It's no secret that Americans are living longer, experiencing slower physical and mental declines in old age, and have a strong preference - both emotionally and economically - to age-in-place. The inevitable physical and mental declines, however, are key triggers for the need for in home support services so they can make that happen.
Did you know that a nursing home, per NATIONAL averages, will cost the senior $90,000 per year? A one bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility will average $42,000 a year? An assisted living facility provides an average of a mere 2 - 3 hours of personal care services daily. These are generally simply help with bathing, dressing and undressing, and medication reminders. Memory care for an otherwise healthy senior will average $60,000 annually. Economics are a clear driver for the aging-in-place trend.
The US Census Bureau estimates that by 2035 seniors will outnumber children in our population for the first time ever. One needs only to look at other countries such as France, Germany and Japan to see the dramatic impact an older population has on national resources. How are we to pay for the cost of care for the aging population?
In home care - aging-in-place - is by far the most economical solution, yet this too has considerable cost. In home care for 20 hours a week, on average, adds another $20,000 per year on top of the cost of food, shelter and medical care to a senior's budget, a cost that few have adequately planned for.
Direct Hiring of Senior Caregivers Saves Money
One way to lower the cost of in home care is for the senior to directly hire caregivers, rather than utilize agency caregivers. This can reduce the cost of part time care by as much as 25%, a not insignificant amount. Direct hires pose their own set of challenges, some that can be addressed by technology (apps and equipment to monitor medication dispensing, manage the clocking in and out of caregivers), services such as household tax preparation services to manage payroll administration and the associated taxes, and back up care schemes to provide seamless coverage of caregiver sick and vacation days. Senior care agencies are challenged with high caregiver turnover, in large part because of the poor wages and emotionally and physically challenging work conditions. On average, a mere 50% of the cost of senior care agency services paid by seniors find their way to the caregiver's paycheck. While work conditions will be what they will be, direct hire of senior caregivers dramatically increases the caregiver's compensation, saves the senior money, and helps slow the rate of caregiver turnover.
If you are considering direct senior caregiver hiring, you will find helpful tips and information in our HWS Guide to Privately Hiring Senior HomeCare.