For many families, the cost of nursing home care and skilled nursing facilities is getting out of hand.
News reports are showing how average costs for these types of services are topping $100,000 per year, much more than many families can afford to pay comfortably.
This puts enormous financial pressure on families, partly because of limitations to the federal Medicare program. Medicare is intended to help those over 65 with their healthcare needs, but it doesn’t really provide blanket coverage for nursing home care. The significant gaps in coverage can bankrupt an individual or a family in a relatively short period. The cost of nursing home care can be more stressful than the costs of education, major home improvements or other financial pressures.
Solutions and Alternatives
Because of these extremely high costs, many families look elsewhere for solutions.
One solution is to “keep it in the family” – allowing elderly family members to live in a family home, and having family members look after them. That’s a great idea if all of the necessary resources are available, but resources and time can be hard to come by, so it may not make a whole lot of sense for some families.
Where this isn’t viable, the individual who needs care could live at home or in some other location, with daily home health care aides or nurses working with them on a particular schedule. However, hourly costs for home health aide have also risen, which is something families need to look at and consider when putting together a care plan for a family member.
Another option involves something called long-term care insurance. By taking out an insurance policy when an individual is still healthy, families can defray a lot of the costs of nursing home care – that hundred-thousand-dollar-a-year bill. However, the premiums are several thousand dollars per year themselves, so it’s all somewhat of a gamble. It may work better to continue to evaluate an elderly family member’s health, with a defined strategy to handle any changes.
Some nursing homes are offering deals on long-term care insurance as part of the equation with assisted-living cottages and policies for skilled nursing care when a resident would need them. This can also be an attractive option for those who don’t want the risk that they may have to pay market rates for skilled nursing care later in life.
Whatever you choose, it’s your family’s money. You should be getting the best care that nursing homes can offer for the money you pay. If you have concerns about a nursing home in the Jacksonville area, call the law office of Steve Watrel. A dedicated nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer, Steve Watrel has helped families to understand their legal rights and pursue justice when they feel a family member has been harmed or neglected in a skilled nursing facility.