Senior care is not usually a hot topic during Sunday football games and jaunts hiking outdoors at Centennial Park Lake with my buddies in Nashville Tennessee. But the issue of caring for my aging parents has been weighing on my mind lately says James Dean @ iHumanMedia.com.
So I dug a little deeper, to get the full scope of health care costs that will be coming just around the bend in the years ahead. In America, long-term care for elderly is a $257 Billion annual cost challenge. Overall, about 30% of U.S. health care expenses go to unnecessary medical services, that’s $800 Billion per year reports Mr. Dean.
What’s it gonna cost me then to care for my elderly parents in assisted living? I found on-average $2,250 to $3,200 per month paid out of pocket is what it would cost to put an elderly parent into a decent assisted living facility. That’s an extra $30,000 expense annually. So my question is; where’s the average ‘JOE’ working class stiff gonna find an extra $30,000 income per year? Any suggestions feel free to leave comments.
During my research even more startling was the fact almost 45% of the total costs associated with senior care will be paid by the family and not covered by health insurance.
It’s a hidden expense that most families do not plan for so when they get to the point where the aging parent can no-longer live alone, it becomes an emotional roller coaster ride that ends-up being VERY EXPENSIVE.
Poor financial decisions are often made at the last moment because of the timely senior crisis weighing heavily on the family. Many families deal with putting their parents into assisted living by gaining equity through selling the home, once lived in by their elderly parent.
In the United States, each day over 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring with about 75 million total due ‘retire’ by 2016. I found that close too 38% of all seniors in America within the next fifteen years will need to transferred to assisted living says Mr. Dean.
Seniors have specialized needs such as health monitoring, exercise requirements and medication schedules that our tech geeks at iHumanMedia.com have begun to explore developing several mobile apps.
A Pew research study found that between 60% to 80% of elderly go online daily. But they tend to use a desktop PC rather than smartphone or tablet. But we’re working on a ‘Smart Appliance’ that’s SENIOR FRIENDLY which could serve dual purpose of health check / wellness resource and social media e-commerce app for retail shopping, travel, entertainment and banking.
Here are examples of the phrases used for assisted living :
- Residential care
- Personal care
- Adult congregate living care
- Board and care
- Adult living facilitiesSupported care
- Enhanced care
- Adult homes
- Sheltered housing
- Retirement residences
- Adult foster care
- Community based retirement facilities
For real estate investors, the population shift of seniors moving out of single residential homes into assisted living presents an opportunity to buy aging homes often needing repair than update the property and flip it for a nice profit (generally 20% to 30% gain).
During my research, I spoke with Dan Silverman at Nashville Home Solutions. He mentioned several instances where family members have come to him about getting CASH for HOMES because the senior (parent) had to be transferred to assisted living. Learn more about financial options to paying for assisted living …
Diet is another concentrated market opportunity that really popped out while exploring the senior cost crisis in America. For example, diabetes affects almost 30 million Americans. At a cost of over $245 Billion (direct/indirect costs, 2014 CDC). More often diabetes leads to multiple health and medical complications that ultimately require assisted living.
The take-away question here … we all need to be asking ourselves … ‘Are we prepared for the cost and emotional challenge of caring for our aging parents’. Planning ahead and budgeting properly for the inevitable time that’s coming is always a SMART approach.
Five benefits of assisted living facilities
Family members or caregivers need to move slowly and with compassion when they try to convince an elder to move from the family home. However, once the adjustment is made, many elders are thrilled with the change. Why? Here are five reasons.
Safety. Assisted living centers are set up to provide a safe, comfortable environment for elders. Many, though not all, have secure entrances. Nearly all are monitored enough so that elders aren’t vulnerable to attack or burglary as they may be if they stay alone in their home. Just the fact that there are other people around makes communal living safer than being alone in a house. Also, most assisted living centers have alerting systems so if residents have emergencies in their own apartments or rooms, they can summon help.
Meals / Medical. Appetites can diminish as we age, plus many people don’t enjoy eating alone. Elders home alone often warm up something in the microwave or on the stove rather than preparing a nourishing meal. They then may eat in front of the TV for company. In assisted living, meals and some medical care are provided and they often offer many choices of food. But the biggest plus may be that people have company for their meals.
Many centers offer kitchenettes, so people have the option of preparing some meals in their apartments if they choose, which some do, especially breakfast. However, the pull of communal dining is pretty strong once they get used to company. When people have company for a meal, they generally eat better, so these communal meals can help keep a senior healthy. Also, many assisted living centers keep an eye on how well the elders eat to see if supplements seem to be necessary.
Transportation. Most assisted living centers provide group transportation for shopping and to community events. Also, they can generally arrange transportation for seniors who need to get to clinic appointments. Each center is different, but the ability to go where they want is important to elders, and many seniors can no longer drive, or choose not to drive in heavy traffic. Assisted living centers can be a big help getting people where they want to go.
Less worry. Even renters have to actively contact a landlord if there are plumbing or other problems in their apartment, and often they must follow up on repairs. For homeowners, it’s worse. Seniors can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors and repair people. They tend to be trusting and this makes them vulnerable. In assisted living, they don’t have to worry about repair responsibilities. If something doesn’t work properly, they or a loved one can alert the administration and the problem should be fixed. There’s no worry about the senior letting in a stranger to fix their bathroom pipe or getting bilked on the bill.
Socialization. Socialization is perhaps the most important reason why many people who insist that they will hate assisted living end up thriving. Many elders have slowly gotten so they don’t want to go out of their home because it’s too difficult to get where they want to go. Significant lifelong friends have health problems or have died.
When not actively used, social skills can decline, causing anxiety when elders do go out among people. Depression can set in, furthering their reluctance to be socially active. Elders without social exposure can become virtual hermits, except for those who have family visits. While family visits are fun, seniors needs peers, as well. In assisted living, even those who swore they’d hate it often find, once they adjust, that they again enjoy the company of peers. They play cards, listen to music, exercise, have snacks, go to community events and have people come in to entertain them.
List of Health Services Typically Offered at Elderly Care Facilities
- Meal Preparation
- Exercise and Wellness Activities
- 24-Hour Staffing
- Social and Recreational Activities
- Scheduled Outings/Trips (Doctor’s Appointments, Shopping, Worship)
- Eating, Bathing and Toileting Assistance
- Personal Hygiene and Grooming
- Dressing Assistance
- Mobility and Transferring
- Personal Laundry
- Transportation Services
- Medication Management
- Physical Therapy
- Oxygen Assistance
- Pharmaceutical Service
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Radiation Therapy
- 24-Hour Nurse Assistance
- Monthly Wellness Check-up