Choosing the right type of long-term care for your loved one is critical to his or her health and well-being. For some families, a nursing home is often the option of default for a number of reasons: lack of finances for home care, availability of family to provide necessary care giving, limited social and networking supports in the community, and poor health status may make nursing home care the best long-term healthcare option for some seniors. Today, more than 1.8 million Americans live in nursing homes, but those numbers are declining. According to recent U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of American seniors age 75 and older residing in nursing homes dropped from 10.2 percent in 1990 to 8.1 percent in 2000 to 7.4 percent in 2006.
LOWER COST ALTERNATIVE
Home care can be significantly more cost-effective than a nursing home. In 2008, the cost of private nursing home care in Massachusetts averaged $300 per day, regardless of the type and level of care needed. By comparison, the average daily cost for a certified, state-licensed Home Health Aide providing four hours of senior care in Massachusetts was $92 per day.
BETTER, MORE EFFICIENT CARE
Rapid advances in home care for seniors and home health services are allowing more seniors to remain independent at home. Today, nearly every level of non-medical and skilled medical care (nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, Alzheimer’s care, etc.) can be coordinated and delivered seamlessly to clients and patients at home. These improvements translate into shorter hospital stays, lower overall healthcare costs and a better quality of life for seniors.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
It’s no secret that most seniors would prefer to grow older at home. Not surprisingly, studies show that the importance of home is significant for many seniors and allows them to take a more active role in their care. Maintaining a degree of independence and sense of control over one’s life can be a powerful psychological boost to a senior’s cognitive and physical status, and can even speed up post-hospital recovery time. When it comes to home care, happier can mean healthier.
NEAR ZERO INFLATION
Since 2004, the average cost of nursing home care has increased faster than the rate of inflation to 13 percent statewide; some of this increase is due to overhead costs needed to maintain stand-alone healthcare facilities. During the same 5-year period, the average cost of home care services has remained nearly flat, with a marginal 1-2 percent increase.
THE A LA CARTE ADVANTAGE
Why pay a nursing home for a full menu of round-the-clock care when your loved one may only need several hours of personal care and companionship services a day? Private home care is customized to meet the individual needs of each client — and that is all you pay for.
MORE COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES
There is an increasing network of supplemental federal, state and local resources that provide social, financial and referral support services to at-home seniors for private home care. Learn more about home care funding options.