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How Much Does Durham In-Home Care Cost?

If you could pick any place to be for an extended period, most likely you would want to go home. As you continue to age in the golden years, your connection to home is probably strong.  In 2014, AARP conducted a survey confirming seniors love of their home. The survey found 71 percent of individuals between ages 50 and 64 want to stay home as they age. This number increased significantly to 87 percent for the next age category of 65 and older.  Since aging at home is becoming more popular, there are several resources in Durham to help you.

North Carolina In-Home Health Quick Facts

More than 814,000 Americans were home health aides in 2016, which equals about 30 percent of the industry workforce.

In 2016, 39,320 people were health aides in North Carolina.

The average annual salary for North Carolina home health aides was $20,170 in 2016, which is equal to about $9.70 per hour.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services manages and licenses all in-home health agencies.

Costs and Services for Homemaking Providers

In 2016, the average daily cost for homemaking services in Durham was $118 per day. The average annual cost is around $43,000 when multiplying this figure by five days weekly for 52 weeks.

Homemaking services make living at home easier and handle the tasks that are getting harder for you as you age.  These services include cleaning, driving you to doctor appointments, cooking, and running errands.

You can also find additional homemaking services that assist with:

Getting dressed and other hygiene items

Engaging activities such as conversation and letter writing

Checking for any safety concerns

Reminding to take medications

Watering houseplants

Caring for pets, including feeding and walking

Homemaking services are best for seniors with minimal health issues.  These services can also help families keep in touch with the senior’s status with regular caregiver contact.

Minor Medical Help

Home health aide rates are slightly higher than homemaker rates in Durham with an average daily rate of $119.  You can potentially save a significant amount of money if you choose to stay home versus selecting a nursing home. If you compare to the average daily costs for nursing home rooms of $228 for a semi-private room or $260 for a private room, you can save anywhere from $40,000 - $51,000 annually.

Along with the non-medical chores that homemakers complete, home health aides also provide some health screening such as checking blood pressure, redressing wounds, and assistance with walking and mobility devices like a walker or wheelchair.

Home health aides employed through home care agencies must meet training and experience requirements determined by each state. This experience includes both classroom and hands-on clinical experience supervised by a registered nurse. Home health aides take classes to learn about infection, nutrition, safety, transferring a patient, and emergency procedures.

Different Levels of Care Available

Not everyone is the same, so care should fit every situation. A health agency will help you determine the best care for your position, and you can adjust the care plan as needed.  Below are some various options for in-home care.

Respite care can be a few hours, days, or weeks while your regular caregiver is unavailable. If you are just starting out with home care, you can use these times to look for agencies and caregivers you would like to hire in the future.

Part-time care is regularly scheduled and is either a few hours daily or a couple of days a week.  This is a great option for household help such as cleaning, laundry, errands, cooking, and more.  This is the best choice for seniors who don’t need medical assistance but would like help to live safely at home and have some companionship.

Full-time care provides the typical 40 hours a week schedule.  This care is a choice for seniors that need all-day companionship because family is at work. Family members can also hire this care for nighttime hours to assist with bathroom breaks.

Live-in care is for the seniors that may need nursing home level care but want to stay home.  This is continual care all day and night.

Selecting a Home Care Provider

The first decision you will need to make is if you want to hire directly or work with a home health agency. Even though agencies may cost slightly more, there is an added benefit because they handle all the taxes, payroll, insurance, and licensing.  Plus, an agency employs multiple caregivers, so they can find a backup quickly for schedule changes.

If you have a friend or relative that you feel would be a suitable caregiver, hiring them may be an option. Also, if you want to hire directly, you can ultimately choose the health aide since you are the boss.  Since you are the employer, you will have to handle all the paperwork, insurance, payroll, and Social Security.

To begin your search, ask around for advice and referrals.  You can look online for reviews. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource when checking into an agency because you can see grades and complaints.

Covering the Bills

If your doctor has written you a script for home health care, your long-term care insurance might pay for some of the expenses of home health aide services. Seniors with minimal assets and income may qualify for North Carolina’s Medicaid program. Wartime veterans (and their widows) may be entitled to a VA Aid & Attendance pension to pay for expenses. If you hired a family member, some insurance policies and benefits will pay them like they would any other health aide.

If you own your home and aren’t eligible for benefits or have a long-term care policy, you can consider a reverse mortgage to get a lump sum based on the equity of your home.  You can also cash out a life insurance policy for the money. Be sure to do your research and talk to your attorney or financial planner because these choices have tax implications along with other fees.

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