As you age, you want to stay comfortable, and for many people that means aging at home. In 2014, AARP conducted a survey, which concluded around 71 percent of seniors between ages 50 and 64 want to stay home as they continue aging. This percentage increased to 87 percent for those 65 and older. There are several agencies and services to help you or your loved one age at home in Lincoln. You can find a full range of services from assistance with medical needs to help around the house. Another benefit is the cost can be less than nursing home care.
There are 127 home health agencies in Nebraska, including 8 in Lincoln.
Nebraska Health and Human Services manage the licenses of these agencies.
There is assistance from the state for low-income seniors with the Medicaid program.
More than 814,000 Americans were home health aides. Approximately 1,500 home health aides live in Nebraska.
The average salary for Nebraska home health aides in 2016 was $24,320.
In 2016, the average daily cost for homemaking services in Lincoln was $144 per day. According to Genworth’s survey, this totals to about $53,000 annually if you calculate 5 days a week for 52 weeks a year.
What does this service offer? Homemaking services help you with the chores around the house like grocery shopping, transportation, meal preparation, and cleaning to make living at home easier and more comfortable.
Other homemaking services include assistance with:
Daily personal hygiene
Social activities including games and writing letters
Safety checks to fix any potential hazards
Prescription medication reminders
Pet and houseplant care
Communication with family on senior’s mental and physical condition
Homemaking services are a great option for seniors that just need assistance with the household chores but don’t have any health needs. Another benefit of this service is the companionship to prevent loneliness for seniors at home.
Home health aide rates run slightly higher than homemaker rates. In Lincoln, the average median daily rate is $150. If you compare to the average daily costs for nursing home rooms of $203 for a semi-private room or $240 for a private room, you could save $19,000 - $32,000 a year depending on the type of nursing home care.
Home health aides also assist with the same non-medical chores as homemakers but can also provide some health care monitoring such as taking blood pressure, checking wounds, and assistance with mobility devices.
Home health care agencies employ the aides, who must meet training and experience requirements determined by the state of Nebraska. This experience includes both classroom and hands-on clinical learning supervised by a registered nurse. Home health aides are qualified to handle medical tasks such as checking temperature, monitoring blood pressure, dispensing medicine, and help with walking. Some aides can also assist with medical devices such as a ventilator.
Every person is different and situations change. You can work directly with an agency to find a package or customize services with a schedule that will meet your needs. You can always update plans and services as your needs evolve. Below are some various options for in-home care.
Respite care is needed when your usual caregiver is unavailable, whether it is for a few hours or a few days. These short periods of care can also help you try out some caregivers and agencies to check if they are a good fit to use in the future.
Part-time care is regular care that is either a few hours daily or just a couple days a week. You can use this service to help shop for groceries, prepare meals, complete laundry, clean, or provide companionship. This is an option for seniors who don’t need a large amount of medical care but need extra assistance to help live safely at home.
Full-time care is regular care for the typical 40 hours a week schedule. This is best for seniors that need all-day companionship while the family is working or overnight care to help with bathroom trips to prevent falls.
Live-in care provides assistance 24/7 for those who need constant medical care and monitoring. There is usually more than one caregiver that split the day and night shifts.
You will need to determine whether you want to hire an agency or hire the care yourself. Agencies may cost slightly more, but they offer more convenience by managing taxes, payroll, insurance, and licensing. Agencies can also find a replacement aide quicker if needed in an unexpected change of schedule.
If you have a friend or relative that you feel would be a suitable caregiver, you can hire them. Also, if you want to hire directly, you can ultimately choose the health aide. However, you are in charge of taxes, accounting, and insurance.
Ask around for referrals and check out online reviews. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource when checking into an agency. You can review complaints and see a company’s standing with the BBB.
If your doctor verifies that your medical condition requires assistance with daily activities and health care, your long-term care insurance may pay for some or all of the expenses with a home health aide. If you have limited resources, you may be eligible for home health services through Nebraska Medicaid. Wartime veterans (and also widows) may be eligible for VA Aid & Attendance pension, which can pay for the health care. These programs may also pay your family member for care services if you choose to hire directly.
If you own your home and are not eligible for other benefits, you may consider a reverse mortgage that gives you cash for the equity in your home. You can also cash out a life insurance policy. However, these two options carry tax and inheritance implications, so you should discuss with your financial advisor, attorney, or accountant.
Find assisted living in Lincoln near you.