In-home care is an expense that many individuals and families have not necessarily planned for. If your aging parent or loved one has come to the point in their life where they need in-home care, don’t panic about the cost. Here are four ways to help alleviate the stress and the financial strain of providing in-home care for your loved one.
Ask your family members for help
Ideally, the financial burden of taking care of a parent should not rest solely on the shoulders of one sibling if there are multiple siblings in the family. Healthcare professionals say that the most successful care plans are those contributed to by an entire family, not only financially but logistically. Of course, family relationships that are strained can cause difficulty in coming together to care for a parent. Children should all put forth their best effort to contribute what they can to the plan of care. Some children may be unable to contribute much financially, but these individuals can hopefully assist in the care plan in other ways.
Prepare for rising costs
As certain conditions progress and worsen, it is likely that your parent or loved one will require more services as time goes on than they did when they first started receiving in-home care. Be in constant communication with your care provider to identify certain needs that may need to be met in the near future. Be aware that the bill you currently pay for in-home care may increase, and try to plan ahead and budget as necessary for those changes.
Know your insurance or Medicare policy terms
Medicare and insurance coverage can be confusing. Be sure you fully understand your care agency’s terms and conditions when it comes to Medicare before making the decision about in-home care. Also be certain that you know what your insurance policy or Medicare plan will cover when it comes to elder care. Knowing what costs will be covered and what will not be will limit any confusion or unwelcome surprises down the road.
Consult with an attorney
In order to preserve and protect assets for in-home care, families should set up a consultation with a trusted, reputable estate planning attorney to ensure that they are making the best financial decisions regarding their elderly loved one. Most people think of estate attorneys as only assisting in writing wills, but in reality they provide much more value than just that. Estate lawyers can help you and your loved one create a long-term financial plan that best suits their needs and can even help advise short-term care decisions.
Be open with caretakers about financial burdens
Your in-home caretaker should do everything he or she can ease the burden that home health care takes on individuals and their families. When a person requires in-home care for an extended period of time, families often worry that their funds will run out. Be sure to understand your in-home care agency’s flexibility before signing a contract or making a commitment.