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Skyrocketing cost of home health - How are you all coping?
Hello ALZ Connected,
My LO has ALZ and she is about stage 5. She walks with her canes, reads her newspapers, knows who I am, is not aggressive anymore, and is overall happy and quiet. This is so unless there's a home health aide at the house and then all (stuff) breaks loose. For this reason I gave up on home health aides but I do have some appointments soon and will need an aide for a few hours. Family and neighbors don't care/don't bother so they're not an option. My LO has no major medical conditions other than ALZ which makes it easier. The doctor said she was fine for a lady her age.
Now I called 2 different agencies where I live recently. One wanted $32/hr and I thought they were just plain greedy. The guy told me some good information about home health and why it was so expensive but I still thought they were greedy. So today I called another agency and the guy there quoted me between $27 and $28/hr. I've used the $27 agency before but the price was nowhere near $27.
I can cancel my appointments if need be but wanted to know how are the rest of you coping with this huge surge in price. Understand that in the past, home health agencies where I lived charged anywhere from $13 to $20/hr depending on how good the agency was basically.
I'm thinking about moving to a lower cost area but the scarcity of home health seems to be a nationwide problem, thus bringing high prices everywhere, so why move.
So I'm asking on here to other caregivers. How are you coping with this? Did you hire out part of the work like the cooking and cleaning to different providers to at least offload some of the work? Did some of you end up moving to a cheaper area to be able to afford home health?
We have had home care in the same range that you have experienced. Our first agency was $32 /hour and we ended up terminating them due to a number of surprisingly unprofessional behaviors that they exhibited. We currently are relatively happy with our second agency that is $27/hour, and I am frankly surprised the price hasn't increased (yet).
However, we have found it to be challenging to have a consistent and good caregiver from any agency. It seems my LO either doesn't like the caregiver or the caregiver doesn't think it is a good fit. And when we find a rare caregiver that my LO likes, they get hired away for higher paying positions.
We noticed in our area that the Memory Centers that we are evaluating increased their rents from around 5-6% compared to last year, but we have not seen this (again, yet) in home care pricing.
Wow I'm jealous of these prices. The agencies in my area charge mid 30s to as much as $40/hour. Private aides who want to paid in cash were $25/hr last year, but now they want $30/hr. The costs are breathtaking....it would be over $300K/year for 24 hour care from an agency, except that I got my mom a live-in aide who is paid for 10 hours a day plus room and board.
Another option I've been looking into is professional electronic monitoring with a video linkup for remote caregiving. I'm not sure how the remote caregiver thing would work for Alzheimer's, but the pro monitoring is an intriguing new technology that could seriously reduce the cost of dementia care. It uses sensors to identify departures from daily patterns, detect falls or attempts to wander out, or if the stove is left on. Cost is miniscule compared to aides: about $1000 for initial setup then ~$100/month. In a safe environment (eg an apartment instead of a house) for someone who is still in the early/middle stages, this could work AND be more acceptable to people like my mom who really hate having aides.
I really like this development. Alzheimer's cases are expected to soar while the availability of quality caregivers declines. As a country we're walking into a dementia-fueled disaster, because politicians have shown (over and over again) that they can't do math. I'm really disappointed that between the NIH, Alzheimer's association, and tons of people doing research & clinical work in this area, there's almost no recognition of the problem let alone broad efforts to come up with workable solutions.
We are in the $30+/hour range for an agency. Private caregivers seem to be all over the map - from $20/hour and up - and all want cash.
I have found the agencies do not have anyone of quality lately. Also, the caregivers through the agencies are making less.
For live ins, the agencies want between $350-$380/day last time I checked. I've had private caregivers ask the same amount or more for live in.
The technology sounds interesting, NuttyProfessor. I could only see that working in the very early stages though. Is there any type of emergency response connected to it or does it notify the family member(s)?
We pay an agency $25/hour. We have three different caregivers come in for a total of 32 hours a week and use moms LTC insurance. I send the invoices for reimbursement to John Hancock, not sure if that helps the price at all. When we’ve hired from Care.com we paid less to a private individual but we have to use a licensed HHA or higher to be reimbursed by the insurance. Even though I’m a licensed CNA I cannot be paid because, according to the very fine print, I’m considered extended family by the LTC policy even though my mother and I live in different homes. Oh well.
Hope you find a good solution soon.
Fesk, those prices are what I've been seeing. The live-in aide we hired is paid $250/day but she's been dropping hints she wants more. At $250/day, 6 days a week (another aide covers her day off for the same cash pay) that's $78K/year. That is equivalent to something like $120K/year - for what is effectively an unskilled job that really doesn't warrant much more than minimum wage. I mean, engineers and professors earn that much. Completely insane, and it amounts to exploitation of a highly vulnerable population.
I was looking for remote caregiving services and was so thrilled to find it, because it's perfect for someone like my mom who is still quite functional, but is at risk of falls, wandering etc, AND, she really hates hates hates having an aide. The constant battles about this have been truly exhausting. Yes, the main value of it for dementia is alerting designated contacts about emergencies (eg a fall) and reporting on departures from daily living patterns.
Thank you so much for replying. I'm curious about the remote monitoring technology. Could you possible share a link about it. Not sure if they allow links on the boards but you can send me a private message if you'd like. Curious about it.