Home Health: Finding Hope for You and Your Loved One

Reduce Stress With These 5 Ways To Save On In-Home Elder Care

Being the primary caregiver for your older family member can be a stressful and expensive task. But you can lower the financial burden with these five top tips.

1. Determine Actual Need. Many people assume that all elder care needs are the same. But, in fact, each person's actual requirements vary. Take notes of the help you actually provide, the tasks that are the most challenging for your parent, and the times of day that seem to call for more or less attention. Once you take note of these things, you'll start to see a pattern that can help you avoid paying for care that the person doesn't need. 

2. Go Independent. Independent in-home elder caregivers are usually less expensive than a home care service. You'll have to do more work to find a good independent carer — such as doing a background check and interviewing — but it can be a good option for budget-conscious families. This option may be best for families who only need outside help part of the time since you will only be working with one person rather than an entire group.

3. Learn Caregiver Options. Research different types of in-home elder care specialties to decide what your family really needs. You can find services and individuals who specialize in things like managing the person's money, cooking and cleaning, non-medical assistance with bathing, full nursing care, or simply providing transportation. If you only need certain assistance, you'll find that some services will be much less expensive than others. 

4. Look for Government Financial Help. There are programs to help pay for caregivers' expenses through Medicare. And, if you're paying for the majority of your elderly family member's living expenses, you may be able to deduct the person as a dependent on your taxes. In addition, spend some time talking to local charitable groups and low-income agencies to see if you or your parent qualifies for monetary help with electric bills, meal delivery, food assistance, or even rent assistance. 

5. Modify the Home. Once you identify tasks that your loved one needs help with, you may be able to modify their living area to require less help at certain times. Adding grab bars and railings can make them more steady inside the house. Adjusting heights in the kitchen or updating some appliances could help them prepare food and clean up more easily. An adjustable bed could provide ease getting up at night or in the morning and reduce overnight stays. 

Put any of these ideas into practice and you're sure to see a reduction in your and your older family member's financial output. And then you can focus on what really matters: sharing your life with your loved ones no matter what their ages. For more information, contact your local in-home elder care service.