Picking the right care for your loved one is difficult. Click here to see everything you need to know when calculating the cost of a live-in caregiver.
Wondering how much hiring a live-in caregiver costs?
According to PayScale, the median pay for a live-in caregiver is $23,898 per year. However, pay can range to as little as $14,000 per year to as much as $41,000 per year.
So how do you know where on the spectrum you’ll be following?
Unfortunately, there are not fast and hard answers to this question, as everyone has unique needs when it comes to their personal health care.
Certainly, you want to select a caregiver who is both compassionate about their work and comfortable in their capabilities to handle your loved one’s needs.
However, if you are working within a certain budget, you may find this to be a particularly daunting task.
And you are certainly not alone in this sentiment.
A survey conducted by agingcare.com revealed that 63 percent of caregivers have no plan as to how they will pay for their parent’s care over the next five years. Another 62 percent say the cost of caring for a parent has impacted their ability to plan for their own financial future.
Your concern over cost of care is definitely valid. In order to alleviate some of these concerns, it is best to be as well-informed as possible about ins and outs of live-in caregiver costs.
The following article discusses all of the possible factors to take into consideration when calculating the costs of a live-in caregiver. Read on to find out what they are.
Types of Live-In Caregivers
One of the most important things to understand when selecting a live-in caregiver is that there are actually two different types: caregivers who maintain a different residence outside the home and caregivers who live solely in the residence of their client.
Costs of care can be greatly affected by which one you select, yet depending on your loved one’s needs, one may be significantly more beneficial than the other.
Let’s take a closer look at each:
1.) Live-in Caregivers Who Maintain Their Own Residence
These types of caregivers typically work in teams of two, and they usually alternate nights in the client’s home. They also typically provide daytime care as well, making for a 24/7 care situation.
If your loved one has higher care needs, this type of arrangement usually works best. Unlike live-in caregivers who live on site full-time and likely want a solid eight hours of sleep per night, these caregivers expect their night-time shifts to be a bit more active.
Will your loved one likely be needing assistance several times throughout the night?
If so, this type of caregiver may be right for you. If this is the type you select, you should expect to pay them a higher salary, as room and board aren’t included in this position.
Also, just because they aren’t there every night doesn’t mean they don’t expect their own sleeping space. A pull-out couch in the living room is not an option, so plan on arranging a spare room in the house into a bedroom.
2.) Live-in Caregivers Who Do Not Maintain a Separate Residence
A live-in caregiver who maintains onsite residence can help significantly offset costs due to the fact that you are providing them with room and board.
However, these caregivers are not ideal for patients who require intensive amounts of care. Obviously, you can’t expect one person to work a 24-hour shift. This isn’t healthy or safe for either them or your loved one.
For the most part, they expect their presence in the night to be more of a safety net in case an emergency situation arises.
Also, because their job is a little more hands off, these types of caregivers often pick up second jobs in the daytime.
During the hours they are absent, the care recipient often receives other forms of assistance, such as visits from family and friends, adult day care, or other at-home care.
If your loved one only needs assistance with a few small tasks here and there, this type of caregiver may be ideal for you.
However, do keep in mind that adding another person to the household will make some costs go up. Everyday expenses like groceries, water, electricity, heat and transportation will be affected, so don’t forget to factor in these costs before calculating the overall pay.
In order to figure out the exact amount of pay that should be deducted for this type of live-in caregiver, research how much it costs to rent a single apartment in the area your loved one lives. Add in costs of utilities and factor in the overall cost of living in the area and you should have a pretty good idea of how much you should be deducting from their overall pay.
Important Questions to Ask When Factoring In Costs
No matter the type of live-in caregiver you decide on, there are some important questions you’ll want to ask that will affect the overall costs of caregiving. These include
– Does the caregiver have a vehicle or do I need to be providing one?
– How many miles a week will the caregiver be driving? (gas money can add up quickly!)
– Is the environment my loved one is living in safe? (Stairs and bathrooms can both be extremely hazardous to elderly people. Stair lifts, grab bars, handrails, walk-in showers, raised toilets, and medical alert devices may be things you need to consider purchasing)
– What daily care tasks do they need help with? (Dressing, eating, preparing meals, toileting, medication management, shopping, walking)
– What type of recreational activities do they wish to partake in on a regular basis? (Additional money should be put aside if the activity requires transportation, purchasing certain materials, or a participation fee)
– Does your loved one have incontinence issues? (Depending on the severity, this can be taken treated with behavioral techniques, medication, medical devices, or surgery. Either way, expect to factor in costs of supplies such as adult briefs, catheters, booster pads, wipes, gloves, or a bedside commode. )
– What is your loved one’s financial situation? (401k, social security, investments)
– What kind of insurance do they have?
– Does your loved one have any outside needs that need to be taken care of? ( i.e. a pet, vacation home, any outstanding debt)
After having gone over all of these questions, you can determine the costs required to meet all of these needs and how much your live-in caregiver is capable of handling.
For example, if your loved one requires help with pet care, is your caregiver capable and comfortable with doing this as well? Or should you be looking into hiring a dog walker to come over on a daily basis?
Or, let’s say your loved one likes to go play bridge every Tuesday and Thursday. If your live-in caregiver works a daytime job, can you rely on someone else to be their driver on these days?
Clearly, there are a lot of expenses that need to be considered, and everything can add up rather quickly.
Being proactive about your research is very important, as often times coverage, reimbursements, and deductions are available for some of these costs.
Other Costs You May Need to Consider
While the above covers the main areas you should be assessing when figuring out the overall cost of a caregiver, there are also some other factors that you may need to take into account.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest ones:
As much as your live-in caregiver loves helping your family, they also have a life too.
You want your caregiver to be happy and healthy so they can provide optimal care. In order to ensure this, it is important for them to have time off so they can avoid burnout. For some, this may mean paid time off.
Discuss with your caregiver beforehand what kind of schedule they are comfortable with and figure out how you are going provide coverage for your loved on in their absence.
Also, make sure to discuss with your live-in caregiver the level of contribution they are comfortable committing to. If there are a couple of tasks they feel like they need assistance with, you may need to factor in the cost of adding an additional caregiver to your team a couple times a week.
Sudden Health Issues
Elderly people are very fragile and a simple fall or a bout with the flu can cause rapid deterioration to their health.
If an accident or a sudden change occurs in their health, you need to be prepared to deal with it as best as you can.
Obviously, you cannot predict the future, and often times accidents happen that are completely out of the range of normal.
However, if your loved one is susceptible to certain illnesses (i.e. Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s) be prepared to devote some extra expenses to caring for these more specific needs.
Live-in Caregiver Overview
Clearly, there is a lot you’ll be taking into consideration when it comes to calculating the costs of a live-in caregiver.
The best thing you can do to ensure you are well prepared is to plan well in advance and to assess all the aspects of care thoroughly.
Contact us today to understand how are wholesale medical supplies can help alleviate some of the high costs involved with live-in caregiving.