How to reduce the cost of in-home elder care

How to reduce the cost of in-home elder care

One reason that in-home care is costly is that most people do not have a caregiving plan for their elderly loved ones. Most older adults don't have long-term insurance, a backup caregiver, or a relationship with a caregiving service, so an unexpected need for care requires significant sacrifices in time, money, and lifestyles.

For every day that an older adult spends in a hospital or rehab, they need three to five days to return to their pre-hospital level of functioning. There are three things that I do to help my clients to lower their costs.

  • The first one is the DANGLE, STAND, PIVOT CAREGIVING ROUTINE. It is a simple set of very effective routines to help older adults get back on their feet, especially for those who have lost the ability to walk or care for themselves after a hospital or rehab stay. This routine engages the person, nutrition, hydration, sleep, and mobility. The higher the level of care, the more expensive the care will be. Level of care is defined as the skill and intensity of effort required to diagnose, treat, preserve, or maintain an individual's physical and emotional health. If your loved one is physically deconditioned and cannot safely and independently transfer from bed to chair, the cost of care will be very expensive.

  • The second way that I use to lower the cost of care is to combine long shifts with short shifts. For example, if my client needs twenty-four-hour care, I combine long shifts with short shifts to reduce costs. This strategy reduces the cost of care by twenty to thirty percent. To do this effectively, the care recipient must have a regular sleep pattern and be able to call out for the night caregiver during sleep hours. Sometimes, it is necessary to adjust the daytime caregiving routine o be able to help the care recipient develop a regular circadian rhythm. Based on how long the care recipient has stayed in a hospital, developing a regular circadian rhythm might take several weeks.

  • The third strategy is to consult or engage an aging care management service. Aging care managers or geriatric care managers like me are professionals trained in helping families navigate long-term care and the caregiving journey. Some of the services that care managers offer that can help reduce the cost of care include the development of an appropriate, functioning, and life-enhancing care plan, help with funding qualification and application for respite grants, VA benefits, and Medicaid.

An aging care manager can help you structure the care in a way that saves money, improves the quality of life for the care recipient and the life balance for the family caregiver.

I recently participated in a seminar title One Fall Can Change Everything. If you would like to discuss the information shared by this panel of experts, give me a call. Also, if you would like to discuss strategies for lowering the cost of care for your elderly loved one, please call and schedule a free consultation. 503-369-2460