If cost is the genuine reason for keeping your aging and disabled relatives out of a nursing facility, reconsider. New statistics from a Genworth survey suggest that it’s actually more affordable when your loved one is in a supported living environment than to personally act as their caregiver.
Out of the 34 million Americans providing care for older family members, those surveyed miss an average of 7 hours of work. That’s almost 18% of a 40-hour week. That sacrifice translates to an average of 33% of lost income each year. Hours out of office not only put your professional dreams on hold, but also strike a serious blow to the argument that assisted living communities “cost too much.”
25% of caregivers were ultimately fired from their job or had to quit to meet caregiving demands. Sudden unemployment and sloping funds are particularly costly to family caregivers trying to save: 62% already use their own savings and retirement funds towards expenses for their aging adult. Between medications, groceries, and transportation, 34% of those surveyed spend $300 or more a month on their geriatric co-residents.
Some of the costs are intangible, such as that of your own well-being. 54% of caregivers report experiencing guilt and resentment. 51% expressed concern about a lack of time for themselves, their partners, and their children. It takes an immense physical and emotional toll to care for those who are incontinent, confused, paranoid, or require lifting into a wheelchair. When you can’t be your best, keeping your elder out of an assisted living or nursing home is dangerous for both of you.
If anything, all those scarily high percentages indicate that it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. 63% of caregivers admitted having no plan for next five years of payments and 62% say their duties have impacted plans for their own financial future. Everyone feels gutted and unprepared for assisted living payments. You’re not alone.
That’s because long-term care is expensive. The average Indiana annual rate for a private nursing home room is ~$91,250. But know that there are all kinds of models for all kinds of income; apartments, comprehensive care facilities, cohousing, and continuing-care. There are also myriad ways to meet your senior’s needs within your price range, such as pooling sibling resources, veterans benefits, and state assistance.
Caregiving undeniably impacts your life and career. Neither you nor your aging adult should be eking out an existence. You should both be living your version of fullest life on your own terms. An assisted living situation may transform your daily activity and income for the better.
For further cost guidance on what you need to get started and what you can expect, email exdir@INAssistedLiving.org or call 317-733-2390 for the Indiana Assisted Living Association (INALA).[bws_google_captcha]