Sponsored Links

How to Save Thousands a Year on Caregiving Costs

These five strategies can reduce expenses without diminishing care 


A good friend of mine once said that everyone he knows wants to live a long life, but no one wants to become old. That’s the senior-care dilemma in a nutshell. But the truth is, if you want to live a long life, it’s sensible to make a long-term care plan and look for ways to save money on it — and if you’re shouldering costs for your parents, you should find ways to reduce those expenses too, without diminishing the quality of care.

(MORE: Finding Affordable Home Care for Your Parents)

What Long-Term Care Costs

The need is greater than ever. According to Genworth’s 2012 Cost of Care Survey, one year of long-term care ranges from $39,600 for an assisted living facility to $81,030 for a private room in a nursing home. (The median rate for that nursing home in 2007: $65,700).

Home care costs can be sizeable, too. Hiring an aide for 40 hours a week could run more than $40,000 a year. Adult day care costs, on average, $15,860 annually.

Fortunately, you can pursue savings in just about every scenario — at a facility or in home with a skilled professional, like a nurse, and even informal care provided by friends and family.

5 Ways to Save Money

Below are my five suggestions that could save you thousands of dollars; the rates cited are based on Genworth’s 2012 Cost of Care Survey, except where otherwise noted.

1. Negotiate. Many families hire a caregiver to handle such duties as light housekeeping and companion care. You may be able to work out a lower rate than the one you’re quoted — informal caregivers tend to be independent workers, so they don’t have to factor in a home-care agency’s overhead costs.

Tip: Ask for a 33 percent discount off of the homemaker/companion annual rate of $41,184, the national median cost based on a 40-hour week.

Potential annual savings: $13,590

2. Don’t overpay for a home health caregiver. When interviewing a potential home health care aide, ask if the particular type of medical help you want qualifies for a lower hourly rate.

Tip: Negotiate a 10 percent discount off the home health aide annual rate of $43,472, based on a 40-hour week.

Potential annual savings: $4,347

3. Ask a long-term facility for a fee waiver. As an enticement, nursing homes and assisted living communities may waive or eliminate their one-time, upfront community fees. The amount varies from facility to facility, but the national average is $1,621, according to Genworth’s 2009 Cost of Care Survey.

Potential one-time savings: $1,621

(MORE: Could You Be Forced to Pay Mom’s Nursing Home Bill?)

4. Request a “private pay” discount. Some long-term care facilities will lower their rates if you pay for their services out of your savings or from a long-term care insurance policy, rather than through Medicare or Medicaid.

Tip: Ask the facility administrator for a 10 percent discount off the private room rate ($77,745 a year at a nursing home).

Potential annual savings: $7,745

5. Check into free subsidies at adult day health care centers. Many of these facilities are free for people who qualify. Otherwise, the median daily rate is $61.

Tip: Ask the manager about its rules and how to apply for a subsidy.

Potential annual savings: $15,860

Note: Discounts and savings are not guaranteed.

Bob Bua
By Bob Bua
Bob Bua is president of CareScout, a division of Genworth Company, which helps Americans make eldercare decisions.

Next Avenue Editors Also Recommend:

Next Avenue is bringing you stories that are not only motivating and inspiring but are also changing lives. We know that because we hear it from our readers every single day. One reader says,

"Every time I read a post, I feel like I'm able to take a single, clear lesson away from it, which is why I think it's so great."

Your generous donation will help us continue to bring you the information you care about. What story will you help make possible?

Sponsored Links

HideShow Comments

comments

Up Next

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links