When it comes to caregiving, the numbers don’t lie. In 2020, at least 1 in 5 Americans offered caregiving services like these. According to the AARP, a caregiver is defined as someone who has “provided care to a special-needs adult or child in the last year.” With aging populations on the rise, this number has skyrocketed in recent years, leaping from 16 percent of the population in 2015 to nearly 20 percent in 2020. That’s 53 million Americans who are caring for others in addition to navigating their own increasingly stressful lives.
The Cost Of Personal Caregiving
The cost of caregiving can be expressed in monetary terms, but it’s not the only metric that matters to this growing group of Americans. AARP found that caregivers spend an average of seventy-four hundred dollars of their own money every year on expenses associated with caregiving.
That number jumps to above ten thousand dollars a year if care recipients live more than an hour away from the caregiver.
These numbers don’t account for the hidden costs in terms of lost time at work, rise in personal health care costs, and loss of retirement funds. Similarly, this grand total fails to factor in
the sometimes profound psychological toll associated with caregiving.
The In-Home Care Option
And while most caregivers take on the job happily for the ones they love, some also do it because of the high price of in-home care. In-home care, on average, is going to cost more than 50-thousand dollar a year.
But if you’re looking at the in-home care option, there are ways to bring those costs down, and here are a few to consider.
1. Consider The Opportunity Cost Of Independent Caregivers
Typically, large caregiver agencies will add overhead to their prices. However, with the added legwork of scouting reputable caregivers, conducting background checks, and checking references in mind, these overhead costs a small price to pay for convienence. After all, time is money.
2. Make Your Home Elderly-Friendly
If you do the legwork on the front end to make life as easy as possible for an in-home caregiver, you could lower the cost. That means moving furniture or building ramps that make the job easier for your in-home care specialist.
3. Take Advantage Of Technology And Long-Distance Monitoring
Wiring your house with cameras or purchasing a medical alert system can lower the number of hours you need an in-home care specialist on-site, which, in turn, will save you money.
4. Consider Low-Cost Meal Services
Meal prep can be a costly party of in-home care. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of low-cost delivery options that eliminate the expensive element of the job.
5. Consider Daycare Programs
If these cost-cutting measures still prove ineffective, research daycare programs for seniors aging in place. With the help of these daycare programs, seniors can venture outside the four walls of their family home for a few hours every day. These programs can cut the amount of time you have to pay for someone else to care for your loved one.
Making In-Home Care Work
There’s no doubt there can be sticker shock associated with in-home care. But if you approach that high price tag as a problem to be solved, you can put a huge dent in that number. For those who manage to lower the costs enough to afford in-home care, this aging-in-place strategy can insulate your loved one from retirement home risks and encourage them to stand on their own two feet.