When I speak with new clients and their family members the question often comes to cost, how do we pay for all of these services? Are there any subsidies?
There is this misconception that you can get your home care, geriatric care management or senior concierge help subsidized by the government. I wish this were true. Subsidies are not available (now). There may be some low-income care management/social work availability but typically these programs are under funded and impacted.
Here's a number to let soak in. It costs $10,000 per month for 24 hour home care. It now costs more if you have to have someone get up with you in the night. That means a second caregiver will need to come help while the first caregiver gets 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. The cost for care can be even higher with rates as high as $13-$15,000 per month for one person.
There are individuals that have purchased long term care insurance but it does not normally cover the full cost of home care. It does pay a portion once you apply and are approved which can be a long and difficult process. I have helped many of my clients through this process.
If you're low-income and you have a real need for care there is something called In Home Support Services (IHSS). You only qualify for this if you qualify for Medicade or Medi-Cal as we call it in California. Even if you qualify for this service it's very difficult to receive these benefits unless you really need it. One IHSS worker said that she would only approve someone that would end up in the hospital without help. So, if you're hoping for someone to take mom to the store and the library for an afternoon that's not their focus.
You know how you always hear how important it is to save your money? Well, this is the reason you're saving and put money into IRA's and other types of savings programs. It can be difficult to get older people to realize that this is the time in your life to start using those funds that you have worked all your life to put away. These are very interesting conversations that you and the family members of your clients need to discuss when these kinds of bills start coming through the mail.
Happy Saving...and Happy New Year!