The National Opinion Research Center has indicated that 77% of aging Americans would prefer to remain at home, even if they require some level of support and assistance. There are plenty of reasons for that, not the least of which are concerns many of these men and women have about nursing home care and other services. Unfortunately, with the cost of long-term care increasing, especially as it relates to an increase in demand and reduced federal support, many of these same Americans don’t believe it’s possible to pay for extended care and remain home or dramatically underestimate what it will cost them out of pocket.
Some may turn to family and friends for help, but the best option is going to be home care agencies with experienced and dedicated caregivers providing services for them. If most of these individuals don’t know about home care support, how can they learn that this is the best option?
Financial Planning reported in its blog, “When Home-Care Costs Go Through the Roof”, written by Donald Jay Korn:
“Step one entails recognizing the costs of home care and adjusting financial plans accordingly. “I’ve been surprised at how expensive long-term care can be,” says [Jennifer] Cray [partner at Investor’s Capital Management]. Sources such as the Genworth Cost of Care survey cite median costs by area, but that’s just the median. In reality, costs can be vastly higher, even for the basics, she says.
Cray reports that her firm is changing its modeling for the potential costs of long-term care. “We’ll probably add about 20% to the already high numbers we’ve been using,” she says. “Finding that extra money won’t be easy. We may suggest saving more and holding more cash. When someone needs care, and is living in a house they’ll need to keep in good repair, the cash needs can be enormous.”
Based on current numbers, home care is by far the most affordable option, but as demand increases, that could change. However, it’s not likely going to come anywhere close to nursing home care or the cost of other types of long-term care options. As more seniors begin dealing with increased physical challenges and mobility related issues, home care support could be the only way they can remain home, where they are most comfortable.
What is the responsibility of agencies within the home care sector? Perhaps working with financial advisors to help relay this information and provide an opportunity for men and women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s properly plan for the potential requirements of home care services.