Where will you live if you become ill or disabled? There are a variety of places to choose from. I am sad when I think how many people do not get to choose for themselves. Other people end up making the decision for them after they become ill or disabled. Don’t let me tell you where you should call home. You should take a minute to look at your options.

I am not talking about reading a magazine that uses a senior resources title to sell advertising. These magazines can be helpful, but are rarely complete due to the competing views of their advertisers. You need to talk to a Geriatric Specialist or a Care Manager who has made it their job to help Senior’s find the resources they need to live healthy.

If you will need help with daily activities there is a short list of available places to live. They are; Adult Foster Care, AFC, Assisted Living Facilities, ALF, Skilled Nursing Facilities, SNF, or your home with Private Duty Home Care. Each has its value and is needed under the right circumstances, but most people that I talk to will say they wish to remain in their home.

To make a decision you need to consider the cost. AFC living costs approximately $950 to $1900 per month for a semi-private room. ALF’s charge approximately $1900 to $3500 for room and board or $3500 to $6600 per month for personal care and dementia care. A SNF is regulated by the state and has fixed rates for room and board approximately $6300 to $7800 per month depending on their location. This rate usually does not include common things like TV, Phone, Laundry, Therapy Services, or Medications.

The cost of In Home Care starts out for those hiring family or friends at $8 to $12 per hour. To hire a company which subcontracts its employees you will find services for $12 to $18 per hour. To hire an employee based, insured company like Care N Assist you will pay $16 to $28 per hour for home health aide services. At $16 per hour this translates to $624 per month for 3 hours of help three days a week. It costs $2,773 per month for eight hours a day five days a week, and $11,680 per month for 24 hour care seven days a week.

A few hours a few days a week is more economical than semi-private Adult Foster Care and eight hours five days a week is still less expensive than Assisted Living. At 24 hours a day Private Duty home care does become expensive, but is a value to many. The value often lies with the one-on-one care and never having to wait for help to go to the bathroom. Others who must pay for services until they are spent down to the level of receiving State Medicaid Assistance, it is often in their interest to remain home as long as it is possible.

Don’t let me decide where you live. Let me help you make a decision that suits you!

Daniel Story, RN