What Is the Cost of Aging in Place at Home?
For many seniors, aging in place means the ability to stay in their own home instead of moving to a nursing home or other long-term care location. While staying at home might sound like a cost-saving measure, there are often hidden expenses associated with aging in place.
Find out more about some of the common costs associated with long-term in-home care and what your options are, so you can make the best decision for you or your loved one.
The Cost of In-Home Care
The first cost that many people think about when considering in-home care is the expense associated with professional services. According to Genworth Financial's Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of in-home care nationally in 2018 was $4,000 to $4,200 per month. That equates to an hourly rate of around $21 to $22, and the total cost of care obviously depends on how many hours you'll be paying for.
In some cases, a senior doesn't need full-time assistance or family members and friends can offer some unpaid support. But that does lead to other types of costs; NPR points out that when loved ones fill in as unpaid caregivers, the results can be lost wages and future lost benefits.
And even if you only need a few hours of assistance daily and can afford to pay for it, you may experience some of the less obvious costs of aging in place at home below.
Home Remodeling or Upgrade Costs
A safe home is essential for aging in place, especially for seniors who want to remain as independent and mobile as possible. If you're living in a long-term home that was purchased when you were raising a family or even early in your retirement, it may not be well-suited for this purpose. That can mean expenses related to upgrades or remodels to ensure the home supports you as you age.
Some common changes to homes include:
- Installation of walk-in showers or tubs
- Nonslip surfaces in the bathroom
- Installation of shower and bathroom handles
- Widening of doorways and halls to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers
- Adding ramps to outdoor decks or stoops
- Purchasing and installing a chairlift for use on interior stairways
- Replacing stubborn or hard-to-grip door knobs and fixtures with lever models that are easier for grips that have lost strength with age
- Installation of nonslip flooring
Depending on your needs, preferences and home, these upgrades can add up to $10,000 or more over the years.
For seniors remaining alone in their own homes, transportation may become an expense and an inconvenience to consider. This is especially true for older adults who can no longer drive themselves. In these cases, options for getting to appointments or social activities include asking friends and family for help, paying for public transportation or cabs/Uber rides or leveraging transportation assistance options for seniors.
And while savvy seniors in metro areas can often keep transportation costs very low, seniors in more suburban or rural areas don't always have the same options.
The Cost of Caring for Your Home
If you're planning to stay in your own home, you do still have to consider its maintenance and upkeep. From indoor cleaning chores to lawn maintenance, seniors will need to spend their own time on upkeep tasks or seek help in doing so. Some tasks you may not want to tackle as you age include cleaning windows and gutters, mowing lawns, weeding or shoveling snow. Paying someone else to handle these tasks for you could cost around $50 or more per week.
The Benefits of an Assisted Living Community
One option for seniors who want to remain as independent and comfortable as possible while also availing themselves of professional assistance and cutting some of the costs of aging at home is assisted living. The average cost of senior living communities across the country is on par with the cost of in-home care before you add in the hidden expenses above, and since meals, maintenance and amenities are included in senior independent living and assisted living costs, there are no surprises.
- Keep Your Financial Independence with No Large Entrance Fee
- Worry-Free Living
- Restaurant Style Dining with Chef-Prepared Meals
- Gathering Spaces, Gardens, and Interests to Explore
- Personalized Approach to Care
If living in a vibrant community, making friends and having easy access to professional support sounds good to you, contact Brightview Senior Living to find out more or schedule a visit.