If you or a loved one are part of the “Baby Boomer” generation, it is likely that conversations about how your (or their) Golden years will be spent. Time and again, we hear or read that most people would prefer to age in place, living out their years in their homes surrounded by memories, familiar surroundings, and family and friends nearby. This desire begs the question though, is aging in place rate for your senior loved one? Aging at home presents a variety of financial, health, and safety challenges, all of which must be addressed. For your loved one to successfully age in place using in-home care (when necessary), it is crucial to consider certain elements such as home modifications, home maintenance, and the overall cost of in-home care.
General Cost Considerations
Approximately 90% of seniors plan to age in their homes. However, it is essential to consider the financial repercussions of living at home and associated in-home care needs before choosing to age and place over aging at an assisted living facility like Baxter Senior Living in Anchorage.
Wanting to remain at home is a natural preference for many seniors. Home feels safe, comfortable, and most people assume it is the most affordable option when it comes to senior care. This may not be the case when you consider some of the common elements that go along with aging. With age comes the general weakening of the bones and muscles and a natural decline in energy and mobility. These changes could make everyday chores dangerous or even impossible for some people. Some seniors turned to spouses or family members to provide in-home care or look to outside care sources such as professional care providers. Access to such services can come at a cost in some states of up to $25 per hour for in-home care providers. Also, if you see your loved one needs care outside of “normal business hours,” there is often a flat rate cost associated with overnight care charged in addition to the hourly rate for daytime care. This averages out to caregiver services, usually more than $6000 per month, depending on the state in which you live. According to data provided by Genworth Financial, the average monthly cost of assisted living falls well below this number.
Senior-friendly upgrades to your loved one’s residence can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on what is necessary. As our loved one’s age, what the body can and can’t do may necessitate changes to the design of their home or the layout of their home. Some essential home modifications include installing grab bars, handrails along stairs, replacing or removing rugs, changing doorknobs, and installing better lighting. These modifications are some of the least expensive, which may need to be done for your senior loved one to be successful in an in-home care setting.
In some cases, more extensive renovations such as removing steps or reducing the height of steps, widening hallways, adding a ramp, changing the height of the cabinets, and installing no step showers for handicapped or wheelchair accessibility can cost upwards of $100,000.
Aside from the potential listed modifications above, all homes (especially older ones) require maintenance to ensure they remain safe for your loved one. This includes common everyday tasks such as changing smoke alarm batteries, painting, washing windows, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, plunging toilets, and even gardening and landscaping. If you, as an in-home caregiver, are unable to do any of these things, they may have to be done by an outside professional which can become quite costly over time.
While many seniors may shudder and indeed recoil at the thought of leaving their home for an assisted living facility, it is worth taking a moment to weigh the pros and cons of this decision.
Assisted Living Pros and Cons
For seniors who struggle with declining health or mobility limitations, home modifications are essential to remaining in their homes. In some cases, the costs of these home renovations are simply not feasible, and therefore assisted living communities can offer safety and peace of mind where in-home care may not be able to. In terms of home modifications, when moving into an assisted living community such as Baxter senior living, there isn’t any. Your senior loved one will be moving into their own space designed to be accessible and safe for their needs. Also, all maintenance and repairs are handled by professionals on-site, so there is no need to call a plumber in the wee hours of the morning. Meal planning and nutrition are also covered as residents at an assisted living community are provided three meals a day prepared by on-site staff.