Most older adults would like to stay at home as long as possible, which is something that’s called aging-in-place. Yet, for many, this presents several challenges to remain independent as age drains a person’s strength and chronic disease takes a toll. Companion care is one way to have caregivers in-home who provide assistance with everyday tasks while your loved one stays as independent as possible.
When you’re considering companion care for your loved one, cost can be an issue. Medicare only pays for medically necessary home health care required for rehabilitation. Most insurance companies do not pay for what they call “custodial care.” This means the cost of companion care is an out-of-pocket expense.
What Determines Companion Care Charges?
There are key elements that go into how home care is priced, and they include your geographical location, your loved one’s health, the type of care that’s needed, and the amount of care that’s needed. Geography is a significant influence over cost as in areas with a high cost of living, pay is often higher than the national average for any type of home care.
Healthcare workers who provide companion care help with activities of daily living, such as personal care, keeping track of medications, transportation, and above all providing companionship for your loved one.
Paying for Companion Care
You may receive some financial help in paying for companion care if your loved one receives financial assistance from Medicaid or veterans’ benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal supplement program that pays benefits to the individual. This can help pay for companion care. Your family member may qualify for a tax credit that can lower the cost of home care. Other payment options include a long-term care insurance policy your loved one may carry that helps to cover services such as companion care, light housekeeping, and meal preparation.
When your loved one owns their own home you might consider a reverse mortgage. This looks a little like a traditional mortgage as the homeowner borrows money against the equity in their home. The title of the home remains in your loved one’s name, but the borrower doesn’t make any monthly mortgage payments. When your loved one is no longer living in their home the loan can be repaid. However, interest and fees are added to the balance each month and oftentimes the homeowner or heir will have to sell the home to pay back the loan.
Retirement funds, annuity loans, and life insurance policies are other assets that may be used to help pay for companion care. In addition to finding money to help pay for companion care, you may consider strategies that help lower the cost and your out-of-pocket expenses. These might include enlisting the help of volunteers from your church, alternating hours with siblings or negotiating a long-term price with an agency or independent contractor. The options available to you are limited by your loved one’s health care needs and your unique situation.
Are You Looking for Companion Care?
When you are ready to find a companion for your loved one, call Anodyne! We’ll help you find the right person, work with your financial needs, and monitor your experience. Your loved one is your priority, and they are ours too. Call today and discover the benefits of companion care!