Whether you’re just entering retirement and want to enjoy your new free time or you’re thinking about getting more help around the house, senior care options have greatly expanded in the last few years. You can customize a plan that fits your needs and budget from help with daily chores to receiving around the clock medical care. You can find exactly what you need here in St. Louis for a lower cost. Here is a simple guide that can help you get started on your search.
Care costs are at an all-time high around the country, but luckily here in St. Louis they aren’t as astronomical. Let’s take a look at the cost for a private room in a nursing home in 2015. The national average for this option was $91,250 and in St. Louis the average was $69,350. The cost was even lower for a semi-private room at $80,300 nationally and $60,225 here in St. Louis. If you think that you would like assisted living better, then the average cost in St. Louis is even less expensive at $44,040.
However, there are other types of care for your consideration. You can look at getting care at home with a homemaker service or an in-home health aide both for less than $50,000 per year. Adult day care is another option and one that might be more affordable at $19,131 per year. These prices aren’t set in stone and can fluctuate from facility to facility. Look around your area and you can find a price range to fit your budget as well as your needs.
Let’s start looking at some of the choices you have when it comes to senior care. There are two categories for care, in-home and assisted living.
Homemaker Services- If you don’t want to leave your home but still need help with the daily chores a homemaker service like Cardinal Ritter Senior Services in St. Louis could be a big help. A professional will come into your home to help you with things like cleaning your house, preparing healthy meals, running errands, and transporting to appointments.
In-Home Health Care- Chronic medical conditions sometimes call for around the clock care and you can receive that in your own house with an in-home health care worker. Trained nurses and professionals from a place like Home Care Assistance of St. Louis, can provide medical care like wound treatment or administer medication all in the comfort of your home.
Adult Day Care- If your regular caretaker works during the day and you need a place to go, adult day care centers like Young in Spirit in St. Louis can help. These programs are set-up to allow seniors to socialize, learn new things, and be properly supervised while their caretaker is away.
Independent Concierge Services- Perhaps you don’t need constant medical care but a few chores don’t come as easily anymore. Concierge services can be a big help. You can search online sites to find everything from a dog walker to a handyman and not have to worry about performing those tasks yourself.
Here are just a few questions to ask when you’re seeking out these services.
Are all workers insured and bonded? Do the health care professionals have the proper qualifications to perform their tasks? If one form of caregiving falls through, do you have a backup plan? Can you get to adult day care on your own or is transportation provided?
If you don’t mind leaving your home and moving into a new community, you can check out assisted living options to see what’s best for you.
Independent living- Of all the assisted living options, this has the most freedom. It is like a resort town for seniors, where you get your own home or apartment and can enjoy an active lifestyle.
Assisted living- Still set-up like a resort town for seniors with your own home, assisted living offers more help for your daily tasks. You can have someone help you get dressed in the morning, get prepared meals delivered, transportation to errands and appointments, and have someone on staff 24/7.
Nursing homes- After a surgery, a fall, or a diagnosis of a chronic medical condition, a nursing home might be the best place. Nurses and doctors are on staff to take care of any medical needs you might have while there.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care- These conditions require a little extra care and you can find facilities that are solely dedicated to these patients.
There are a lot of questions you should ask when looking for a new home, but here are a few to get you started
Ask for the yearly state inspection report and go over any deficiencies with the director. Take a tour of the facility and interact with the staff and current residents. Ask about all services and the cost for each one to make sure there are no surprises. Find out about all the rules and regulations on things like pets or overnight guests.
You won’t necessarily have to pay for all of these care options out of pocket. Social Security benefits can help cover the costs and if you have a long-term care insurance policy, you can use that as well. Medicaid is another type of insurance for low-income families that could cover your costs and veterans need to look at their VA benefits to see if they have any coverage. Other payment options include cashing out life insurance policies, selling or renting your home, and doing a reverse mortgage. However, check with a financial advisor as some of these could have long-term ramifications.
Another option for your free time is to volunteer around your community. This is a great way to give back and can help you feel more fulfilled while serving others in your neighborhood. You can check out Senior Corps and look for opportunities to teach classes in your field of expertise, become a foster grandparent, or read at a local library.
Find assisted living in Saint Louis near you.