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How Much Does Newark In-Home Care Cost?

Seniors are saying that there is no place like home as they want to continue aging in their current home. AARP completed a survey in 2014 that found 71 percent of adults between 50 and 64 wanted to stay at home instead of other senior living options. Around 87 percent of seniors over 65 also preferred their current home. Staying at home is gaining popularity, and Newark offers several services to make this a reality for its senior residents.  There are services for medical help and household help, so that you can customize the plan that works best for you.

A Glimpse at New Jersey Home Health Services

New Jersey’s Department of Health manages the licensing for the state’s health care agencies.

You can search all licensed New Jersey health care agencies and also review surveys and inspections on the Department of Health’s website.

Low-income seniors may be eligible for Medicaid to cover home health services.

There are approximately 814,000 health aides employed in the United States in 2016. There are around 38,510 home health aides in New Jersey.

The annual salary for New Jersey home health aides averaged $23,230.

Homemaking Services

In 2016, the median cost of homemaker services in the Newark area was $136 a day. This average totals $49,718, based on a 5-day workweek times the 52 weeks in a year.

Homemaking services include assistance with household chores and upkeep. These services include light housekeeping, errand running, grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, laundry, and dishes. Additional homemaking services include:

Personal hygiene and dressing assistance

Prescription and medicine reminders

Pet care, including dog walking and feeding

Houseplant care

Safety checks to minimize potential hazards

Status updates to the senior’s family

Homemaking services can be a practical solution for healthy seniors that just need some assistance around the home.  These services are also great for companionship.

If You Need Just a Little Medical Monitoring

You may want to consider hiring a home health aide if you need a little medical help.  The services for a home health aide are slightly more expensive, averaging $138 a day. When you realize that New Jersey’s nursing home rates are extremely expensive, you will see how much you can save.  The average cost for a semi-private nursing home room was $339 a day while a private room averaged $390 a day. With these averages, you could save $74,000 - $92,000 a year, depending on the nursing home.

With home health aides, you get the same services as homemakers, but you can get assistance with health monitoring.  Home health aides are trained to assist with tasks such as taking blood pressure, checking and redressing wounds, dispensing medications, and assistance with mobility medical devices.

Home health aides are typically employed through home care agencies and are obligated to meet both training and experience requirements determined by the state. Aides must complete both classroom and hands-on clinical experience.

Determining Your Home Health Needs

Every individual needs various care through different times. Agencies will assist you by creating a package and schedule to help you live at home.  You can also update regularly when your demands change. Here are some of the types of care available:

If you just need temporary care while a regular caregiver is unavailable, respite care is the best option. This care can cover a couple hours or days. With this short amount of time, you can review a different caregiver or agency to see if you want to hire them. 

For a regular schedule consisting of a couple of hours daily or a few days weekly, part-time care can assist you with household chores like grocery shopping, cooking meals, running errands, laundry, and house cleaning. Part-time care is an option for seniors that require regular assistance around the house, but not medical aid. 

For those who need care 40 hours a week, full-time care is the best choice.  Full-time care can include daytime hours while family is working or overnight hours to prevent falls and dispense medicine. 

For seniors who need continuous health care but choose to live at home versus another senior living option, live-in care is probably the best option. There are typically multiple caregivers, so there are different caregivers during the day and night.

How to Choose Home Health Care

You can either choose to work with an agency or hire care directly. One big benefit of hiring an agency is that they will handle taxes, paychecks, insurance, and licensing.  Plus, an agency has several aides, so you can find a backup quickly in case of a resignation, illness, or an emergency.

Some people want control of choosing the home health care aide. If you want to hire directly, you can also choose to hire and pay a family member as the caregiver. You will need to manage taxes, accounting, and insurance with a direct hire.

It’s always a good idea to ask around for referrals and read online reviews before hiring an aide or agency. The Better Business Bureau can help you review a home health agency to see if there are any complaints.

Paying the Bills

If you have a long-term care insurance policy, you may be able to get these services covered.  Your doctor will likely need to confirm these services are necessary for your medical condition. Low-income seniors with minimal assets may also be eligible to receive home health services through New Jersey’s Medicaid program. Wartime veterans and widows may be eligible for a VA Aid & Attendance pension to assist with home care costs.

If you don’t have any insurance or benefits but you own your home, you can think about a reverse mortgage, which pays you for the equity you have in your home. You can also get a lump sum of money by cashing out a life insurance policy early.  There are several significant tax and inheritance implications with these options. We recommend you discuss with your financial planner, lawyer, or accountant before making a choice.

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