The Truth About 24/7 Home Care

My wife and I dropped our son off at college last week, and my car went with him. I found myself at car dealerships looking at an overwhelming number of options.  Deciding on the make and model of the vehicle was just the beginning.  There were so many decisions and choices to make such as seating configuration, color choices and, of course, all of the optional equipment to consider.  The biggest issue always becomes what I want versus what I want to pay.  What is the best possible option to fulfill my “want list”?

When I think of how stressful car shopping can be, my mind quickly turns to those shopping for senior care services, and what a stressful, difficult ordeal that must become.  Being in senior home care for over 26 years, I know what is on the top of a senior’s “want” list – to remain at home. AARP confirmed this fact in an October 2006 report revealing that 90 percent of seniors prefer to stay in their homes and communities as they age.

While over 90% of seniors prefer to remain at home, an overwhelming amount of decision-makers have a skeptical outlook and don’t believe that long-term care in the home can be provided at an affordable price.  Many consider home care when needing a few hours a day, but when it comes to 24/7 care, it is quickly scratched off their list even though it is their greatest desire. Before you settle, let us do some comparison shopping.

The cost of 24/7 home care versus facility care is always at the forefront of the decision process.  The truth is, the alternatives to home care can be quite pricey.

The following numbers were taken from the Cost of Long Term Care Study, in which over 6,000 institutions were surveyed between April and May of 2010.

–       Assisted Living Facility:  $39,540 per year

–       Nursing Home: $90,155 per year, in some area’s as high as $500.00/ day

–       Home Health Aides (HHAs): $22.14 per hour


The home care option above is priced at an hourly rate of $22.14, and is quickly eliminated as an affordable option.  What you don’t see in these cost of care studies is the live-in daily rate. Live-in prices across the nation range from $160.00 to $250.00 per day, depending on your area and the home care agency you choose. If you break down the live-in daily rate, your hourly rate drops to as low as $6.67 to $10.42.  Financially, your options may have just increased.

A question you may be asking next is, “Will I be forced settle for less quality of care by choosing a live-in daily rate versus hourly?”

No, all of the same quality services offered by the hourly caregiver can and are often provided by the live-in caregiver.  Nevertheless, it is important to understand how live-in home care is different than hourly home care.  The first and most significant difference is the continuity of care.  With a live-in caregiver, a client is serviced by one or two caregivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The concern of having the revolving door syndrome, or experiencing different caregivers coming and going throughout the week, is quickly eliminated. Secondly, live-in caregivers tend to facilitate a closer bond that allows for a healthy relationship between the client and caregiver. When this quality companionship is a central part of the overall care plan, home is truly a special place again.

While a live-in service doesn’t provide 24 hours of bedside care, it does provide that 24 hour peace of mind that is often required in order for a loved one to remain in their home.  During the night, the live-in caregiver would be allowed to rest in a nearby bedroom and assist if the need arises. During the day the services that are performed are the same as hourly care. Some of these include preparing and serving meals, personal care assistance, homemaker chores and whatever else that may be required.

This live-in service is the heart and soul of Preferred Care at Home.  I believe it must likewise be a central alternative for all home care agencies across the nation.  Quality services at affordable prices is what this industry must strive to attain. Five million baby boomers will turn 60-years-old each year, ten thousand per day, or eight per minute. These statistics simply mean that quality and affordable services are and will continue to be in high demand for decades to come.

I believe that for a senior, their home is everything.  It is the window to their past, a safe haven for the present and a legacy for the future. And that’s why Preferred Care at Home strives to offer these quality services at affordable prices.

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