5 Tips for Reducing the Costs of Elder Care
As your parents head into retirement and their twilight years, you’re inevitably going to have to step in and offer some help in their day-to-day care. Even the most independent seniors need a bit of assistance, and if they have any sort of medical issue you’ll be shocked at how quickly the expenses will pile up. No one wants to see their parents uncomfortable or suffering, so clearly you’ll do whatever needs to be done. But there are ways to save a bit of money along the way, while insuring that your elderly parents or loved ones get all of the attention that they need and deserve. Here are five tips for reducing the costs of elder care.
First of all, don’t be afraid to negotiate at any point along the way. Whomever you’re dealing with, from a long term care facility to the part time caregiver, may very well be willing to give you a break. Elderly facilities in general should provide a bit of wiggle room on their rates. It’s a competitive industry, and you’ll have plenty of options. If you reach out to a facility that isn’t full to capacity, they may give you a discount to get your business. This is especially true if your elderly relative is already in the facility.
If you’re having conversations with assisted living organizations, consider looking into room share opportunities. This is a fantastic option for seniors working with tight, restricted incomes. They’ll receive the same level of care as anyone else at the facility, but simply have to share a room with another senior resident. Personalities will definitely come into play here, but if you can find a nice match you could end up saving half the costs of the room fee.
If you’ve got a serious uphill road ahead, you might want to start the process by bringing a geriatric care manager on board. These are folks who come on board and determine the entire plan for your elderly relative’s care. They’ll come up with a breakdown of all that is necessary, research and contact any living facilities and negotiate rates on your behalf. Because they are experienced in the healthcare field, they’ll likely be able to more than cover their rates through the discounts they’ll secure for you.
Sometimes your elderly relative doesn’t need constant care, especially if he or she lives with you. But you’ve got to work, so the daytime is when an extra hand is truly necessary. Instead of putting them in a home, you can contact an adult daycare facility. The fees vary for this service depending on your location, but it will always be less expensive than a home health aid. Check with the Department of Aging in your state for licensed daycare facilities.
Finally, consider bringing in a caretaker on a part time basis. If your senior relative is still fairly self sufficient, a part time worker could be all that’s necessary. They could handle the cooking and cleaning, and make sure your elderly relative is taking the proper medications at the right time. They don’t have to be highly trained, or even work professionally in elder care services. Sometimes a student from the local high school or college could handle all that’s necessary. And you’ll only have to pay them a reasonable hourly rate.