While some want to maintain the personal connection of family caregiving, many individuals choose this route because they believe it is a more affordable option than a senior living community.
However, the costs associated with providing care for a parent or family member add up; in some cases, costing more than care within a senior living community would. According to a study conducted by AARP, “as an unpaid family caregiver, you can expect to spend nearly 20 percent of your personal income on out-of-pocket costs related to helping your loved one.”
Cost is a crucial aspect to consider when you are comparing care options for your parent or relative. Weighing both the financial side and personal costs of family caregiving is crucial when deciding on the best care plan for your family.
To help you navigate care options, Community Senior Life, with senior living communities in Fairhope, Foley, Gulf Shores, Madison, and Montgomery, Alabama, has created a list of some of the overlooked costs associated with family caregiving.
The Costs of Family Caregiving
Increase in Household Expenses
It may not seem like this would be an added expense; you already pay for utilities and groceries for yourself. Even though you are not creating an additional bill, adding another person can make a significant difference to your usage. Your electric and water bills will increase, as will your grocery bills.
Furthermore, depending on the circumstances, you may need to modify your house to accommodate your parent or relative’s needs, such as adding grab bars in the restroom or making certain areas of the home more accessible.
Insurance does cover some of the costs associated with medical care, but it is dangerous to assume that your parent or family member’s policy will cover everything. In many instances, family caregivers end up paying for medical care out-of-pocket. Co-payments, deductibles, and prescriptions can significantly make an impact on your budget.
Personal Care Expenses
Personal care items, including clothing, sanitary supplies, and other toiletries, are small expenses when considered individually. When you add all of these items up, these personal care expenses can take a large chunk out of your budget.
Annually, family caregivers spend more than $1,000 on personal care items for their parent or relative, according to AARP.
Car maintenance is a part of life. We all need to change the oil, refill the gas tank, and perform routine services to make the vehicle last and remain in good condition. Family caregiving makes these maintenance services come at a much quicker rate. Traveling to and from medical appointments and running additional errands for your family member puts more wear and tear and added mileage on your car.
Additionally, modifying your vehicle to make it more accessible for your parent or relative (making it wheelchair accessible, for example) can be costly.
What happens if you become unable to care for your parent or relative in the case of an emergency? If no one in your family is willing or able to handle the caregiving responsibilities temporarily, you will need to bring in paid help, whether it is in the form of respite care or an in-home caregiver.
Depending on your situation, transitioning your parent or relative into a senior living community could be the most cost-effective option. While the monthly fees may seem expensive, they often include the level of care your family member will need as well as the additional costs of living. Rent, utilities, meals, care, and access to community amenities all fall under one monthly price.
When your family member moves into one of our Community Senior Life communities, they will receive the personalized care they deserve, whether it is independent living, assisted living, or memory care. Our caregivers and other team members work hard to ensure that each individual who calls us home receives compassionate care tailored to their specific needs. While we respect the decision to handle family caregiving responsibilities, our communities offer support and provide your family member with an improved quality of life.
Contact a member of our team to learn more about our services or to find the community that is right for your family.