Budgeting is not that easy, especially for those who are low-income earners. It can be frustrating when most of your salary goes to your bills. This is why it’s important to know how to be financially responsible. Managing your money is the best way for you to survive and even gain the opportunity to invest in things that will improve your overall quality of life.
This includes investing in our parents’ care options. Indeed, aging can be a complicated process. There are seniors who live with or suffer from medical conditions that require special attention, support, and assistance from equipped facilities. In that case, being the children or the family members that look after them, it’s crucial for us to be financially prepared to help them live more comfortably and happily.
In this blog post, we’ll be giving you tips on how to be financially ready for your elderly parents’ care needs.
Why do you need to invest in senior care?
Saving up for your parents’ care options is important due to many reasons.
For instance, you don’t have enough time to care for them. Maybe you have a family of your own who needs looking after or you have a full-time job to tend to. Or, let’s say you can take care of them personally. However, you do not have the right care facilities in your home or your living environment is not the place for them to get better.
All these factors and so much more are to be considered for investing in senior care services.
There are plenty of senior care options made available such as Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care, Respite Care, and In-Home Care. All these are developments made to provide seniors with access to professional nursing care, assistance, and medical care.
How much does senior care cost?
Choosing the right care option for your aging parents can be overwhelming at the beginning. But the best thing you can do is to have them assessed to determine their level of need. Knowing which senior care is best for them will also help you figure out how much budget you will be needing.
To know how much, you need money you need to save up, you first need to know how much you are saving for. It’s important to be familiar with the costs of the various senior care options even when the possibility of availing them for your parents is still far away.
Remember, proper anticipation will lead to less frustration.
Here are the estimated costs of each senior care option:
- Nursing homes: Nursing homes are clinic-like senior care facilities that provide professional nursing care 24/7. A higher level of assistance is needed by its care recipients. The rates of Nursing Homes may vary depending on whether your loved one needs only short-term or long-term care and if they’ll be staying in a shared room or private room.
General cost ranges from $1,200 to $3500 per month (if it’s a shared bedroom) and $4,000 to $6,500 per month (if it’s a private single-bedroom)
- Assisted Living: Assisted Living facilities offer a wide range of services for the elderly who require less demanding care services. This includes assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), transportation, daily meals, planned activities, and many more.
General cost ranges from $2,300 to $4,500 depending on the services and facilities availed by the care recipient.
- Independent Living: This is the optimal choice for seniors who want to make the most out of their retirement years and require only assistance with more complex day-to-day tasks such as housekeeping, laundry, and others.
General cost ranges from $1,900 to $4,100 depending on the services and facilities availed by the care recipient.
- Memory Care: This facility focuses on providing care, treatment, and support to seniors that are living with dementia or other forms of memory impairment. There are various programs instituted to help reduce the progression of their diseases such as therapy and planned activities.
General cost ranges from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on the needs and facilities availed by the care recipient.
- Respite Care: This care service is provided to the elderly whose own caregivers decide to take a much-needed break. This was established to help caregivers give importance to their physical and mental health as well.
General cost ranges from $100 to $150 per day.
- In-home Care: This is personal care and assistance provided to seniors who desire to remain in their respective homes. Although this sets a more comfortable and familiar environment for them, it does not have the complete set of senior care amenities and features that you would commonly find in actual facilities.
The nationwide cost for this is around $22 per hour.
How to budget finances for senior care costs?
Senior care services may seem to be heavy on the pocket. However, that is the reality. Besides, these care services are a worthy investment (still depending on the care service provider of course) because they will help your aging parents enjoy a more comfortable, secure, and happy life—the kind of life that doesn’t end in suffering or experience further problems.
Here are valuable tips that you can follow to be financially ready for your parents’ care needs:
- Discuss budgeting with your parents
Some aging adults refuse to believe that they’ll be needing long-term care, even the ones living with chronic illnesses. Some of them may be skeptical or just do not like the idea of moving into a facility surrounded by strangers. However, you have to make them understand how important this is to them and to you.
Team up with them in terms of budgeting. Surely, some of their budgets will also go into their care needs so it’s extremely essential for all of you to be in the know. This is to discipline them as well and prevent any overspending on unnecessary things.
- Be organized. Create a monthly expense sheet.
List your expenses every month. Knowing where your money is going will help you track down every penny better. You wouldn’t end up scratching your head and wondering where a huge amount of your salary flew off to. This will also help you see your budget from a larger viewpoint, making it easier for you to control yourself and the way you spend. Also, teach this to your parents.
- Choose insurance policies and plans wisely
Having life and health insurance is very important for every individual. This ensures that you don’t have to worry about expenses if you accidentally pass away or get severely ill. The insurance companies and the money you have invested in them will help you pay for the costs. However, it’s important to choose the right plan that will not be too costly for you. Insurance premiums can be paid for through various installment plans such as monthly, quarterly, or even semi-annually. Assess your cash flow and choose the plan which resonates most with you.
- Turn to government subsidies, financial assistance, and schemes
The great thing about this is you and your family alone. The government extends a reaching hand towards the senior community and has implemented various subsidies and financial support towards low-income earners. Furthermore, senior care facilities also have in-house financial assistance that can help lessen the load of your spending. Keep yourself familiar with these programs so that you can apply on behalf of your aging parents.
- Set a financial system
Again, learn how to be organized. Manage the inflow and outflow of your funds. As you receive your salary, properly disseminate them in the various bills you have to pay and set aside some of it for your savings and other investments, including your parents’ care needs. This will help you save up a huge budget that you can use to pay for the best kind of care for your parents.