The unknown often makes us hesitate to take action. Think about how often, as a kid, you hesitated to jump out of bed and shut the closet door, even though you knew you’d feel better once it was done. Or how often you are reluctant to ask for help caring for your dad, even though you know it would give you a much-needed rest. The same unknowns, especially around the cost of home care, often affect caregivers willingness to consider such services. In fact, a 2010 survey conducted by the Boomer Project on behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care® network found that 49% of family caregivers overestimate the cost of non-medical home care on average by almost $6.00 per hour.
The Cost of Non-Medical In-Home Care
The national average hourly rate for homemaker/companions was $19 in 2009, according to the 2009 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs. Other resources list the hourly cost between $15 and $25, depending on where you live. We encourage you to explore and compare home care costs to other types of care using one of these resources:
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information
- The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
- 2011 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Across America tool
- 2013 John Hancock Cost of Care Survey Results
As you can see, many of these resources are related to long term care studies and insurances. While more and more long-term care insurance companies are covering this option, home care, especially non-medical care, is still primarily paid for by the family or the seniors themselves. The Boomer Project’s research found that 52% of care recipients were paying for their own home care needs.
How that compares to the cost of home health, assisted living and other forms of care
According to John Hancock’s 2013 Cost of Care Survey, other senior care options are even more expensive that non-medical care:
- The 2013 average cost of a private nursing home room ($258 a day/ $94,170 annually) has risen an average 3.6 percent per year
- The 2013 average cost of a semi-private nursing home room ($227 a day/ $82,855 annually) has risen an average 3.6 percent per year
- The 2013 average cost for a month in an assisted living facility ($3,427 a month/ $41,124 annually) has risen an average 2.0 percent per year
- The 2013 average cost of adult day care ($71 a day/$18,460 annually) has risen an average of 1.6 percent per year
- The 2013 average cost for a home health aide ($19 hourly/$29,640 annually) has risen an average 1.3 percent per year
Unlike for home care services, Medicare will pay for some of these types of services; however, as most caregivers know, the senior is still responsible for a heavy portion of these expenses. More importantly, these services, with the exception of home health aides, are full-time expenses that require a senior to move out of the comfortable surroundings of their own home.
Home care services, both home health and non-medical, are often only required for a few hours a week in order to make a significant impact on the seniors’ lives and allow them to continue to remain in their own homes. In fact, a Home Instead Senior Care study indicates that 22 percent of the network’s clients employ caregiver services four hours or less per week and 20 percent of clients employ them between four and eight hours per week. That could represent a savings of thousands of dollars a month, when compared to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Finding out more information
Only you and your family can decide if non-medical home care is right for you and your senior loved one. To help you, we suggest exploring these additional resources:
To learn more about our in-home services, explore some of these other topics on our site: