Skip to content

Call now for FREE devices, $0 activation fees, and FREE shipping!  (877) 774-4363

[wpseo_breadcrumb]

Practical Tips for Combating the Cost of Elder Care

December 3, 2022

caregiver stressed from costs

The only medical alert system that can also alert you to potential missed doses.

Get the Peace of Mind Bundle today exclusively from Connected Caregiver.

caregiver stressed from costs


It’s happening to nearly everyone across the country. People caring for aging loved ones are facing overwhelming costs just to get adequate care for the people they love and no one was prepared for how expensive it would be. 

Unfortunately, Medicare isn’t the safety net we all assume it is. This comes as a shock to nearly all families. The purpose of Medicare is to cover “medical care”, like doctor visits, surgery, or other medical procedures. It can cover a limited amount of approved rehabilitation care after a procedure. And, with the right supplemental plan, there is coverage for prescription drugs, but that’s where coverage ends (Medicare.gov, 2022). The care that is likely pinching your wallet is care needed in the home (e.g., personal care or home health), care that happens in a community setting (e.g., independent living or assisted living), or memory care. These types of care are considered “long-term care” and you won’t find much financial help from Medicare for these costs. 

Here’s some in-depth information about the realities of elder care costs. 

How can you lower elder care costs?

Elder Care Solutions (a partner of Connected Caregiver) is on a mission to answer that question. We help families tackle the financial crisis that comes with aging and caring. We’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way and have a few easy ones to share with you. 

ALWAYS take a look at hospice care.

We know what you’re thinking, “My loved one isn’t dying.” While hospice has long been associated with “end-of-life” care, that is no longer the case. Hospice expanded its criteria because of Medicare’s coverage gaps. Now, individuals can qualify for hospice care and even graduate out again if they improve. Indicators for hospice often include frequent falls, increased dependence for activities of daily living, recurrent infections, and increased chair-bound or bed-bound status (Affinity Health Management, 2022). For most people, these indicators describe their loved one’s status. Care takes place at home, it comes with an entire healthcare team (e.g., a doctor, a nurse, an aide, a social worker), and is covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans! Not to mention most have creative services like counseling, music therapy, and strive to support the family member responsible for care as much as possible. Typically you get care 2-3 times a week and any medical equipment that the team determines is needed will be 100% covered. An internet search “hospice care near me” will list the hospice options in your area allowing you to “shop” for your best fit. 

Contact your Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

Every locality has an Area Agency on Aging. These agencies are funded by the government and exist to support their senior citizens and those caring for them with free or extremely low-cost services. We have found AAAs that provide up to 10 hours of home care at no cost to seniors in their service area. Many AAAs have home-delivered meals, companionship services, and family caregiver programs. Use this tool to search for your AAA. It is common for them to go by a different name in each region, so don’t be thrown by what they call themselves. Give them a call and share your care story. Tell them specifically what you need and ask what services they have that you can tap into. 

Call Home Care agencies and ask if they can hire you.

This doesn’t exist everywhere, but there are many home health agencies that hire family members to care for their own aging loved one. The state of Illinois has a wonderful model for this. The family caregiver is trained by the home care agency and has access to everything they need. If programs like this exist around you, it is common for your AAA to know about it.  

Make sure your family has a plan.

You don’t want to get too far down the care road without putting together key legal documents and a Family Contract. This can save you tons of money down the road. The Family Care Contract will clearly outline the care tasks needed, who is responsible for them, how often, where, and how decisions will be made when care needs change. Key legal documents are part of a family’s estate planning. Both are important to have in place as early as possible in a care situation. Not having either can be dire to a family’s finances. Also, make sure once they are in place, the right people know where they are at all times. 

These are just a few tips and tricks for tackling the cost of elder care. If you want more comprehensive help with the financial side of care, check out Elder Care Solutions.

Get The Connected Caregiver App FREE!

The Connected Caregiver App includes Care Essentials for an all-in-one family caregiving app — giving you the tools you need to care for loved ones. Communicate and coordinate with everyone involved, keep the details organized in a centralized app, and even manage medication details.

Kimberly Whiter, CEO of Elder Care Solutions

Guest Author: Kimberly Whiter, Ed.D.
Owner and CEO of Elder Care Solutions, a mission to ensure aging and caring are as financially positive for families as possible. They work with families to educate them on their financial options for covering elder care costs and guide their navigation through the financial landscape, which can often be overwhelming for families to do alone.

References

Affinity Health Management. (2022). What is Hospice? Retrieved from https://affinityhealthmanagement.com/hospice/ 
Medicare.gov. (2022). What’s Medicare? Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/your-medicare-coverage-choices/whats-medicare

Get The Connected Caregiver App FREE!

The Connected Caregiver App includes Care Essentials for an all-in-one family caregiving app — giving you the tools you need to care for loved ones. Communicate and coordinate with everyone involved, keep the details organized in a centralized app, and even manage medication details.