As you age, you want to stay comfortable. You are used to your home and probably feel the most comfortable there. In 2014, AARP conducted a survey and found 71 percent of seniors between ages 50 and 64 want to stay home as they age. This number increased to 87 percent for those 65 and older. Thankfully, there are many options to help you or your loved one age at home in Omaha. You can find any help you need from medical to regular home chores. The cost can also be less than nursing home care.
In Nebraska, there are 127 home health agencies, including 56 in Omaha.
These agencies are all licensed with Nebraska Health and Human Services.
There is assistance from the state for low-income seniors and those with risks of going into a nursing facility.
More than 820,000 Americans were home health aides, and only about 1,500 home health aides live in Nebraska.
The average salary for Nebraska home health aides was $24,320 in 2015.
In 2016, the average daily cost for homemaking services in Omaha was $44 per day. According to Genworth’s survey, this totals to about $52,000 a year if you figure 5 days a week and 52 weeks a year.
What is included in this service? Homemaking services help you with the tasks around the house to help make living at home easier, like grocery shopping, transportation, meal preparation, and cleaning.
You can also find additional homemaking services that assist with:
Daily personal hygiene.
Social activities including games, writing letters, or scrapbooking.
Safety checks to determine and help fix any hazards.
Prescription medication reminders.
Pet and houseplant care.
Letting the family know how a loved one is doing.
Homemaking services are a great option for seniors who just need help with the household daily chores and don’t have health needs. This service also gives seniors company during the day.
Home health aide rates are typically slightly higher than homemaker rates, and this is also true for Omaha, with a median daily rate of $147. If you compare this to the average daily costs for nursing home rooms of $194 for a semi-private room or $217 for a private room, you can save around $17,000 - $25,000 a year depending on the type of nursing home care.
Home health aides provide nonmedical chores similar to homemakers, but can also provide some health care like checking blood pressure, checking wounds, and assistance with mobility devices.
Home health aides employed through home care agencies must meet training and experience requirements determined by the state of Nebraska. This experience includes both classroom and hands-on clinical experience supervised by a registered nurse. Home health aides are qualified to handle tasks such as checking temperature and blood pressure, dispensing medicine, help with walking, and some can assist with medical devices such as a ventilator.
Every person is different and requires a different level of care to live at home. You can work directly with an agency to find a package or customize services and a schedule. 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 see if you are interested in using them in the future.
Part-time care is available a few hours a day or just a couple of days a week. You can use this service to help shop for groceries, prepare meals, laundry, cleaning, or just some companion care. This is an option for seniors who don’t need a large amount of care, but the extra assistance will help them live safely at home and ease family members’ minds.
Full-time care provides the typical 40 hours a week schedule and is best for seniors that need all-day companionship while the family is working or overnight to help with toilet trips and prevent falls.
Live-in care provides care 24/7 and usually consists of more than one caregiver (one in the daytime and another at nighttime). This care is suitable to help seniors stay home who need constant supervision.
You can decide to partner with an agency or hire help on your own. Agencies may cost slightly more but they do manage taxes, payroll, insurance, and licensing. Plus, an agency can also send another person with an aide’s unexpected change of schedule.
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. However, you will need to handle taxes, accounting, and insurance, so keep that in mind.
When deciding on an agency or a home health aide, ask around for referrals and look for online reviews. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource when checking into an agency.
If your doctor has written you a script or given you a verification that your medical condition requires assistance with daily activities and health care, your long-term care insurance might pay for some of the expenses with a home health aide. If you qualify for Medicaid, you may be eligible for home health services through Nebraska Medicaid. Wartime veterans (and also widows) may be eligible for VA Aid & Attendance pension to use toward home care. These benefits and policies may also pay your family member for care depending on the type of care you need.
If you own your home and aren’t eligible for benefits or have a long-term care policy, you can consider a reverse mortgage using the equity in your home to pay for care. You can also cash out a life insurance policy. However, these two options do have tax and inheritance implications. Be sure to discuss with either your financial advisor, attorney, or accountant before making this decision.
Find assisted living in Omaha near you.