Nursing Home Alternatives
Nursing home should be avoided as much as possible because most seniors
prefer to remain in their own homes. It gives them a sense of dignity
and a better quality of life. If a senior adult
just needs help with meals and medicines, she/he should stay in their
own home with help from a family member or a caregiver. Also, seniors
are often safer at home with a loved one or a caregiver since they can
get personalized attention.
Despite the many advantages of in-home
care, too many elderly are still being placed in nursing homes unnecessarily.
How can families help their loved ones to stay at home? What are the
best homecare solutions? These tips can help.
Pooling resources and sharing responsibilities is a great way to keep
elderly parents in their homes. If the person you’re caring for
lives in the same apartment building or on the same block as someone
who also needs in-home care, it may be possible for them to share caregivers.
Taking your loved one to a neighbor’s home even for a few hours
a day means one caregiver can care for two seniors at once – cutting
costs in half. Make sure you discuss details with the caregiver first
so there are no discrepancies later.
Moving in with a relative or friend is also a good care solution. Ask
each of your family members if they have the extra space, but remind
them you’ll be there to help.
2.) Hire Part-Time Companion
A skilled caregiver can cost $20 to $30
an hour – or more. If insurance doesn’t cover this level
of care, consider what type of help is really necessary. Is a professional
caregiver required the entire day? Some seniors only need assistance
at certain times, such as morning or bedtime.
3.) Work with an in-home care
Most in-home care agencies offer different levels of care,
including lower-cost companion care. Carefully review your family member’s
insurance coverage to determine what level of care is covered. Personal
home care is available for those who need non-medical help with various
aspects of daily living, and can give family caregivers a much-needed
break. It’s highly recommended to work with an agency who offers
ClearCare care management software – a point of care system that
allows you to stay completely involved with your loved one’s daily
Utilizing this reliable caregiver software will not only give you peace
of mind, but it ensures the best possible care for your loved one. With
abuse of the elderly on the rise, don’t take this innovative technology
4.) Build an accessory dwelling unit
If your property has the space, you could build an accessory
dwelling unit, sometimes called an ECHO (Elder Housing Cottage Opportunity).
These small buildings can be designed with special features for the
elderly, such as safety rails and wheelchair ramps.
Carefully review your city’s zoning laws and get an estimate of
the entire project. It may be expensive, but still less pricey than
long term nursing home costs when seniors really only need a little
assistance to maintain their independence.
5.) Take a look at your family’s
For many families, lack of funds is the main reason loved ones can’t
remain at home. If this is the case with you, here are a couple ideas.
• Reverse mortgage –Rather than conventional mortgages,
no part of a reverse mortgage loan needs to be repaid until the homeowner
moves or dies. This means that all of the money from a reverse mortgage
is at your disposal for in-home care – or any other expenses,
as long as your loved one continues to live in the home.
• Cash for life insurance – Check with your loved one’s
life insurance to see if their policy can be cashed in with the company
for 50 to 75 percent of the policy’s face value. Some policies
permit “accelerated benefits” or “living benefits”
only if the policy holder is terminally ill. You can also sell the policy
to a life settlement company, called a “life settlement”
or “senior settlement.” The amount of your settlement depends
on the policy benefit amount, premiums, and condition of the policy
6.) Ask about Medicaid’s HCBS
Medicaid is the medical insurance program for individuals with very
low incomes and few assets, but does not include non-medical, long-term,
in-home care as a standard part of its coverage. In recent years, however,
Medicaid has begun to recognize that the alternative to unaffordable
in-home care is nursing home care – which Medicaid does cover.
As a way of allowing Medicaid recipients to stay at home (saving Medicaid
nursing home costs), some states have established Home & Community
Based Services (HCBS).
These services offer Medicaid coverage for a limited amount of in-home
care and adult daycare. Not every state offers HCBS, so contact your
local Medicaid office at Benefits.gov to check out your eligibility.
7.) Look into the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits
If you’re seeking care for a loved one who is a veteran, or the
spouse of a veteran, he or she may qualify for VA benefits, which include:
• In-home care or adult daycare – The VA provides several
long-term in-home and community care programs, called “extended
care.” These programs are available to veterans with a service-connected
disability, or to veterans who have very low income.
• Cash benefits – Depending on the nature of military service,
existence of a service-connected disability, and income, veterans may
be eligible for VA pension benefits, disability compensation, aid and
attendance benefits, or household benefits.
To get free information or assistance regarding any VA benefit, get
in touch with the VA Vet Center in your state.
8.) Check into the PACE Program
For individuals with low income, or who need more in-home care than
you can provide, ask about the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the
Elderly (PACE). The PACE program provides full medical coverage, plus
comprehensive community care. If your loved one meets the requirements,
a PACE team will assess his specific care needs, develop a care plan,
and be responsible for all medical and care services. PACE is only available
in certain areas, so check Medicaid’s
official website for a list of PACE programs.
Whichever suggestions help you keep your aging parents out of a nursing
home, remember to do a thorough background check on the caregiver you
hire. With elder abuse on the rise, it’s very important you do
everything possible to ensure your loved one’s safety. With ClearCare’s
care management software, you have real-time visibility to daily care
tasks. You can also check to make sure the caregiver has arrived at
your parent's home on time, and receive alerts if something isn’t
done as scheduled. ClearCare’s point-of-care system is a reliable
homecare solution all families are sure to appreciate.
Surprising Ways to Avoid Nursing Home Care – Part One
Surprising Ways to Avoid Nursing Home Care – Part Two