In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living – Choice, Funding and Cost Comparison

Ann knows that she needs support at home for bathing, dressing, cooking, housework and keeping up with her medications, as her arthritis can make her immobile some days. Ann has also been extremely lonely since her husband passed away. She pays for a service to mow her lawn and shovel the snow but there is so much more to keeping up a house. While her daughter visits daily to help, Ann realizes that she is becoming a burden to her. are in-home care services the next step for Ann or should she move to an assisted living residence?

The Definition of Aging in Place

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Aging in place has become the focus of many families, and New Jersey regulates homecare providers and agencies, as it does assisted living communities, with licensing and certification requirements. The senior care industry is attempting to fill the desire for home care providers to assist in the Aging in Place movement. Green Hill, a Five-Star rated continuum of care senior living residence in West Orange, New Jersey, provides seniors trained and certified home health aides and health care services through its Green Hill @Home program.

Comparing In-Home Care and Assisted Living Costs

Comparisons show that the cost of in-home care services can far exceed the cost of living in assisted living communities in New Jersey and the NYC metropolitan region. Maintaining a home and all of the related expenses is costly. Depending on the level of care one needs, a 24-hour a day live-in caregiver can increase the financial burden of remaining at home up to, or more than $7,000 per month.

Unless one has a long-term care insurance plan that covers in home services, payment for home care is considered a private pay enterprise. There are exceptions for healthcare and medical services that can be covered by private insurance or by Medicaid and/or Medicare.

While the cost of assisted living is also generally private pay, elders may receive benefits from a long-term care insurance policy and/or Medicaid to offset the costs. In New Jersey, the state’s new managed care program called Managed Long-Term Service and Support (MLTSS) includes assisted living as an option. At some communities, like Green Hill, a resident who enters a continuum of care senior community at the assisted living level may participate in a program where they can remain if their resources are expended over time and they become reliant on Medicaid for funding or, if they need to move to another level of care. In an assisted living community, an elder has the opportunity to socialize with others and to participate in activities. Meals and snacks are provided each day. There are no responsibilities for property maintenance, utility bills, housekeeping, or laundry. There is assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with daily living tasks, medical monitoring and care.

Is an Assisted Living Community Right for Your or Your Loved One?

The decision to leave home and join an assisted living community is a personal one and often a financial one. At Green Hill, we recommend evaluating one’s healthcare needs, current and future physical and mental abilities, and financial circumstances to determine if you are ready for a move to assisted living. An assisted living community may seem like an expensive proposition but a cost comparison shows that aging in place at home is significantly more expensive. Below is a chart with the average expense comparison for living at home in northern New Jersey or to live in an assisted living suite at Green Hill Senior Living. (Livingwage.mit.edu, aplaceformom.com)

At Home Green Hill Assisted Living
Mortgage or Rent $1,500 $4,064
Property Tax $2,500 N/A
Property/Rental Insurance $78 N/A
Secutiy $100 N/A
Three Meals Daily $500 Included
Utilities $265 Included
Housekeeping $200 Included
Home Health Aide $4,500 $4,064
Property Maintenance $100 Included
Home Maintenance $150 Included
Trash/Sewer Fees $45 Included
TV/Internet/Phone $100 Included
Transportation/Gas/Insurance $715 Included
Activities and Recreation $100 Included
Total Monthly Expenses $10,853 $5,204
Note: At Home example based on national and NJ averages and 40 hours weekly home care. Green Hill Assisted Living example is 2017 rates for Studio with private bath and enhanced supervision with activities of daily living, medication administration, additional housekeeping and linen service. Note: At Home example based on national and NJ averages and 40 hours weekly home care. Green Hill Assisted Living example is 2017 rates for Studio with private bath and enhanced supervision with activities of daily living, medication administration, additional housekeeping and linen service.

For more information about Green Hill @Home care, or Green Hill Assisted Living visit www.green-hill.com or call 973-731-2300.