A 2021 Genworth study predicted in-home care services to increase by about $200 every year. While home care can be a great option for seniors who wish to age in place, the cost of care is rising and can be a significant financial burden on families.
Reasons for the rising cost of care:
- There is a shortage of Caregivers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aide jobs are projected to grow 25% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, there is a shortage of trained caregivers to meet this demand. This shortage can lead to higher wages for caregivers, which can increase the cost of care for families.
- There is an increasing complexity of care. Many seniors have chronic health conditions that require specialized care, such as diabetes management or wound care. Providing this level of care requires trained and skilled caregivers, which can be more expensive than basic homemaking services.
- Location can also determine an increased cost of care. In areas with a high cost of living, such as large cities, the cost of care can be significantly higher than in rural areas. This can be a challenge for families who live in expensive areas but cannot afford to move to a less expensive location.
How families can cope with the cost of care:
For families who are struggling to afford the cost of home care, there are some resources available to help.
- Federal assistance such as Medicaid may cover the cost of home care services for eligible individuals. However, eligibility requirements vary by state, and not all states offer home care coverage. The exact coverage by federal programs depends on the state, but it can include personal care services, skilled nursing care, and other medical services that can be provided in the home. Veterans may also be eligible for home care benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Non-profit organizations and charities offer financial assistance for home care services to seniors who are not eligible for Medicaid or VA benefits. These organizations may provide grants or other forms of financial assistance to help seniors and their families cover the cost of home care services. For example, the National Council on Aging offers a Benefits Checkup tool that can help seniors and their families identify available benefits and assistance programs.
- There are also cheaper alternative options for home care. For example, hiring a caregiver privately instead of using an agency. While this option requires more work on the part of the family to find and screen potential caregivers, it can be less expensive than using an agency.
As the demand for in-home care continues to grow, it is essential to address the caregiver shortage and find ways to make home care more affordable for families. You can read about solutions for the future of care and the aging population through 1+1 Cares.
1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.