Levels of 24/7 In-Home Care
Some seniors may need caregivers in their home for around-the-clock care, helping with occasional overnight needs. Others, especially those with memory disorders or severe mobility and incontinence issues, may need the aid of a carer several times each night.
The amount of care required each night can help you decide which type of overnight care is the best choice for your loved one: non-sleeping visits, sleeping visits, or a live-in caregiver. Each type is priced differently and impacts your overall in-home care cost. Living or sleeping accommodations available to the caregiver are also a negotiating factor.
Non-sleeping visits are the most expensive type of 24/7 in-home care and usually involve one to three carers who work eight- or 12-hour shifts. During these shifts, caregivers remain awake and attentive to the patient the entire time to help them with hydration, mobility, incontinence, disorientation, or other needs.
Using the $24 per hour average, on-sleeping caregiving costs about $17,280 per month or $210,240 annually. Having two caregivers per shift costs approximately $34,560 monthly.
Sleeping visits are meant for older adults who need care and monitoring throughout the day but generally do well sleeping through the night. They may still bring a caregiver in for occasional nighttime help or simply for the peace of mind of knowing someone is available should they need assistance.
In this scenario, the home health aide can sleep when they’re not performing their caregiver responsibilities. Patients use bells and other kinds of alerts to get a caregiver’s attention should they need help. You typically pay a fixed fee of anywhere between $120 to $200 for the 10- to 12-hour overnight shift. If you agree to $140 per night, 30 overnights will cost you $4,200. Add 12 hours of daytime care at $24 per hour, and you can expect to pay a total of $12,840 per month and $154,080 per year.
In exchange for room and board, live-in caregivers provide seniors help with everyday needs and activities and overnight emergency support. While this is often a win-win setup for both seniors and caregivers, conflicts can arise. To prevent problems, you must develop and sign a legally binding care contract that dictates the caregiver’s duties and rate before the start of their employment.
Naturally, more hours of care are required as an older adult’s needs increase or become more complex. As this occurs, expenses will also rise. Families with loved ones with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or dementia should budget for the extra care needed over time.
In-Home Care Cost Plans
Below, you’ll find four price estimates for in-home care, from just a few visits per week to around-the-clock. To provide estimates, we used the national median per-hour fee for in-home care of $24. This is based on data from Genworth’s cost of care survey.
- Seven hours per week: $728 a month: Seniors who remain mostly self-sufficient may do well with only a few brief care visits each week. I advise that you plan to pay for at least seven hours a week since most care agencies have a seven-hour per week minimum. During these visits, caregivers typically provide housekeeping, companionship, assistance with meal preparation, and more.
- 28 hours per week: $2,912 a month: Daily visits lasting 3-5 hours are ideal for older adults who experience loneliness and whose families work. Often, these individuals remain intellectually healthy but may require additional help with physical activities such as showering, getting dressed, preparing food, medication management, and completing other household chores. These individuals are usually capable of managing alone for a few hours a day.
- 44 hours per week: $4,576 a month: When a senior needs around-the-clock care or supervision and their family caregiver works full time, hiring in-home care for 44 hours a week to cover the family member’s weekly work hours is one solution. Older adults requiring this amount of care often need help with eating, toileting, bathing, and most other daily activities.
- 168 hours per week: $17,472 a month: Around-the-clock care usually involves two to three different caregivers who work 8-12 hour shifts to ensure each caregiver gets enough rest and downtime to remain alert while on duty. This amount of care is good for seniors who live alone or require constant supervision and need help with most daily activities – especially those with memory disorders. In addition, individuals recovering from illness, injury, or surgery may benefit from a few months of 24/7 in-home care.
FYI: For people with degenerative health disorders, the cost of 24/7 in-home care can be prohibitive. In these cases, you might want to consider memory care.