Caring for Your Aging Loved One at Home While Staying Within Budget

by on June 22, 2018

Do you have a loved one that is unable to live independently on their own? If so, you’re likely faced with the grueling decision to place them in a nursing home facility or assisted living center so that they can get around the clock care. But has the thought crossed your mind to have them move in with you? If so, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is the cost of living. How much will it cost to move your aging parent in with you? Here are a few things to consider before you decide to offer the move.

Making Your Home Handicap Accessible

Does your parent or loved one have any special needs? Maybe he or she needs assistance with balance and support in order to prevent falls. If so, you’ll need to factor in the costs of renovating your home so that it will be a safe environment for your loved one. In order to get on board with the proper setup, you should first consult with your loved one’s doctor or physical therapist. They will be able to tell you what will be the most beneficial assistive devices for your parent. Some suggestions may include:

• Wheelchair ramp or porch ramp
• Handrails installed throughout the home
• Raised toilet seat
• Grip bars near the toilet and in the shower
• Shower chair
• Lift chair

After you’ve spoken with the doctor, you can sit down and figure out what you need to have installed. You’ll also need to consider the cost of hiring a contractor if you’re unable to do some things on your own. Keep in mind also that some of these items and additions may be covered under your parent’s insurance. If you or your parent are very low income, your local community action agency or other charitable organization may be able to help assist with donating or installing larger items such as bathroom accessories and wheelchair ramps.

Assistance with ADLs

When it comes to meeting the needs of your loved ones, you’ll need to consider their ADLs or Activities of Daily Living. This includes:
• Eating
• Getting dressed
• Toileting or going to the bathroom independently
• Transferring
• Continence
• Bathing

If your loved one can do every single one on their own, that’s great, this means that they don’t need a lot of assistance with their daily routine. On the contrary, if your parent needs help with any ADL and you’re unable to provide direct around the clock care, you may need to hire some help. This starts with a reputable home health care agency. Finding one that can meet the needs of your parent is important. Initially, they may need a referral from your loved one’s doctor. From there, they will go over the recommendations and also perform their own evaluation by assessing what the needs are. From there, they will recommend coming out daily or just a few times a week. This is up to you, your budget and what your loved ones medical and personal needs are.

Dealing with Your Parent’s Assets

One reason not to have your parent move into a skilled nursing care facility is the cost. It can get pricey. For most skilled nursing care facilities, the annual cost can easily reach $100,000 a year. This, of course, depends on your loved one’s insurance coverage and overall medical needs. One thing that an insurance company, nursing home or home care agency may look into is the income your parent has coming in and how many assets they have.

In some cases, homes, boats, RVs, and liquid assets may be used to pay for skilled nursing and other care before the insurance will pay anything. That’s why it’s important to consult with a financial advisor now to go over the best method for protecting and ultimately distributing assets so savings accounts are easily depleted. They will also have money-saving tips on caring for your aging parent.

Seeking Respite Care

If you’ll be moving an elderly loved one into your home, consider your own physical and mental health. Caring for another individual can rapidly deplete your energy and mental health. Getting away and gaining some clarity along with being able to run errands or conduct personal business is very important. Seek respite care by asking other family members to stay at home with your parent or find out about local adult daycare that allows you to drop off your parent for the day. Be sure to incorporate respite care costs into your budget when planning your expenditures for the month.

Taking on the challenge of caring for a loved one is no easy feat, that’s why it’s important to create a budget. In addition, always consider the financial risks, so you won’t be blindsided with any money burdens.

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