What Does Home Care Cost?
The cost of Home Care is greatly dependent on geographical location, but on average, standard Home Care costs around $25 an hour. However, it is also important to factor in the costs of accessibility updates to ensure your loved one is safe at home.
If you or a loved one requires assistance to keep living in their current house or apartment, you may consider Home Care or Home Health Care as options. The cost of Home Care will vary depending on location, the level of care necessary, the type of support needed, and many other factors. With regular visits from a caregiver from a reputable organization, Home Care can provide peace of mind and security, promote faster recovery, help with nutritional guidance and meal preparation, offer comfort, consistency, and convenience, among other benefits.
As is the case with any step you take to ensure your loved one can continue to live their best life possible, the reality is that financial considerations are going to play a major role in the decision-making process. Financing these services takes consideration, largely due to the costs in comparison with the care received. It is also worth bearing in mind that Home Care may be a relatively short-term solution, compared to a more sustainable change of living circumstances, such as moving to an Assisted Living Community. However, for many who are entering the next phase of life, where 24/7 attention is not yet necessary, Home Care is an option worth considering, and Home Health Care is another solution for those with specialized medical needs.
Let’s take a close look at the costs of Home Care and the factors you should take into consideration when exploring the best Home Care options.
How Much Does Home Care Cost for Older Adults?
The first step towards securing Home Care or Home Health services is to hire a caregiver(s) from an accredited agency who will provide services specifically tailored to the individual’s needs. For example, your loved one might need help with the basics of getting around the house, meal preparation and transportation, while others require more specialized attention, e.g., speech or physical therapy, help getting dressed and making sure they’re taking the proper doses of medication.
Because Home Care and Home Health Care are almost never round-the-clock services, the vast majority of agencies charge by the hour—though you might be able to get a discount if you sign a monthly contract. The cost is greatly dependent on geographical location, but on average, standard Home Care is right around $25 an hour. As you begin your search, it’s important to determine how often you’ll need someone to meet care and medical needs, as well as fulfil the desire for human interaction and socialization. Some retirees might require a visit a few times a week, for a couple of hours at a time. In many other cases, folks want someone to visit every day for as many as 4 to 6 hours each time. Most agencies require a minimum number of contracted hours, usually two to four hours a day or somewhere around a total of seven hours a week, to ensure they can cover their transportation and staffing expenses.
Costs of Modifications for Home Care
If your loved one shows signs of being on the verge of requiring reliable, relatively extensive daily Home Care, you’re choosing this option, at least for now, in lieu of a move to a community where they would receive 24/7 attention. Selecting Home Care or Home Health Care makes it almost a certainty that their house will have to be remodeled or at least modified to accommodate mobility loss, hearing loss, development disabilities, and/or an erosion of cognitive abilities. Many of these preparations will be one-time expenses, though maintenance and upkeep fees will surface on occasion.
You should always seek out at least two or three estimates from reliable companies, keeping in mind that costs vary from state to state. It’s helpful to reach out to friends and family members who have added these modifications to their homes. The cost of changing your home’s interior can range from several hundred dollars for minor adjustments to five figures for full remodeling, with the national average somewhere around $5,000-$7,000.
Here are some alterations that are typically made when you’re remodeling the house for Home Care safety, accessibility and security:
Adding Non-Slip Flooring
Slipping and falling is a major concern for those who have reached retirement age, and adding non-slip flooring to kitchens, bathrooms, etc., can be a significant safety improvement. Adding non-slip flooring can cost anywhere from $3-5 to $18-20 per square foot.
Grab Bars and Handrails
This price can change depending on the size and layout of your home, but as a general rule, adding grab bars and handrails will likely cost approximately $1,000.
Lowering Cabinets, Sinks, Kitchen Tables, Desks, etc.
If your loved one is going to be in a wheelchair all of the time or for the vast majority of waking hours, you’ll need to lower all cabinets, sinks, tables, etc., so they can have safe access. You’ll want to consider not only the price of the materials but the installation fees, meaning the total budget will range anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to $8,000.
Everyone knows how important temperature control is when you're living at home—so you’ll want to make sure your loved one can reach the thermostats. You should be able to find someone who can do this for $150-$200 per thermostat. (If your loved one is tech savvy enough to handle wireless/smart thermostats, that’s another great option.)
Widening Entranceways and Hallways
Fortunately, most homes built over the last half-century or so already have interior hallways wide enough for a wheelchair, but this might not be the case for entranceways and interior doorways. Widening interior doors is less costly ($500-$700 per doorway) than widening entranceways, which can run up to $2,500 per entrance.
Building an Accessible Bathroom
To upgrade your shower, bath, toilet, cabinets/vanity, sink/faucet, etc., widen doors, add a grab bar, etc., it will cost anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 per bathroom. If you’re planning to one day turn your loved one’s home into a rental and you want to be fully compliant with ADA requirements, it’s likely to cost in the low five figures.
If you’re in a two-or three-story split-level home or townhouse, installing an elevator is an option. This is a major interior construction job that costs approximately $15,000 on the low end, with $25,000 as the average, and $40,000-$50,000 at maximum.
Cost of Home Care vs Nursing Homes
Now that the costs have been defined, you may be considering a community-based care plan for yourself or your loved one. Many people initially assume they should start comparing Home Care with Nursing Homes. However, Nursing Homes are really only used in cases where private pay is not an option. The more likely comparison would be between Home Care and Assisted Living. Moving to an Assisted Living Community offers vastly more benefits and is a longer-term solution. Still, Home Care provides various types of support for short-term situations. You can learn more in our article “What Types of Home Care are There?”
Talk with a Senior Living Expert
The costs of Home Care certainly include those that are monetary, including the price of making the home more accessible. However, the true costs also include the risk of only having a medical professional available for certain hours of the day, and the impact of isolation on wellbeing. Referah will provide you with long-term guidance to prepare for a transition to a community, even if Home Care or Home Health Care is the best short-term solution. Contact us for a consultation today.