Taking care of a loved one as they age or become chronically ill or disabled is becoming more and more common. Around 65 million people in the US provide care for an elderly, ill, or disabled loved one or friend at any point over the course of a year. For many of these caregivers, keeping their loved ones comfortably at home is the goal. While home health care is often less expensive than nursing homes and assisted living facilities, there are costs associated with it. Here are three costs of home health care to consider.
Home Care Nursing
While it's certainly possible for caretakers to take care of a lot of their loved one's needs, sometimes a medical professional is needed. Hiring a nurse or home health aide may be necessary for certain aspects of a person's care. The average cost of a home health care aide is $21,840 per year. The greater the medical needs, the more expensive home health care tends to be. However, in many cases, additional help is a requirement for keeping loved ones at home.
Another cost to consider is modifications to the home when taking care of the elderly, ill, or disabled. Often certain parts of the home need to be altered in order to make them safe. This can be as simple as adding grab bars to the bathroom or as drastic as installing a chair lift or elevator into the home. Chair lifts cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 while grab bars can be found from $20 to $40. Modifications to the bathroom, such as walk-in bathtubs, can cost thousands of dollars. When considering home care, it's important to take home modifications into account when calculating the overall cost.
Missed Time At Work
While paying for an at home nurse can be pricey, there are other costs associated with home care. Those who lose time at work or quit their jobs in order to take care of a loved one can lose valuable income and career experience. The cost of being out of work should also be factored in when considering home care. In many cases, hiring extra help for their loved ones at home is a good strategy. Caregivers can continue with their careers and ensure that their loved ones are comfortable at home.
Home care is a great option for those who do not want to put their loved ones in a home care nursing home or assisted living facility. However, even home care comes at a cost. Hiring nurses and home care aides can get pricey. Modifications to the home are often needed as well and can cost thousands of dollars. The cost of quitting a career should also be factored in if the caregiver plans on being present 24 hours a day.