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“$4,000 is the national average cost of care per month.” – Genworth

Caring for a loved one is more common than you think – and its impact is very real.

According to a Gallup-Healthways survey, “More than 1 in 6 Americans working full-time or part-time report assisting with the care of an elderly or disabled family member, relative, or friend.”

Many people feel the strain of caregiving, and this is not made any easier by the financial challenges that come along with caring for those you love.

The Care.com 2019 Cost of Care Survey revealed that of all families paying for a loved one’s care:

  • 81% have to cut back on vacations
  • 32% have found healthcare far exceeds what they expected to spend
  • 22% had to dip into their personal savings to pay for caregiving related expenses for a loved one

While this speaks to the significant cost of senior care, in-home care can put particularly intense pressure on you and your loved ones. There are many costs involved, and at some point, those costs may become too much for you to handle.

What does in-home care entail?

There are many types of in-home care, and they are often grouped into two different categories:
Non-Medical Home Care which includes:

  • Meal delivery and cooking
  • Homemaker services (cleaning, errands, laundry, etc.)
  • Personal care (personal hygiene, dressing, etc.)
  • Daily activities and exercise
  • Managing home safety

Medical Home Care which includes:

  • Medication management (insulin, daily medication, medication administration)
  • Rehab and therapeutic services
  • Management of more complex care requirements (ventilator, ostomy, catheter, or tracheostomy)
  • Therapies such as Physical, Occupational, and Speech
  • Routine diagnostics

That isn’t all. There’s much more to it…

In-home care isn’t just one rate. It often requires coordination with many different people and services. Managing a group of people to get the right type of care can be expensive and exhausting.

These rates are also not identical, even for individual caregivers. Costs can vary depending on the situation, time, and circumstances. There are always emergencies, and rates can increase based on hourly vs. daily, overnight, weekends, and especially holidays.

So what does it actually cost?

Each person is different and requires a unique set of services across different areas, counties, and states.

Here are some numbers, according to Genworth, from a 2019 study that will give you a sense of the real cost of in-home care. Hopefully, this can help you make your own informed healthcare decisions. It is also a fantastic tool for all regions and anyone looking for more cost information:

Nationwide in 2019:

  • Homemaker Services cost $51,480 annually – $4,290/month
  • Home Health Aide costs $52,624 annually – $4,385/month
  • Adult Day Health Care costs $19,500 annually – $1,625/month
  • In-home Skilling Nursing Care averages $87.50 per visit

Wisconsin in 2019:

  • Homemaker Service and Home Health Aid both cost $57,200 annually – $4,767/month
  • Adult daycare costs $18,720 annually – $1,560/month
  • In-Home Skilling Nursing Care averages $130 per visit in Madison, depending on the complexity of skill

While you may not require all these services at one time, the cost of hiring multiple professionals to fit your varying needs can rapidly become exponentially expensive.

It is also essential to plan for these costs, as these rates are increasing yearly. In just a year, from 2018 to 2019:

  • Homemaker Services increased by 7%
  • Home Health Aide Service increased by 5%

This is in stark contrast to the 1% increase in the cost of Assisted Living Facilities and the less than 1% growth in Nursing Care Semi-Private Rooms.

On top of all this, most people contribute much of their time to in-home care, which has extraordinary monetary value as well.

According to AARP, in 2013, 41 million family caregivers in the United States provided unpaid care – the equivalent of about $470 billion. This cost is often overlooked but reveals the actual financial impact of in-home care.

The real cost to you…

While your monetary and time costs are commonly unaccounted for, the psychological toll on caregivers is equally, if not more underestimated. There is a tendency to think that you can handle it – that you can manage the significant and overwhelming impact supporting a loved one can have on your life.

However, this stress is real and should not be ignored. The amount of emotional and physical work that goes into managing someone else’s care can be exceedingly difficult, let alone the caregiving you provide yourself.

Few people realize how detrimental this stress can be to the overall care process. Anxiety, worry, tension, and pressure can all result in a decreased ability to care for someone properly. It can have ramifications not only for your loved one but also for you.

That is why even when you think you have it all under control, you need to step back to make sure you have the proper help and that you are not overextending yourself or your budget.

So what’s next?

Long-term care and assisted living communities often provide a more holistic and cohesive approach, relieving much of the pressure in-home care can create, as well as offsetting many of its costs. There are a variety of advantages to having all the necessary services in one place, as well as professionals to manage additional care. This stability affords you the comfort of knowing your loved one is being looked after 24 hours a day.

Here at Waunakee Manor, one example of this stability is how we coordinate directly with your doctor and pharmacy to have medication delivered right to our community. This can often reduce the cost and strain on families, loved ones, and caregivers.

Services like these provide an essential aspect of care without interrupting your loved one’s day-to-day life, creating a more relaxing and restful space to focus on their health and family. This is just one way a senior living community can make life easier for everyone.

When looking at options for senior care, it is easy to feel like you are letting your loved one down or abandoning them. But you aren’t.

Whatever reasons you have for exploring long-term care and assisted living, you are making the right choice. Maintaining a stressful and unsustainable care environment is unfair to everyone involved, especially the one you are caring for.

At Waunakee Manor, we are trained and experienced in caring for others. This is our job, not yours. If you feel that the costs and pressures of in-home care are becoming too much, please reach out to us.

We are always here to help you assess your options and provide our expert guidance in your care journey.