- Budgeting and utilizing tax benefits can help offset the cost of caring for seniors at home.
- Develop an individualized care plan, including doctor’s appointments, medical supplies, transportation, and other expenses.
- To provide quality senior care, utilize local resources, such as meals-on-wheels or transportation assistance.
- Take advantage of technology to stay connected and monitor seniors from a distance.
- Consider assisted living services if in-home care is no longer feasible.
Caring for seniors at home is incredibly important, as it helps them to maintain their independence and quality of life. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) foundation, more than 90 percent of seniors prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Additionally, over 50 million adults in the United States—nearly 1 in 4—care for an older person.
The AARP Foundation also reports that those who provide care for seniors can face numerous challenges which can hurt both the seniors and their caregiver’s mental and physical health. Studies have shown that caregivers are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as depression, anxiety, and hypertension due to the stress associated with caring for seniors.
If you are caring for a senior at home, you must take steps to ensure their safety and well-being and protect yourself from burnout. Here are some tips:
Learn How to Budget
Caring for seniors can be expensive, especially when trying to provide them with the care they need as they age. Whether you’re paying for home health care, medications, medical supplies, or any other expense associated with their care, it’s important to budget accordingly and find ways to save money. Here are some tips on how you can budget for senior care:
Look into Tax Benefits
Tax benefits are one way to help offset the cost of caring for a senior at home. For instance, the IRS allows caregivers who spend more than 10 percent of their adjusted gross income on medical expenses to deduct qualified medical bills from their federal taxes. Additionally, many states offer tax credits, deductions, and support programs that can help offset the costs associated with caring for a senior at home.
Create a Care Plan
Creating an individualized care plan is essential when providing in-home senior care. This will help ensure that all needs are met while allowing you to budget appropriately for those needs. When you create your plan, please include doctor’s appointments, check-ups and screenings, medications and supplies, transportation costs for appointments or errands, and any other expenses associated with providing in-home senior care.
Find Resources Near You
It’s essential to contact local resources when caring for seniors at home. Many counties have local agencies that provide services such as meals-on-wheels or transportation assistance that can be helpful when providing in-home senior care. Depending on your location, many churches or non-profits can assist with bills or groceries.
Building an Emergency Fund
If there is anything that warrants the use of an emergency fund, it is caring for a senior at home. While you never want to think about potential emergencies, planning and ensuring your funds are available for unexpected expenses or medical emergencies is essential.
Making Use of Technology
Technology can play an essential role in making senior care easier at home. It can provide caregivers with the tools to stay connected, monitor, and manage their loved one’s care from a distance. For example, remote monitoring systems now allow caregivers to monitor their loved one’s vital signs, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen levels, and body temperature, from virtually anywhere.
Caregivers can also benefit from telehealth services like virtual visits with physicians or therapists. These services allow seniors to receive medical care without leaving the comfort of their homes. Additionally, many telehealth providers offer access to 24/7 triage lines which enable immediate access to health information for seniors experiencing health issues.
Caregivers can also use apps and online tools designed specifically for senior care. For instance, CareZone is a helpful tool that allows caregivers to organize medication schedules and track symptoms from their smartphones. Some apps like Medisafe remind seniors when to take medications or check their blood sugar levels.
Seeking Professional Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with caring for a senior at home, help is available. Assisted living services for seniors are designed specifically to meet their needs while providing them with a safe and comfortable environment. These services can help with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and more. They also offer access to healthcare professionals who can assess medical needs and recommend treatments or medications if needed.
If home care is no longer possible with your responsibilities, you might want to consider exploring long-term care options for your senior. These facilities are designed to offer seniors the highest level of care with round-the-clock medical support and services.
The decision to provide in-home care or choose an assisted living service is big, but it’s essential to consider the safety and well-being of you and your loved one when making that decision.
Caring for seniors at home can be a rewarding experience, but it’s also essential to ensure you are taking steps to protect yourself and your loved one from burnout. Taking the time to plan and budget appropriately, utilizing technology, and seeking professional help can all help make senior care easier. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to provide seniors with the highest quality of care while maintaining your own mental and physical health.