At some point during your retirement years, you’re going to find that you need some help doing things around your house. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to move into assisted living or give up your home and independence. There are so many options when it comes to senior care, from in home help to independent concierge services and yes, assisted living communities. In order to pick the right lifestyle for your needs, we have come up with a comprehensive list of all different types of senior care and what each entails.
Pretty much across the board, Houston has lower rates for all different kinds of senior care. For example, in the U.S. in 2015, a private room in a nursing home cost about $91,250 but it only cost an average of $83,038 in Houston. A semi-private room in Houston came in at an average of $54,933 while the national average was $80,300.
If you wanted to look into assisted living facilities, the national average in 2015 was $43,200 and Houston was $43,500, only a few hundred more than the national average. Adult day care programs, in-home health care, and homemaker services all came in well below the national averages as well. Depending on the type of care you need, you can find an option to fit your budget.
Keep in mind that these prices will most likely grow within the next 5 years so plan for price increases. However, be sure to understand that there is a wide price range in the Houston area and you can find affordable care.
There are two main types of senior care that you can find, in-home care and moving into a facility. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks and you have to choose whichever choice will work for your health and well-being. Here is a short overview of the options within each category.
Homemaker services- By choosing this option, you will have someone come into your home on a daily or weekly basis to help with light chores and cooking as well as errands and personal care like bathing or grooming. In Houston, you can find companies like Cardinal Senior Care that will work with you to come up with a personalized schedule to take care of all your needs.
At Home Health Care- If you need more focused medical attention and want to receive care in your home, check out home health care. This is like a homemaker service but a trained nurse or health care professional can provide you with things like wound care, physical therapy, and administering medication. Houston residents can choose from groups like Family Tree In-Home Senior Care for these kinds of services.
Adult Day Care Programs- If you are already receiving care from a family member but need somewhere to go while they are at work, adult day care is a great option. You can meet with other seniors your age, participate in classes and other activities, receive a healthy meal, and even exercise all while getting proper supervision.
Independent Services- Sometimes you just need help with the groceries or a home repair project. If you’re good with the Internet, there are plenty of websites where you can find these kinds of services. From dog-walking to housekeeping, you can look online to find a reputable company.
When looking at each of these services, you should keep a few things in mind.
Are the in-home healthcare workers insured and bonded? Do all care providers have the proper licenses and does their company perform background checks? Is there a backup plan in case of an emergency or if the care provider fails to show up? Do you have reliable transportation to anywhere you need to go?
Independent Living- If you would like to be a part of a community of your peers and have the opportunity to travel and enjoy the resort-like amenities, you might want to look into independent living communities. You will be able to live in your own house or apartment as well as enjoy your active lifestyle.
Assisted Living- This is similar to independent living but there is a more hands-on approach from the staff. You get your own living quarters but can receive help with home and lawn maintenance, meal services, on-site amenities like religious services or free transportation.
Nursing Homes- After a surgery or if you have a persistent medical condition you might need to stay in a nursing home, even if it’s just for a few weeks. In a nursing home, you will receive medical care from doctors and nurses on staff as well as therapy and medication management.
Dementia Care- This type of care is set-up just like a nursing home, but with extra precautions to things like wandering away. Highly trained workers can also provide specialized care for these kinds of medical conditions.
Again, make sure you thoroughly research each place that you are considering and ask as many questions as you can.
What is included in the cost of the community or facility? Can you pay more for extra services that you might need? What are the rules and regulations of the facility? Ask to see the yearly state inspection report and ask about any deficiencies and what they are doing to correct them.
The cost of all these options aren’t cheap, but you don’t have to pay for everything out of pocket. If you have a long-term care insurance policy, you can use that or you can look to Social Security benefits. Homeowners have the option of selling or renting out their home as well as doing a reverse mortgage as long as they understand the risks with that option. If you’re a low-income family, look to Medicaid and see if you meet the requirements to receive long-term care coverage. Veterans should check their VA benefits to see if there is any money there to cover costs.
A great way to spend your retirement years and feel a special fulfillment in your life is to volunteer in your community. Senior Corps of America is a great foundation that helps seniors connect with volunteer opportunities in their city. You could mentor a child, read to others, or even be a foster grandparent.
Find assisted living in Houston near you.