Senior Care Costs: Nursing Home or Home Care

Senior caregivers will continue to be in demand as seniors live longer and choose to age-in-place in the home or move to an Assisted Living community which may require additional caregiving services.

Medicare, the health insurance for seniors, does not pay for long-term care in a nursing home nor at home.  Americans are on their own paying for senior care unless they run out of money and then qualify for the low-income health insurance program which is called Medicaid.  You must have next to no assets, though, to qualify for Medicaid and then a nursing home will be an option, paid for by Medicaid.  You may learn about nursing home costs in Caregiverlist's Nursing Home Ratings and Costs Directory, providing the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide along with the Medicare health inspection reports.

The daily rate for a nursing home can range from $170 to $600, depending on the level of care services needed.  It is also important to learn about the staff-to-patient ratio in a nursing home.  If there is only one Certified Nursing Aide for 12 to 15 residents, which is common, it may be impossible for the nursing assistant to provide proper care for each resident each morning and evening, which is why a resident may skip a shower and not be taken to the dining hall.  C.N.A.'s who have worked at nursing homes will share their stories with you about the challenges of delivering quality care because of low staffing levels.

This is why often a private caregiving service will be hired by a family to provide a few hours of care a day for a senior while they are in a nursing home.  Senior home care agencies will provide part-time care services in a nursing home for a senior and then be up-to-speed on their care needs when they move back home.  Quality senior home care agencies provide coverage for worker's compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, payroll taxes, as required by law, and active care management and training.

CaringBridge Caregiver Comfort Kit Giveaway

Caregivers for family and friends and for seniors sometimes have the challenge of keeping up with all the care issues when the care receiver is in the hospital or a rehab facility.  Caregiverlist recently partnered with CaringBridge, a nonprofit providing free websites to help patients and caregivers stay connected to their family and friends. CaringBridge websites offer a personal and private space to communicate and show support, saving time and emotional energy when health matters most.

How it Works
By following a few simple steps, a personalized website complete with privacy options can be started in just minutes. The author introduces the reason for the CaringBridge site in “My Story” and provides ongoing updates through entries in the “Journal.” Friends and family members can receive automatic updates when journal entries have been made, and can leave messages of love, support and encouragement in the “Guestbook.”

Benefits to Patients and Caregivers
Using CaringBridge to centralize communication during a health challenge saves time and energy and makes it easy for caregivers to keep loved ones updated. Everyone can stay in touch, regardless of time zones and area codes. CaringBridge provides a personal and private space for everyone to express their feelings and offer support.

Many authors also feel the therapeutic benefits of writing down their experience. “I know I said things in the journal I would not have said out loud because I don’t think I would have been able to say them in front of people without totally losing it,” said one CaringBridge author.

Healing Power of Connection
The power of connection and support often extends beyond the psychological to the physical; in a 2010 study of patients using a CaringBridge website to share health news, 91% of patients agreed that it helped make their health journey easier and 88% of patients agreed that it positively impacted their healing process.

“Without CaringBridge, I know that we would not have gone through our experience as well supported,” said a CaringBridge author.

CaringBridge has provided a comfort kit to giveaway to one lucky reader. It includes items like travel-size lotion and lip balm. To be entered to win, just leave a comment on this blog post about how you share health news and stay connected to your network of support.

And if you are looking for a professional career in caregiving, visit's Caregiving Career Center.

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