Deciding whether to take care of a loved one full-time or choose a nursing home for them can be heart-wrenching. This decision can alter a family’s lifestyle, financial future, and mental health.
Each decision has pros and cons, and there’s not always a correct answer. Here are some issues to consider when looking at nursing homes or caregiving in your home.
- Medical staff and equipment - Nursing homes are equipped with medical equipment and staff to help your loved ones in an emergency. Staff are trained to handle emergencies and usually have direct access to hospitals.
- Nursing homes and facilities are expensive. According to an independent study by Genworth, the average cost of nursing home care in the U.S. is $275 per day or just over $8,300 per month. Private and state-assisted insurance can help, but families may have to pay a portion of the bill.
- While nursing homes offer a variety of activities for mobile patients, the staff is limited in the one-on-one care they can give each patient. It’s not unheard of for one nursing assistant to oversee about 20 patients in a wing.
- Caregiving does allow your loved one to be in their own home or a family’s home for personal attention, but this means the caregiver will have to acquire medical equipment such as beds, walkers, and portable restrooms if one needs to be nearby.
- Family caregiving does give you peace of mind, but this may mean a loss of a spouse’s income if one chooses to leave their job full-time.
- Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible to receive long-term in-home care covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. However, there are options for families who want to explore caregiving.
Choosing a nursing home or deciding to take care of a loved one in your home is never easy. Navigating the maze of funding for caregiving can be challenging, but thankfully in the last few years, the government has made available programs to assist caregivers. The common perception that you must give up your career or income to care for a loved one is now behind us.
To learn how to get paid as a family caregiver or to ensure you are getting the support you need, sign up and get our free six-step guide.