Having in-home care options give seniors the ability to stay in their homes as they get older, which is something that most adults want to do. Surveyed adults ages 50-64 expressed that aging at home was their preference, with 71% agreeing to that statement in an AARP poll. Similarly, of adults in the age 65 and older demographic, 87% of them indicated they too wish to age at home. The Sacramento area boasts many in-home care providers and resources for seniors, giving you options to stay at home for a fraction of the cost of care in a live-in facility.
There are over 50 providers who offer in-home care to seniors in the Sacramento area.
Nationally, the number of home health aides total nearly 800,000 and in 2014, nearly 32,000 of them were employed in the state of California.
The average annual salary of a home health aide in California in 2014 was $27,580.
The 2015 daily median cost to seniors in the Sacramento area for homemaker services was $147. Calculated based on a 44-hour workweek over a 52 week period, Genworth estimates the average annual cost you’ll pay for in-home homemaker services is $53,768.
Homemaker services can include a variety of help, traditionally the assistance provided will help around the house with tasks that can become cumbersome as we age like grocery shopping, cooking, light cleaning, and driving to and from appointments with your doctor. Homemaker services can also encompass assistance with:
Personal grooming and dressing
Companionship and activities like reading or playing cards
Remembering to take medications or drink water during the day
Caring for a small pet or household plants
Updating your loved ones on your health
Seniors who are comfortably managing their daily medical care but who need help around the house due to mobility constraints, or are looking for companionship and socialization are great candidates for homemaker services.
Sacramento seniors pay a bit more for home health aide services at an average of $157 per day. When you compare home health services with the daily cost of semi-private nursing home care at $259 per day the savings is clear, in-home care can save over $40,000 per year.
Seniors who are looking for in-home care with medical experience should consider home health aides. They are able to do all of the homemaker tasks listed above as well as monitor your health by doing blood pressure checks, pulse checks, and administering wound care.
Access to in-home care provides a safe and supervised environment within your home that can put you and your loved ones at ease. By working with your provider to ensure you schedule care when you need it, can enable you to continue to live at home longer. Most care providers will accommodate your needs with one or more of the following options:
Respite care- allows primary caregivers time away from their duties by providing help when they aren’t available.
Part-time care- is an option for when you need just a bit of help for a few hours a day or during certain days every week around the home.
Full-time care- allows your family members to work their traditional 40-hour work week with the peace of mind that you are cared for while they aren’t available.
Live-in care- is an excellent choice for seniors with more advanced mobility, cognitive, or medical needs and provides a caregiver assistance around the clock so that someone is there to help anytime you need it.
There are two main ways to hire an in-home caregiver, through an agency or directly. If you decide to find help through an agency, they will be responsible for providing the caregiver as well as managing their employment including payroll, insurance, taxes, and weekly scheduling.
If you choose to hire someone directly, you will have more control over the individual giving you care, and can even opt to pay a family member or friend for their services. However, hiring directly means that you are the boss and will be responsible for the business side of things like filing with the IRS, handling any tax withholdings, and paying your caregiver directly.
Taking the time to research your options is an important step. It’s a good idea to ask trusted sources for recommendations, and to spend time reading reviews on trusted websites like the Better Business Bureau of Northeast California.
Long-term care insurance policyholders may use the benefits of the policy to cover the cost of their care if they have a doctor verified condition that requires in-home assistance. Seniors who need in-home care but who have a low income and aren’t able to afford it, may be eligible to apply for financial assistance. Assistance resources may include Medicaid, or in the case of veterans of war and their widows, the VA Aid & Attendance pension.
Seniors with a life insurance policy, or who own their home, may want to research the possibility of cashing in their policy or taking out a reverse mortgage to access liquid funds to pay for care. If these choices appeal to you, it’s important to talk with the applicable tax, financial or estate professional about any penalties, taxes, and other ramifications of these options before making your decision.
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