Updated: Jul 26
If you are like me, you are starting to worry about what will happen when your parents can no longer take care of themselves. They may live with you or you with them and you may be available evenings and weekends. What about during the weekdays while you are working? Luckily, there are a lot of daytime care options available. This blog post will discuss some of the most common ones. Keep in mind that every situation is different, so be sure to talk to your parents and their doctor to figure out what is best for them.
As your parents age, you may find yourself needing to help them with more during the day. It can be tough to decide which one is right for your parents. This blog post will outline some of the most popular daytime care options and what you should consider when making a decision. Thank you for reading!
Many aging parents are reluctant to give up their independence, and understandably so. They have spent their entire lives taking care of themselves and their families, and the thought of losing that independence can be scary. However, there are many benefits to having someone during the day to help with the care of aging parents. How much does daytime care cost and is it worth the investment?
1. What are some of the benefits of having daytime care for your aging parents?
· It allows you to be able to work and focus on your job knowing that your aging parent(s) are well taken care of while you are at work. It will help to reduce interruptions while you are gone.
· If your parent(s) live with you, it also can give you some free time to run errands, be involved in your children’s activities and sports, and give you a needed bit of relief and respite from your caregiving responsibilities.
· One of the big benefits for your aging parent is socialization. As we age, our social circles often shrink. Often isolation is a huge concern as our parents are unable to get out and about like they used to. As they age, they lose more friends and family, and isolation can get worse.
· Adult Day Care can expand on the socialization where activities and outings will be available.
· Having care during the day can help the elder remain in their home or your home longer without having to transition to Assisted Living or a Nursing Home level of care. Some seniors may prefer to move to one of those senior housing options but many wish to stay home as long as possible.
· In home care during the day can provide individualized care catering to the specific needs of your parent.
· As a nurse we are always looking for some health benefits and increasing your aging parents’ socialization can often help reduce the signs of depression and lift their mood. If you are concerned that your parent may be depressed, please reach out to your health care provider for treatment and other recommendations. With improvement in mood, they may eat better, sleep better, be happier, and have an overall improvement in their health.
2. What are some options for daytime care?
· Home care – providing elderly parents with assistance in their own home. This can be finding a private caregiver or using an agency to manage the care. One option for daytime care is hiring in-home help. This can be someone to come in and help with things like cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing and eating. It is important to find someone who is trustworthy and reliable, as they will be coming into your parents' home.
· This may be a great option especially for a parent with some form of dementia. They are familiar with their surroundings and leaving their home may cause them anxiety and stress.
· Another benefit of having someone during the day to help with care is that it can help to prevent falls. Falls are a leading cause of injury in the aging population and having someone there to help with things like getting in and out of chairs or walking can help to prevent falls from happening.
· You could hire a private caregiver or choose a non-skilled home care agency to provide daytime help. These options are less expensive, but they may not be able to provide the same level of care as a skilled facility. You will need to weigh the pros and cons of each option to decide what is best for your parents.
· Private in-home care could run $500-$800.00 per week but the problem with private caregivers is you are taking on all the responsibility of covering their missed days/shifts as well as opening yourself up to liability if something happens to them while at your home. An agency that provides non-skilled home care for 40 hours per week could cost around 1000.00 per week plus any required nursing visits to establish the plan of care to get things up and running.
· We had a client with dementia and had private caregivers 24/7 and the cost was up to $2500.00 per week. The spouse had a wish not to place her in a nursing home.
Adult Day Care- These are non-residential facilities that provide supervision and personal care services during the day for seniors. Adult daycare centers can help aging parents with activities of daily living, socialization, and provide a much-needed respite for caregivers.
· A daytime care center that offers activities and socialization for seniors. This option is usually less expensive than a nursing home, but it can be more expensive than other options. Adult day care is not usually covered by Medicare, but there is some financial assistance available through a federal or state programs like Medicaid, Older Americans Act, or Veterans Administration that pays for adult day care on a limited basis.
·Certain states have some assistance programs such as PACE check with your Senior Resource Center or Aging and Disability Resource Center to find out if any programs are available in your state for assistance with Adult Day Care costs. Wisconsin has state waiver Medicaid programs that may assist with finances.
· Each state has different requirements. In our state of Wisconsin an Adult Day Care must be certified in order to accept any Medicaid Waiver Program funding. Before choosing an Adult Day Care make sure they have the accreditations that you need based on the services you are looking for. Again, please check with your Senior Resource Center for information pertinent to your state.
· There are certain circumstances when Medicare may help pay for Adult Day Care such as medication administration that will occur during daycare hours or Mental health counseling. The Adult Day Care you choose must be able to bill Medicare and provide the necessary covered services.
· Average cost for Adult Day Care can be around 500-2500 per month. Depending on where you live costs could be higher or lower. This is just an average. Costs may vary on what state support programs may be in place to help offset the cost or is some qualified services under Medicare or Medicaid are utilized.
· Respite Care- short-term, temporary care to give the main caregiver a break. This can be in an Assisted Living or Nursing Home and is usually private pay. This is a great option for when you may be going on vacation, and it is not appropriate to take mom and day with you. Costs again with vary on the type of facility providing respite or if at home and where you live. Overnights will of course be more. Average cost 75.00 to 250.00 per day more or less depending on if your state has any financial assistance programs for respite and your location. Urban vs. Rural and what state you live in impacts the cost average.
