More than 90% of America’s older adults prefer to “age in place” in their own homes rather than in a senior housing community or facility. With today’s insight into how a deadly pandemic can affect nursing homes — as of September 6, COVID-19 has claimed nearly 55,000 nursing home residents’ lives — this preference may be prudent from a health care standpoint.
However, aging at home also can be quite expensive. Much depends on the level and amount of care you require. And, as you can imagine, those levels are likely to increase as you get older. For some, it starts out as light housekeeping and running errands. That may progress into cooking meals and taking you to doctor appointments. Eventually, you may need someone to help you dress, groom and move around. A few hours a week could eventually change into 24-hour care, depending on your rate of health and/or mental decline.
According to the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of an in-home caregiver is $22.50 per hour. If you need someone for eight hours a day, that could run you about $5,400 a month. If you need 24-hour care because, for example, you need help walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night, that cost could quickly amount to $16,200 a month. Is that a potential cost you’ve factored into your retirement income plan?
For many, the answer is no. We tend to plan as well as possible and hope for the best. If you’d like to explore different insurance options to help pay for potential long-term care needs, we can help. Contact us for more information.
As you develop a plan for old age and staying at home, it’s important to embrace technology. Today, about 75% of people age 55- to 65-years old own smartphones, download and use apps, and many search online for health information. This is a good start.
One of the silver linings of the pandemic is that more people have begun to embrace remote patient monitoring devices. Wearable technology enables certain vital signs to be constantly monitored and even emitted electronically to their physician’s office if they exceed normal levels. This allows some people who suffer from chronic illnesses or who are home-bound to monitor their own health instead of visiting doctors’ offices or requiring hospitalization.
Another way to help combat the cost of 24-hour in-home care is to explore the growing availability of artificial intelligence-aided robots. While lacking the warmth of a human being, robots can research information, engage in conversation, play games and even make remote phone calls if their ward needs emergency care.
If you’d rather have an actual body in the house to keep you company and provide for your needs, another way to help cut costs is to provide a rent-free room in exchange for care. This can start out as a simple arrangement in exchange for light housekeeping, cooking and chores. Later on, you may want to seek out a nursing student or other type of medical provider who can offer more substantive caregiving duties in exchange for a place to live.
With a strong financial plan in place, we can help you prepare to leave the workforce and live comfortably. Take control of your financial future and give us a call at (734) 769-1719 today!