How do I decide which type of care best caters to Mom or Dad’s needs?

Determining if/when your parent(s) needs additional assistance in their home can be difficult and emotionally draining. Don’t know where to begin? Take this quiz to help guide you.

 1. How committed are they to staying in their own home?

A. There’s no way they will leave.
B. They prefer to be surrounded by the belongings and memories in their home.
C. They’re open to change if it’s for the better.
D. As long as they have friends and family nearby, it doesn’t matter where they are.

 2. How committed are you to help them stay in their own home?

A. You will work tirelessly to make it happen and have the time to do so.
B. You’re able to check on them regularly- at least 3 times per week.
C. You have very limited availability to help.
D. You have become reacquainted with your parents after estrangement and are only willing to do the minimum.

 3. What is their financial situation?

A. They saved every penny that they ever earned/inherited, and it’s buried in the backyard.
B. They enjoy splurging once in a while, but they also invested wisely.
C. They have some money in the bank, but spoil themselves periodically and therefore are not positioned well financially.
D. They spent money like it grows on trees and now are in a bind.

 4. What level of care or assistance do they need?

A. They need almost 24/7 care or supervision for safety reasons due physical or cognitive decline.

B. They need help with bathing, dressing, housekeeping, food preparation, grocery shopping, financial management and ensuring they take their medications correctly. They also need a second set of eyes and ears at medical appointments. However, after all of that is accomplished daily, they can be left alone for long periods of time (up to 12 hours).

C. They can still prepare simple meals and drive their familiar routes. They also are self-sufficient enough to write checks, and make doctor appointments, however they need someone to oversee the details of money management and medical care. They also need limited help with bathing and dressing, as well as support to ensure medication compliance due to poor vision or a memory that is beginning to fail. They may only require help on the days that their needs must be addressed (i.e. only bathe 3 days/week).

D. They are fairly independent, though you know that someone checking in on them — perhaps only 2 days per week for a few hours to offer reminders, possibly cook a nice meal, or take them out for a shopping excursion that they could not accomplish well on their own — would be priceless. More importantly, you know they need an avenue to offer socialization, companionship, and routine.

Decision Time!
Based upon your answers above, you can now consider these options:

In-Home Care
This costs approximately $20/hour if you use a licensed and insured agency. A private caregiver is approximately $12/hour. Therefore, 24/7 care is between $8,500 and $14,500 per month. The assigned caregivers can handle all of your loved one’s needs and it’s a one on one care situation.

Assisted Living
In this geographic market, the cost is approximately $4,500/month based upon the amount of care and supervision needed.  There is also Memory Care Assisted Living which specializes in care for those with significant cognitive impairment. Some Assisted Living communities have both regular Assisted Living and Memory Care options. Assisted Living provides 24/7 care and supervision, meals, medication management, personal care, socialization, and transportation for shopping and medical appointments.

Adult Daycare/Senior Center
The cost for Adult  daycare is approximately $100/day (8-10 hours), which would amount to about $3,000/month. Another option is half-day daycare. Activities, meals, and socialization are offered. Some Adult Daycare facilities offer personal care such as bathing or they have in house therapy services for physical or occupational therapy.

Nursing Home
The cost of a nursing home in this geographic market is $7500/month. All personal care needs are met, meals, activities, nursing and physician services, and transportation to speciality medical appointments

The decision has to be based on a myriad of pieces, but the bottom line is whether there is enough money to provide the level of care needed. If not, how much care can/will family or friends provide? Make sure to factor in income, Long Term Care Insurance, savings and other assets, VA benefits, Department of Labor benefits for those who worked at Savannah River Site and qualify, and Medicaid monies.