What are my home care options?

For most families, home care is the preferred option when it’s no longer safe for a loved one to be completely on their own. According to recent surveys, over 90 percent of people 65 and older want to stay in their home, living in a familiar place with as much independence as possible.

Setting up in-home care is not the only option. And it may not be the best choice for your family right now.

Home care also can mean help with medication reminders, grocery shopping and meal preparation, bathing and personal care, light housekeeping and other household chores, or just good conversation over coffee.

Adult day care can be a good option when a loved one is still able to live at home but needs companionship and supervision or wants to socialize, make new friends, and do activities with others. Adult day care may not be the right choice if your loved one needs support with mobility, memory care, or help with toileting.

If health issues become more serious, a spouse dies, or family members don’t live nearby, an assisted living facility is a good option to explore. While you’ll have the added expenses of moving to the facility, your loved one will get many benefits—living with some privacy in a small community, organized social activities, a communal dining area, and housekeeping services or other support as needed.

Nursing homes are usually the last choice for most families since there is little, if any, privacy for your loved one, and the physical health and mental condition of the other residents has a huge effect on your loved one’s quality of life. But there are times when a nursing home is the best option for a loved one who has severe Alzheimer’s, other dementia, or is in the the late stages of another illness.

When evaluating your care options, consider these five things:

  • Quality of caregivers
  • Availability of care team support
  • Flexibility of care
  • Cost of care
  • Added benefits such as ready back-up caregivers, fraud control, visibility and care visit information, easy communication with caregivers, social activities, physicians or nurses on site.

Each family will evaluate these categories and added benefits differently, depending on their needs, wants, and budget. When exploring your options, be sure to look beyond the cost of care. Cost is certainly one thing to consider but it’s not the only thing—or the most important.

If you thoughtfully consider what will make your loved one feel safe, comfortable, and truly cared for—while factoring in your needs as a caregiver, the right option for your family will be clear.

Your care options

Home careAdult day careAssisted living facilitiesNursing homes
A care professional comes to your home to assist with non-medical tasks, providing help with daily activities, personal care, companionship, and other specialized support (memory, mobility, etc.) as needed.A day service outside the home, which offers companionship, social stimulation, group activities, and supervision for older adults who don’t need help with mobility, personal care, or toileting.A group living facility for older adults made up of apartments with private bathrooms and kitchens. Help with daily activities is available along with social common areas, recreation, and shared meals.A group living facility for the more infirm who need 24-hour care and supervision due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other serious medical conditions. Physicians, licensed nurses, and medical equipment are on site.

Avg monthly cost:

$3,813 (7 days a week / 6 ¼ hours a day)

Avg monthly cost:

$1,473 (5 days a week / 6-8 hours a day)

Avg monthly cost:

$3,628 (Private one-bedroom unit)

Avg monthly cost:

$7,698 (Private room)

$6,844 (Semi-private room)

Avg daily cost:

$125 (6 ¼ hours at $20/hour)

Avg daily cost:

$68

Avg daily cost:

$119

Avg daily cost:

$253 (Private Room)

$225 (Semi-Private)

Home care
  • A care professional comes to your home to assist with non-medical tasks, providing help with daily activities, personal care, companionship, and other specialized support (memory, mobility, etc.) as needed.
  • Avg monthly cost:

    $3,813 (7 days a week / 6 ¼ hours a day)

  • Avg daily cost:

    $125 (6 ¼ hours at $20/hour)

Adult day care
  • A day service outside the home, which offers companionship, social stimulation, group activities, and supervision for older adults who don’t need help with mobility, personal care, or toileting.
  • Avg monthly cost:

    $1,473 (5 days a week / 6-8 hours a day)

  • Avg daily cost:

    $68

Assisted living facilities
  • A group living facility for older adults made up of apartments with private bathrooms and kitchens. Help with daily activities is available along with social common areas, recreation, and shared meals.
  • Avg monthly cost:

    $3,628 (Private one-bedroom unit)

  • Avg daily cost:

    $119

Nursing homes
  • A group living facility for the more infirm who need 24-hour care and supervision due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other serious medical conditions. Physicians, licensed nurses, and medical equipment are on site.
  • Avg monthly cost:

    $7,698 (Private room)

    $6,844 (Semi-private room)

  • Avg daily cost:

    $253 (Private Room)

    $225 (Semi-Private)

Costs vary by state depending upon location and services. Source: Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey

Compare long-term care costs

Want more information? This helpful online tool lets you calculate the current costs of different types of care (daily, monthly, annually) in your state and future costs of care.

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