Is your parent or loved one ready for assisted living or home care services? If so, you’re probably wondering if one option is more cost effective than the other. To discern the true cost of assisted living versus home care, you must consider a variety of factors.
Factors to consider when figuring the cost of assisted living versus home care include:
Maintenance cost of your parent’s home
We rarely add up the true cost of living in our homes, but it can be eye-opening. Your parent probably pays homeowner’s insurance, electric, water, and heating bills, phone and television bills, property taxes, and maybe even a mortgage. They probably have various upkeep bills to maintain their home’s function and condition. Don’t forget any extra services your parent pays for, such as landscaping and housekeeping. Assisted living makes many of these costs irrelevant, but consider them when figuring the cost of home care.
Other costs of living at home
Dining costs are typically included in the cost of assisted living, but consider them when thinking about home care. Don’t forget any modifications your parent may need done to their home to continue living there safely. Grab bars in the shower aren’t expensive to add; accommodating for a wheelchair can cost quite a bit more.
The cost of home health care
To truly compare the costs of home care versus assisted living, you will need to get quotes from each. Both assisted living communities and home health agencies vary widely in their costs. Be sure you understand exactly what your loved one needs before you ask for quotes. Does Dad need help only with bathing? Does Mom need someone on call night and day? Could they use help with managing their medications, preparing meals, or running errands? Be realistic about the number of hours of care needed, since most home care agencies charge by the hour. Caregivers who works independently usually charge less than those employed by a home health agency. However, most people prefer to work with an agency that carefully screens their employees and provides oversight. And if your loved one has a condition such as dementia, you’ll need to seek an agency that can provide specialized care.
The cost of assisted living
Once you know what home health care will cost, you can compare it with the costs of assisted living. Remember that assisted living communities typically include assistance with daily activities, dining, and even some basic medical care in their fees. You will need to talk to each community to find out what they include in their fees. Don’t forget to ask about any special accommodations or services your loved one needs to stay healthy and happy. These may be included, or they may be available for an extra fee.
Consider these factors and use them to tally up the true cost of assisted living versus home care. A clear idea of the costs involved will help you decide which situation would best meet your loved one’s needs.