How Families Can Avoid the Rising Cost of Nursing Homes – and Get Closer in the Process

home-care-service-aged-care-family-health-careMany families today are caught off guard when they find out how much it will cost to move their elderly parent into a nursing home or assisted living facility. A recent survey calculated that the cost of a private room in a nursing home is approximately $100,000 per year.

In light of these increased costs, many families are opting to have their elderly loved one move in with them. Those who have made this choice say it has worked out well and that they treasure the time spent with an aging parent. Regardless of how much you appreciate having time with your parent, however, there are still costs involved.

Having your parent move in with you doesn’t mean that you need to be with them 24 hours a day. In fact, changes in Medicaid policy has resulted in more money available to pay for home-based services for older individuals.

If your parent is not ready to move in with you at this time, it is a good idea to start planning early. Here are some expenses you can expect if you are committed to having your parent live with you.

  1. Remodeling. It is preferable that your parent can live on one floor. In some cases, this may involve adding a bathroom. Even if a major remodel isn’t necessary to accommodate your parent, there will be some safety features that will be needed. These features include things like shower grabs, motion-activated lighting and non-skid mats.
  2. Grocery Bills. Many elderly people have special dietary requirements or use meal replacements supplements. Therefore, having another mouth to feed is going to add to your monthly grocery bill.
  3. There are subtle changes such as heating and cooling costs that can add up over time. If you keep your house warmer while you are at work during the summer months, if you parent is home all day, you probably won’t have that option.
  4. In-Home Care. Unless you are in the position to quit your job (and sometimes even if you are able to do so), you will likely need some degree of in-home care for your parent so you don’t have to shoulder the entire load.
  5. Medical Expenses. Depending on your parent’s insurance, you may find yourself purchasing some prescription medications. If your loved one uses over-the-counter medication such as supplements you may find yourself paying for those out of pocket.

While it is true that moving a parent in with you can cost more than you might expect, it is likely to be nowhere near the cost of a nursing home or assisted living facility. More importantly, you may find yourself wondering how you ever lived without your new roommate!

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