Determining whether an aging loved one requires in-home care -- and, if so, what type of care they need -- can be a difficult and tricky process. The cost of such care can also become cumbersome, if the relative or friend does not have long-term care insurance.
About 7.6 million individuals now receive home care, according to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. While Baby Boomers are still having these conversations with their own parents, millions of them will soon enter retirement and old age as well.
Home care cost about $57.6 billion last year, about 10% of which came out of pocket and 12% from private insurance. The rest was covered by government programs or other sources. That equates to about $758 in out-of-pocket expenses each year for the average patient. Depending on the service, caregivers charge anywhere from $13 to $55 per hour.
With those who had been largely self-sufficient through their younger years, just broaching the topic can be tough enough.
"The vast majority of people who reach out to us are the children and have to work hard to get the parents to buy into the whole idea that they need our assistance," says Hillory Thorpe, a nurse from Partners in Care, who performs in-home evaluations to determine what kinds of services patients will require."You want to take their attitude into perspective," she continued. "It's always best to go about it from a safety standpoint -- say, 'This is what you need to do to remain at home safely.'"