Studies on senior care are starting to show many benefits when seniors are able to stay in their homes as long as possible. Aging adults who are able to live out their lives while living in their own homes are safer, happier, and live longer. The Alzheimer’s Association states that an estimated 5.4 million individuals in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease. They anticipate that the number will grow to 16 million by the year 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that dementia patients who were admitted to residential centers are twice or three times as likely to die once they are admitted to the facility, in comparison with those who were able to be cared for in a home setting.
Research also gives hope for family caregivers. Family caregivers who are able to get respite care services have higher levels of caregiving satisfaction, which results in better quality in caregiving.
All of these studies point to the benefits of seniors “aging in place” or living out their final years in the comfort of their own homes.
National rates for senior caregiving range between $12-$29 per hour. Indianapolis residents are fortunate to be on the lower end of that scale. The Genworth Annual Report for Indiana shows that rates for a home personal caregiver and home health caregiver are about the same. Rates range from $13 per hour on the low end to about $24 per hour on the high end. Annual senior home caregiving services will run about $45,000.
Indianapolis nursing care rates are substantially higher, from $179-$293 per hour. Annual costs for nursing home care can run about $75,000.
High rates for senior care are encouraging seniors and family members to invest in ways to keep seniors home. Family caregivers are getting supplemental help by hiring home care aides and home health care aides. They are also finding help for themselves by receiving education, getting respite so they can take a break, and attending caregiver support groups.
The trend in keeping seniors home longer has also created changes in the home building and remodeling industries. Families members find that making some changes to the senior’s living space makes it easier for aging adults and those who care for them.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has taken notice of the types of home modifications and improvements that seniors need in order to live out their lives safely, while remaining in their homes. According to NAHB, 75% of remodelers report an increase in inquiries related to aging in place. The NAHB predicts that the senior home modification market comprises 10% of the total $214 billion home improvement industry.
Many of the features that seniors need don’t exist in their current homes. Family members often find that is more cost effective to make some modifications to the senior’s home, as opposed to moving the senior to a nursing home. AARP identified the most common home features that seniors report can be helpful to them. Such improvements include changing the flooring to non-slip surfaces, adding grab bars in bathrooms and hallways, adding ramps to building entrances, widening doorways, changing door knobs to levers, and relocating electrical outlets and switches.
NAHB now offers an Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist that covers possible remodeling improvements from the exterior to the interior of the house with an easy checklist format for families considering making changes to senior dwellings. NAHB offers suggestions on how to make improvements in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Indianapolis families will find some help from state agencies in funding senior care. The Indiana Division of Aging actively monitors the needs of its seniors. The state division focuses their system on care that is comprehensive and coordinated. In addition to being responsible for nursing home reimbursement and overseeing the Residential Care Assistance Program, the department focuses on improving and enhancing home and community-based care for resident seniors. They accomplish this by linking state agencies, sharing information, evaluating services, and monitoring senior programs.
Most families find that they need to blend funding sources in order to pay for senior home care. These funds may include some combination of Medicaid, Medicare, Long-term care insurance, veteran’s programs, reverse mortgages, home equity loans, and personal retirement funds.
SeniorAdvisor.com offers a listing of 72 home nursing agencies for Indianapolis families to consider. The listings include contact information, location, a description of the services, and pricing. More importantly, the listings include client-verified ratings and reviews.
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