How to Find a Cost-Effective Solution for Your Older Relative’s Health Needs
When faced with decisions regarding an older relative’s health needs, no one wants money to be the main consideration. However, the reality is that it’s difficult to find affordable solutions for aging loved ones. An example of the tough choices in this situation is the fact that a semi-private (shared) room in a nursing home is approximately $11,000 per month in New Jersey. Relatively few people have that kind of money to spare! Let’s review ideas for finding a cost-effective solution for your older relative’s health needs.
One important thing to do is to help encourage aging relatives to maintain a healthy weight. Approximately two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and studies show that being overweight can lead to all kinds of health problems. Health costs have become higher and less insurable for older individuals, so the importance of maintaining good health can make a huge difference in terms of what’s paid for medicine and treatment. If you’re in the situation of cooking for your older relatives, you have the opportunity to help them maintain their health through balanced eating.
Becoming aware of community resources is another way to help keep costs down for your older relatives. Many programs and organizations exist to provide free or discounted health services for seniors. These may include vision and health tests and screenings. Classes and activities for seniors may be available. Some communities have reported seeing immensely positive impacts on their seniors as they have offered programs such as painting or dancing classes. It’s been proven that health rapidly declines when people lack purpose and hobbies.
Home Health Aide
It’s possible that a home health aide could be the right solution for your aging loved one. Some people believe that the only options are continuing to leave an older relative living independently at home or put them in an assisted-living facility. A home health aide could allow for a more tailored, lower-cost approach to helping aging relatives that can’t do everything on their own. It doesn’t make sense to instantly take on all the costs of care at a facility when your relatives may only need help with a few things, such as bathing and eating.
Along the same lines, an option that is an alternative to the traditional assisted-living facility is adult day care. This is a cost-effective option for a couple of reasons. One is that the cost of having someone cared for during the day is much lower than day and night. The other is that having your relative cared for during the day will allow you to work a job without worry to help offset care costs. You won’t pay nearly as much for daycare as you will for an assisted living facility or a home health aide.
A final consideration would be a shared housing arrangement with another senior who needs care. These arrangements exist and split the cost of rent and utilities. They also provide a roommate, who can help your loved one have companionship and someone to be there to notify you in case of a health emergency. These shared housing arrangements aren’t for everyone, but for the right person, they are cost-effective and overwhelmingly positive for your aging relative.
It’s easy to break the bank when caring for the health needs of an aging relative. However, there are resources and little-known options that could make a huge difference in your ability to pay for what’s needed. One common, sad experience is dealing with the emotions of seeing your loved one’s health decline while simultaneously worrying about whether your money will last as long as their health does. Studies show that four out of five seniors have a chronic disease, while more than two-thirds have more than one. Know that you are not alone in dealing with it. Seek resources in your area and exhaust every option to help your relative age with dignity in a way that also gives you financial peace.