demonstrated financial need may also qualify for assistance from Medicaid.
Homeowners may wish to explore taking out a reverse mortgage to tap into the equity in their home as a cash source to fund their care, and seniors with a life insurance policy could consider taking out the cash value of the policy for the same purpose. With each of these options, there are tax responsibilities and estate ramifications, so be sure to discuss your plans with a financial, estate, or tax advisor who you trust to help you make the right choice.
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