The state of Arizona is gaining in popularity as an attractive place to retire. Besides the warm, sunny climate, seniors who live on a fixed income will find that they can stretch their income much further in Arizona because the state does not tax social security checks. With the high cost of senior home care and nursing care, a little savings can go a long way towards giving aging adults in Tucson a higher quality of life. For some seniors, that means being able to remain in their homes as long as possible. According to an AARP study, most seniors prefer to “age in place” right in the comfort of their own homes, even if it means having home care aides or home health care aides coming in to help out.
The Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Study for Arizona shows that there is little difference in costs between senior care giving and senior home health care giving. Tucson families should be able to find senior care aides starting at about $15 per hour. They can expect to pay a maximum of about $23-$24 per hour. Annually, home care aides will cost between $45,000 and $48,000 per year. Those rates are certainly a bargain as compared with nursing home rates, which range between $166 and $247 per hour. Annual costs for nursing home care in Tucson averages about $76,000.
With so many seniors flocking to Arizona, state and local agencies are partnering with seniors and their families to make quality senior care effective and affordable.
Tucson senior residents will find many of the services they need by contacting the Pima Council on Aging. Aging adults in Tucson will find the Pima Council on Aging as the hub for senior services regarding advocacy, action, and assistance. Some of the services that Pima Council on Aging offers include:
ALTCS Information-Arizona’s version of Medicaid
Care transitions-home care after hospitalization
Educational classes-for clients and family caregivers
Elder rights and benefits-assists with a wide range of issues
Family caregiver services-helps Arizona families and long-distance families
Healthy living-helps manage health, fitness, and wellness
Home repair and adaptation-help with minor repairs and adaption improvements
In-home support-case management and in-home help with personal caregiving
Information and referral-information about Tucson resources and services
Long-term care Ombudsmen-advocates for assisted living and nursing home residents
Meals and Nutrition-senior meals and Meals on Wheels
Medicare-SHIP program and partner of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Neighbors Care Alliance-assists neighborhoods and faith-based communities in supporting seniors by neighbors helping neighbors
Partners in Planning-help in planning senior care services
Personal budgeting assistance-trained volunteers assist low-income individuals with bills and budgeting needs
Many senior care agencies offer package services and customized schedules to help keep costs reasonable. The key to remaining safely in the senior’s home is finding the right level of care for the appropriate number of hours. Here is a run-down of some of the services to consider:
Home care aide-this service includes personal caregiving. This includes bathing, dressing, grooming, helping with hygiene, homemaking, cooking, transportation, and companionship.
Home health care aide-this service may include some personal caregiving. It may also include some types of nursing care such as taking temperature, monitoring blood pressure, taking a pulse, and medication management. Home health care aides should be licensed by the state.
Part-time care-this can be part of the day, part of the week, or part of the month, depending upon the senior’s needs. This care can be a viable supplement to family caregiving to give caregivers a much needed break.
Full-time care-this is generally a typical 40-hour work week. It’s perfect for seniors who need care when family members are at work, or if they need care and supervision only at night time.
Live-in care-this is 24/7 round-the-clock care. This is a great option for seniors who need constant supervision and care, but who want to continue living at home. Care is provided by aides working in 2-3 shifts.
There’s no easy answer to figuring out how to pay for in-home senior caregiver services. Most families need to blend funding from multiple sources to cover all or most of the care that their senior family member needs. An attorney that specializes in senior care is the best person to advise on how to maximize federal, state, local, and personal funds for senior home care.
Find assisted living in Tucson near you.