· Make sure you have a “respite” plan before you begin vetting your company or facility that will be assisting you. Make a list of what types of care is needed throughout the day and night. Look at all your options. Does your parent need “check-in” type of care of 24/7 supervision? Often churches have programs and there are other programs out there that look at ways to put together free care such as the Share the Care Program. Once you have your needs written down you can now begin to look for the appropriate level of respite care.
· Another option for respite care is if another family member can care for your parents while you are gone.
· Hospice Care- for those who need end-of-life care at home. Respite is part of the Hospice Benefit, and it is paid for through this program. If you are working with hospice, please ask your agency to explain the respite benefit to you. Some hospice agencies have their own home or facility where over-night stay is possible and other agencies use a local hospital for over-night cares.
· Long Term Care: The most expensive option is to place them in a skilled nursing facility where they will have around-the-clock care. However, this is not always necessary. If your parents only need help during the day, there are less expensive options available. Assisted Living and Nursing Homes. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities – long-term options for those who can no longer live independently Assisted Living and Nursing Homes can run $4000.00-$8000.00 per month give or take again based on location and type of services needed.
If you are considering daytime care for your aging parent, be sure to do your research. Talk to other families who have used daytime care, tour potential facilities, and ask lots of questions. Only you can decide what is best for your family, but with a little bit of planning, you can find the perfect solution for your needs.
No matter what option you choose, it is important to talk to your parents and involve them in the decision-making process. They may have preferences or ideas that you had not considered. The most important thing is to make sure that they are comfortable, safe and are allowed to age with dignity.
3. How can you find the right daytime care for your aging parents? There are many services out there that can put you in the right direction. Free services may include your local Aging and Disability Resource Center or Senior Center. Each state may have a different name for it and every county program may be a little different. This is the best place to start. A financial assessment can be done to see if and what financial support program your parents may qualify for. This way you know if the cost will be completely out of pocket or have some financial assistance to help share the cost.
This office will also have a comprehensive list of services in your area. They are the experts in you state. As a nurse advocate, we always recommend starting with this government office so you have the knowledge needed to pursue other services based on what you may or may not qualify for.
4. How much does daytime care cost and is it worth the investment? We have tried to give you a rough estimate with each level of care listed. There are a few government subsidies available to help offset the costs of daytime care for aging parents. The most common subsidy is the Caregiver Allowance, which is a monthly stipend that helps cover the costs of hiring a caregiver. There are also other subsidies available depending on your parent’s situation, such as the Home Caregiver Tax Credit and the Veterans Independence Program.
If your parent(s) have any Veteran’s benefits you can reach out to your local VA hospital and a benefits specialist will help you determine what types of services may be covered based on your parent’s “Service Connection.” Once again, your county senior resource center will have the most up to date information on what type of assistance your parent may qualify for. You may also check with your tax preparer for the most current deductions available for caregivers of aging parents.
Whether or not daytime care is worth the investment is a personal decision. Some families find that the peace of mind and extra help is worth the cost. Others prefer to keep their aging parents at home and hire someone to come in for a few hours each week to provide assistance.
So, those are the five types of care that we’re going to focus on in this post. We know it can be tough finding the right type of care for your elderly parents, so we wanted to give you a little help. If you want more information on any of these types of care or need assistance finding a provider, please join our newsletter and we will stay in touch. We hope you find the perfect solution for your loved ones!
If you're in the market for daytime care for your elderly parents, there are a few different types of providers to choose from. Your best resource for free information is going through your county Senior Resource Center or Aging and Disability Resource center. They will have information specific to your location and can answer funding questions. home health care agencies, hospice care providers, respite care facilities and nursing homes and assisted living facilities. If you join our free newsletter, we'll keep you up to date on the latest news and research in the senior living industry so that you can make an informed decision about the best type of care for your loved ones. For signing up HERE we will give you our free checklist “11 Signs Your Aging Parent May Need Help in the Home.” Thanks for reading!
For further reading you may want to read our blog post on Hiring a Private Caregiver you can access it HERE. Other resources such as a virtual home safety with a physical therapist, caregiving training for dementia, as well as other advocates to assist with such things as medical bills, putting a plan in place to care for your aging parent, and much more in our Patient Advocate Match Directory of Services. You can access that HERE. We have YouTube videos on all of our professionals so you can get to learn more about them as you inquire about services.
If you do not live near your parents, you may want to consider hiring a Nurse Advocate that can put all of these plans in place for you and help you manage your parent’s healthcare goals.
Stay tuned for our master class coming in September of 2022 on “A Sibling’s Guide to Caring for an Aging Parent.” We will provide a comprehensive 4-week course to assist you in putting a plan in place to care for your aging parent. This course will include private 1:1 time with us as well as weekly live Q&A sessions in our Private Facebook Group. Videos, workbooks, and worksheets will all be included. Make sure you get on the mailing list to be informed of all the details. You can join us HERE.
What other options have you considered for your aging parents? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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