I was reading an article the other day written in a Philadelphia newspaper. It’s headline was, “Why Middle Age People Cannot Afford Assisted Living.” The writer was predicting what the future of assisted living will look like in the years to come. From the amount of people, also known as baby boomers, who will be in need of such care to the increase in cost due to the demand for these services. She explained how hard it is to be able to predict such expense as a family. She also went into further details on what is covered under medicare and what needs to happen before medicare will be able to cover the costs. In this article I will explain further to help guide you through some of the reasons for increasing costs and provide certain alternatives that may be beneficial to your family.
supply v. demand
Unfortunately, just like other industries, running an assisted living facility is a business. They are designed to be profitable while being able to provide the highest care possible. With that, when there is an added amount of people who need care, an imbalance forms. These companies do not have enough employees nor resources to be able to take on the influx of applicants who need care. This requires managers to fill positions, initiate additional training to current staff, and potentially add-on to the facility to allow for more space.
Your standard cost of living
Many of us have felt the affects of rising prices over the last decade. Whether it be the taxes you pay on your home and car or the increase of the grocery bill, we have all paid more for these same items than we did ten years ago. Meanwhile, the average American only saved $1,236 in 2017 according to Marketwatch. While many of us have to save for retirement, save for our children’s college tuition, and spend more on healthcare this leaves little to no money to spend on assisted living for a love one. Combine this with 32% of retirees living off of social security alone, and there really is not enough to cover the cost. However, the United States has provided options to help combat the issues we have seen lately with this.
Caring for a loved one at home
In 2013 the Department of Social Services started a program called the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders. This program was designed for three main reasons:
- to give our loved ones the opportunity to age in place and be able to stay in the comfort of their own home
- to help assisted living facilities with the influx of additional individuals that will be needing care over the next 20 years. This is based on demographics. We are reaching a time where the elderly (65+) are outnumbering the “children” (under 21) for the first time ever.
- to provide a different option to those who may not be able to afford assisted living
Before, if your loved one was in need of assistance, staying at home would be very difficult. A family member would have to leave their job and support both parties. This almost made it impossible for families to do. Additionally, there was no way for caregivers to get any type of training unless they had previously been in the medical field or they paid out of pocket to take courses. Now, fortunately the state has funded a new program to help.
Juniper Homecare has joined partners with the State of CT to provide these services for caregivers and their loved ones to make staying at home possible. Here are just a few of the amenities we offer.
• 30+ Registered nurses statewide
• Multilingual Nurses and Office staff offering 15+ languages
• Proprietary technology enabling access to real-time client status for the care team
• Home Health Technology to assist with fall detection
• Vitals and medication management
• Communication between caregiver, nurse, administrative staff and care-managers
• 24/7 office support
• Caregiver respite, support and access to caregiver workshops/education.
Although the cost of assisted living has risen, please know there are options out there. Remember, the best caregivers are family!
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