Aging at Home?

We know that choosing how to provide care for your loved ones can be a difficult and emotional decision. Many Americans are the primary caregivers for their own family members, some choose to send their loved ones to nursing homes, and others hire in-home care professionals as primary caregivers. Each of these options comes with a different price tag, and we want to help you better understand the cost difference between them. 

Alternative Housing

Caring for a loved one outside of the home is a popular but costly option for many Americans. According to Senior Living, the average annual cost of sending your loved one to a nursing home is $89,297 for a semi-private room and $100,375 for a private room. This cost typically includes room and board (including meals), personalized care, and basic utilities such as phone and internet services, water, and electricity. Nursing home costs will increase if your loved one needs specialized care such as physical therapy or memory care. The price will also change depending on where the facility is located. Nursing homes in Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri are, on average, less expensive than in most of the country. On the other hand, those in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have some of the highest costs, some of which are over $350,000 per year. 

Other popular options for alternative housing include skilled care facilities for specialized care that are typically more expensive than traditional nursing homes, and Assisted Living communities, which offer less personal care and a lower price tag. Assisted Living communities are great options for those who need some level of care and assistance, but are able to perform basic, everyday tasks independently. Skilled care facilities are good for those who need specialized, individual care and trained medical staff on call at all times. Another solution for out-of-home care is an Adult Day Care. These facilities have started appearing in the past few years and offer a variety of services. Adult Day Cares have a medical staff on hand and will accommodate a  wide range of needs, but you need to do your research before signing up. Some offer much more specialized care than others. Find an Adult Day Care Center near you by clicking here

No matter what type of alternative housing sounds best for your loved one, keep in mind the fact that the average cost for all three types of facilities has increased over the past few years and is expected to continue to rise. 

Home Care

Home Care can be a cost-effective solution when caring for your loved one. While alternative housing options offer medical support and meet basic needs, home-care can often lead to a much greater quality of life. Home care does, however, often require specific equipment to ensure the safety and comfort of your loved one. The good news is the cost of such equipment is far cheaper than the annual cost of most alternative housing solutions. Here are some essentials for in-home care to give you an idea of the costs associated with caring for your loved one at home:

Beds and Mattresses

There are a variety of functions that a long-term care bed, or hospital bed, can provide. You should choose a bed that will meet the specific needs of your loved one. A standard Adjustable Bed is helpful with improving circulation and relieving pressure for those who are going to be spending a lot of time in bed. Long Term Care Beds are also made for anyone who is going to be bedridden for long periods of time. These beds are also adjustable for maximum comfort, but they include additional features for patient care. Many models of Long Term Care Beds are height adjustable and feature side rails to decrease the risk of falls. We also offer several unique long term care beds, such as the Pivot Stand Assist Bed from Med-Mizer. This model features a split mattress that can swivel to the side to assist with transfers from the bed to a wheelchair, combining the functions of a Long Term Care Bed with a Stand Assist Lift. See this innovative bed for yourself in the video below:

You should also consider what type of mattress will best suit your loved one’s needs. Standard innerspring mattresses may work just fine, but you also may want to consider the advantages of foam or air system mattresses. Click here to read our blog post on what type of mattress will best suit the needs of your loved one. We have a variety of quality home care mattresses starting at $175, and we also offer full Bed Packages that include a bed and mattress of your choosing starting at just $765.

Patient Lifts

A patient lift is often necessary for caring for a loved one at home. We offer both manual and electric patient lifts. Manual lifts are not as expensive and operate by using a hydraulic pump lever to lift the patient from a seated or reclined position. Electric lifts use a small motor to lift the patient and are often operated via a handheld remote. There are three main types of lifts that you may need when caring for a loved one at home: Stand Assist Lifts, Hoyer Lifts, and Ceiling Lifts. 

A Stand Assist Lift helps a patient to their feet from a seated position. These lifts require that the patient have some upper body strength to hold onto the lift’s handles. Some models use a sling to provide the patient with additional support as they move to a standing position. 

