The need for senior care, assisted living, skilled nursing is not always anticipated and can be thrust upon a family quite suddenly. Budgeting can be very challenging, especially since the costs of senior care typically trend steadily upward over time.
To help you and loved ones prepare for and anticipate the factors of rising senior care costs and plan accordingly, we will list the five main reasons why more money is often needed to cover senior care as time passes.
- More Assistance and Monitoring is Needed
Seniors often prefer to retain as much independence as possible for as long as they can. When a senior’s need for assistance is fairly minimal, he or she may opt to reside in an independent living community. Independent communities are where seniors may still enjoy the freedom of maintain their own schedules, cooking for themselves, and keeping track of their own medical needs with just a small amount of monitoring or checking in from the staff.
However, when a senior’s health condition worsens, the option for independent living becomes diminishes and more assistance with daily tasks such as dressing, getting out of bed, dining, toileting, and administering of medication may be required by nurses. Increased need for assistance may lead to increase cost.
- Health or Mobility Declines
As health conditions worsen or become more complicated, new medicines may be added to the daily regiment. And unfortunately add to the cost of senior care as well. Fortunately, many assisted living facilities provide price scales based on the health condition and specified amount of care that is needed. When a senior abruptly transitions into a category of care that is more extensive, then the price for remaining in that same facility can increase. For instance, incontinence assistance may be part of a more extensive care price point than the one a senior is used to when incontinence assistance becomes a new need.
- Extensive Memory Care May Arise
Memory care needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be very extensive. Sometimes seniors with memory impairment may require round-the-clock monitoring to ensure their personal safety. At first a memory issue may not be bad, but the condition may worsen over time, and consequentially the amount of paid hours a nurse needs to watch out for a senior loved one. A senior may have to move to a specialized memory care facility, which, depending on the location may be a cost increase for the budget as well.
- Average Price of Senior Care is Rising Each Year
Economic factors like the cost of living and inflation may drive the rates up for a senior living community when it performs its year-end cost evaluation. A recent study has shown that the price of senior care has steadily risen every year for the last several years. In the last decade the cost of assisted living has risen almost 5%. However, the price of in-home care has reportedly stayed mostly unchanged. For seniors meticulously budgeting their care plan, it may be wise to consider whether or not senior in-home care is appropriate for their personal needs.
- New Medical Needs Emerge
Accidents and emergencies happen. In addition to the possibility of an existing condition worsening, there is always the chance of the unexpected occurring. A sudden fall or new diagnosis may develop, and it is always a smart idea whenever possible to have some funds planned into the budget for unexpected needs that may emerge and increase the cost of senior care.