Living at home for as long as possible is what most seniors desire. In 2015, AARP found that 71% of people surveyed ages 50-64 wanted to age at home, and 87% of seniors over the age of 65 shared that desire. Detroit has a plethora of in-home care options that make it possible to get the care you need without having to leave the house, and with many providers to choose from, in-home care can be even more affordable than nursing home care.
In 2014, Wayne County had over 240,000 residents over the age of 65, and over 36,000 of them were over the age of 85.
Almost 800,000 home health aides gave care to patients in 2014, and over 32,000 of them worked in the state of Michigan.
Michigan home health aides earned an average of $22,210 annually in 2014.
In 2015, seniors paid a median rate per day of $119 for in-home services in the Detroit area. Genworth calculates the average annual cost of care to seniors (based on a 44-hour workweek and a 52 week year) at $43,472.
The money that you’ll pay for homemaker services will provide in-home assistance with daily tasks that become harder as you age and your mobility becomes limited. Things like cooking meals, grocery shopping, driving to and from medical appointments, or cleaning your home may become challenging, and homemaker services can ease that burden.
The best candidates for homemaker care are seniors who are comfortable with their daily medical needs, but who need help with chores and tasks or who want companionship and company during the day or night.
Care provided by a home health aide in Detroit is just a bit more expensive per day on average than homemaker care at $125 per day. Over the course of a year, this totals $45,760, which is a savings of nearly $51,000 per year when compared to the $96,725 price tag on annual semi-private nursing home care.
Seniors who need access to caregivers with the ability to provide basic medical care, in addition to all of the homemaker services mentioned above, should consider hiring a home health aide. These caregivers can do things like screen your blood pressure, monitor your pulse and take care of wounds.
Customizing the schedule of your in-home caregiver allows you to live safely and comfortably, and have access to help when you need it most. Care providers will work with you to determine the best hours to have care provided, and will usually recommend one or more of the following options:
Respite care- For instances when your traditional caregiver is unable to provide you with care.
Part-time care- Perfect for seniors who need help for a few hours daily or a couple of days per week with tasks and chores.
Full-time care- Designed to provide 40 hours of care weekly and a good fit for seniors who don’t want to be alone during a traditional work day.
Live-in care- Available for seniors who need around the clock access to care providers to create a safe and secure home environment.
When it comes to caregiver options, there are two main ways to find the fit for you. You can either hire someone directly, like a friend or family member who you will pay to take care of you, or you can contract services through an agency. There are pros and cons to each.
When you hire directly you will have complete control over your daily caregiver, but you will also be responsible for managing the business side of things like paying them, withholding taxes, and reporting their earnings to the government.
Should you chose to hire through an agency, they will manage the business side for their employees, but you will have less direct control over who provides your care.
When weighing your choices, it can also be valuable to do some research, collect recommendations, and read online customer reviews of providers in your area. The Better Business Bureau of Detroit has some helpful feedback available on their website.
Seniors in need of financial assistance to pay for care can apply for either Medicaid or the VA Aid & Attendance pension. To qualify, you’ll have to have a low-income and limited assets, and in the case of the pension, you will need to be a veteran of war who served during a wartime or their widow. If you have a long-term care insurance policy, you may be able to tap into the benefits to pay for your care provided you have a condition verified by your doctor that requires care in your home.
Homeowners, or seniors who have a life insurance policy, have the option of leveraging these investments to get access to funds. You can obtain a reverse mortgage, or cash in your life insurance to pay for care. If this choice appeals to you, take the time to meet with a financial planner, tax professional, or estate manager to ensure you fully understand your tax liabilities and any ramifications of accessing these funds before making your decision.
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