A Hoyer Lift uses a sling attached to an arm bar to completely lift the patient during transfers. Hoyer Lifts can be used to transfer a patient from a wheelchair or the floor to a bed, or vice versa. Most models have lockable castor wheels so you can easily maneuver the patient and secure the lift during transfers. See an example of an electric Hoyer lift below:

Ceiling Lifts offer similar functionality as do Hoyer Lifts. Ceiling lifts are unique, however, in that they run on a track system installed in the ceiling or on a Portable Track System. If you need a Hoyer or Ceiling Lift to transfer your loved one in your home, you will also need a patient sling. You can click here to read our blog post on patient slings to see what type of sling you need.

If you want more information on what kind of patient lift will work best for your loved one, you can click here to read our blog post on how to choose a patient lift

Lift Chairs

Power Recliners, also known as Lift Chairs, provide your loved one with a comfortable place to relax when they are not in bed. We offer many models to accommodate their specific needs, including 2 Position, 3 Position, and Zero Gravity. Click here to read our blog post on all things Lift Chairs. Lift Chairs offer the incredible function of helping your loved one to their feet with a special lift function. These chairs are operated with handheld remotes and are available in a variety of styles and upholstery options to match the design of your home. While we wouldn’t consider a Lift Chair a complete necessity of home care, it will vastly improve the comfort and independence of your loved one. See how relaxing the Tranquil Lift Chair can be the video below:

Bathroom Access

Most falls occur in the bathroom, so in order to keep your loved one safe you will need to add some safety equipment. Fortunately, many of these products are under $50, including grab bars, toilet safety frames, shower mats, bath steps, tub rails and more! We also offer several solutions for ensuring your loved one is safe and secure while bathing, such as Shower/Commode Chairs and Transfer Systems. If you need to install a walk-in tub or a roll-in shower so that your loved one can safely enter and exit, we are here to help. We have a variety of options to modify your existing shower or tub and are able to offer full bathroom modification if needed. See more about home modification options below.

Other Things to Consider...

In-Home Caregivers

The cost of in-home care will vary greatly by state and the amount of care required. In-home caregivers are paid around $20/hour, but this can change depending on your location and your loved ones needs. With all of this in mind, the average annual cost of in-home care is $28,000. While many Americans choose to care for their loved ones on their own, it may be necessary to have assistance from a medically licensed caregiver. Regardless of if you qualify for Medicare, the search function on the Medicare site is a great way to find qualified, vetted caregiving agencies in your area. Visiting Angels and Care.com are other popular resources for finding caregivers, but keep in mind that these candidates are working independently, not through agencies. No matter who you go with, the average cost for hiring an in-home caregiver is far less expensive than alternative housing options.

Home Modification

We are excited to include Med Mart Home Access as part of the Med Mart Family! The team at Med Mart Home Access will help you customize your home to meet the unique needs of your loved one. While we understand that every in-home care situation does not require home modification, we want to provide you with the option to work with our trained product experts to create the best possible environment. Med Mart Home Access offers indoor and outdoor home access solutions to make sure your loved one is safe and comfortable. Click here to read our blog post about what Med Mart Home Access has to offer.

Helping You Help Your Loved Ones

There are a number of resources available for those caring for their loved ones at home. Here are just a few of the countless organizations that offer resources to senior citizens and their families:

  • Meals on Wheels is a nationwide organization that provides meals and support for senior citizens. Click here to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you or your loved one
  • Age in Place is an incredible resource for everything from Elder Law and Insurance Services to Occupational Therapy and Transportation solutions. This site will lead you to qualified providers across the country for everything you need to care for your loved one at home.
  • The Independent Transportation Network provides rides for seniors across the country. Unlike other rideshare services, ITN is geared specifically for senior citizens, so all drivers are prepared to go above and beyond to meet the specific needs of their passengers.
  • The Institute on Aging provides many services for caregivers and senior citizens, including home care services, counseling services, training services, and more!

Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-793-5980 if you have any questions about the pricing options and operation of home care equipment.

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