Caregiver Costs:  Factors to Consider

Hiring a new caregiver is no easy task.  This person or company is going to be responsible for one of your loved ones.  He or she is going to provide 24/7 support when you’re not around.  So if you’re thinking about hiring one, you may be wondering what the costs are.

To help break things down, let’s explore what caregivers can do, the ways to pay and what the factors are.

Factors That Affect The Price

With any service, there are going to be a lot of factors that can affect the price.  Caregiving will be no exception.  Some of the major factors that increase the price tag can include your geographical location, what kind of accommodations are required and the hours that person has to work.

When all of these factors come into play, most caregivers will make anywhere from as little as $500 to as much as $3,000 per week.  While this range can be large, let’s explain some scenarios.

Scenario #1:  Let’s say that you need a caregiver to come in for eight hours every day of the week to bathe, do some light chores and make sure everything is in order.  If this caregiver were to make $15 per hour, he or she would make close to $900 per week.

Scneario #2:  Let’s take the same scenario mentioned above, but let’s say that the same person has to stay 24/7 — basically a live-in caregiver.  Taking the same exact salary of $15 per hour, the costs can come close to $2,500 per week.  So as you can see, when the caregiver has to live in with the resident, the costs can get extremely close to that $3,000 range.

When hiring a caregiver, it can either be done via two common ways:  either by an individual or by a company.  Most companies will charge more than $20 per hour and usually pay their workers around $10 per hour.  If you were to hire an individual, most experienced caregivers will command an average of $15 to $30 per hour.  Again, this will depend on the factors mentioned above.

What Will They Do?

The word “care” is within the word caregiver for a reason.  Aside from caring for your loved one, caregivers are also expected to do the following:

– Housekeeping and smaller repairs

– Transportation to doctor’s appointments, activities, etc.

– Preparing meals

– Making sure medication is taken

– Daily activities such as bathing, dressing, brushing teeth, etc.

TIP:  All caregivers will have their own pricing structure.  Before hiring any caregiver, always make sure that you know what they are going to be able to do for you.  Some caregivers will strictly work within the home, while others will be able to drive to appointments and so forth.

How to Save

The prices above are high enough to scare anyone away!  If you’re still focused on a caregiver, but want to save money, here are some things to consider:

– Negotiate:  See if you can lower the price.  In return, the caregiver may state that he or she won’t do certain chores.  This may be worth it.

– Don’t Overpay:  Always make sure that you get at least five to ten quotes before proceeding.  NEVER settle on the first person you come across.  That extra $5 per hour can make a huge difference.

– Discounts:  Many caregivers and companies will provide discounts to those who pay cash up front.  If you can afford it, explore your cash discount options.

– Explore Discounts:  Check with local senior centers that offer free subsidies to those who qualify.

Ways to Pay

If you can’t set aside time to take care of someone, you may be exploring options if you can’t afford the cash payments.  Thankfully, there are some ways to pay:

Medicare:  Medicare will reimburse up to 100 days at a nursing home.  However, it won’t cover long-term needs.

Long-term Insurance:  If your loved one has a long-term insurance policy — which is possible — be sure to check with the company.  Every insurance company will vary with their regulations and payments.  If you’re just preparing for the future, it isn’t too late to consider this type of policy.

Veteran’s Aid:  War veterans are able to tap into a plan known as the “Veteran’s Aid and Attendance” benefit.  This benefit will provide assistance to private caregivers.

Medicaid:  Unlike Medicare, Medicaid can provide low-income seniors with long-term care assistance.  Every state will have different qualifications.  Refer to your local state for Medicaid requirements.