Caregiving Costs

Avoid Bankruptcy Caregiving for the Aged 

Everyone knows the cost of healthcare is going up, up, up!  And that we as North American’s, are getting older with the first of the Baby Boomers turning 65 starting in 2011.  The US Census Bureau reported that 49 Million residents of the US population was 65 and older in 2018, and of that number, 20.6 Million were Americans over the age of 75.  Rising costs combined with a growing population of elderly is a great cause for concern.1

Adult children of our older American’s are facing some tough choices as the need to assistance grows with the years of our parents.  Questions arise around whether to provide some care in the home of the elderly, moving them into a multi-generational house with you, or to consider assisted living or other long-term care options.  A recent story in the Wall Street Journal tells a sad but common story of bankruptcy caused by the extraordinary costs of caregiving for the elderly, and need for advanced planning. 2 advises to plan ahead and evaluate all your options for care depending on your budget and your particular circumstances.  They say “Home care is an option allowing older adults the choice to age in place at home with a specified level of care they need for safety, comfort and independence.”3

Planning ahead is not always an option for immediate needs, but if you are lucky enough to have more time, consider buying long term care health insurance. 3, quotes that 70% of persons over 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives.  Are you ready?  And just having long-term care insurance may not be enough depending on your situation, but it’s a good place to start.  My college roommate discussed moving his parents into an Assisted Living Facility and the fact that they planned ahead and had the insurance in place before needed made the financial part of this decision a no-brainer.  Not everyone is that lucky.

Finding alternatives to long-term care usually involve a family member providing some level of support, whether this involves frequent visits or an in-home visiting nurse, the range of costs vary greatly.  An inexpensive option is 5, where there are many ways to assist someone in need through the use of sensors.   

If a caregiver is living in the home with the senior, then a free app can be downloaded to any phone or tablet that connects to wireless sensors placed throughout the home.  Bed, chair, door, motion sensors and more all report activity to the app, allowing you to provide care when needed.

If you are wanting to assist a senior, but from a distance, you can sign up for Remote Monitoring at $49/month.  In this situation, the sensors report wirelessly through a bluetooth hub or LTE device to an on-line portal.  All activity is recorded for historical purposes, but can also send notifications or alerts to 1 to 20 caregivers via text, phone call or email.  There are no alarms or invasive video cameras (unless you need one) to annoy your loved one, just passive monitoring that can inform you of possible dangers.

Safe at Home sensors are also good in an assisted living facility, sending notifications to a nursing station or remote caregiver, or both.

So, in conclusion, get some long-term health insurance if you can.  Save extra money to help pay for some of the high costs of getting older.  Check out less-expensive options that can help you delay more costly alternatives at