Budgeting Tips for Long Term At Home Care

Independent Living

October 07, 2021
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Home care costs for seniors often determine where they will live in their older years. Is aging at home an unachievable dream? Are at-home care costs too much to afford? What temporary at-home elderly care services are available in your area?

Anything is possible with the right planning. Use these budgeting tips to prepare for long-term care for yourself or your family members.

Start Saving

The first step is to determine your budget and calculate how much you can set aside for the future. While many of us have investments in retirement savings, we do not invest in our health as much.

  • Plan for your needs
  • Ask yourself if would you like to live in a retirement community, or age comfortably at home?

Both require a different set of funds that you need to lay aside. Place this money in a separate account that offers a high interest rate and do not use it. However, this may be tempting and difficult to do, as the end goal seems so far away.

In many cases, the amount you save may not cover all your expenses. What other options are there for long-term planning?

Long-Term Care Insurance

These policies differ from provider to provider, but all cover care expenses in long-term care. Modifications to your home are covered like:

  • Stairlifts
  • Shower seats
  • Toilet safety frames
  • Wheelchair ramps

Long-term care insurance also grows to reflect the inflation rate. Your benefits will be adjusted as you age so your coverage can stay the same. This is one of the main benefits of purchasing long-term care insurance, as opposed to saving your own funds.

  • If your premiums are unused, you can inquire about including a return of premium rider in your policy
  • All unused benefits will then be given to your beneficiaries
  • Speak to an insurance broker and ask how you can customize your benefits depending on your living situation

Reverse Mortgage

If you are a homeowner and are at least 62 years old, you could qualify for a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is a loan that you can take out against the market value of your house.

  • You need to be a primary resident of your home, be currently living there, and continue to pay taxes on the property
  • This loan must be paid in full upon the sale of the home, your death, or if you move.

Having a reverse mortgage allows you to age at home, but the equity of the house decreases as the loan increases.

This is a good option for you if you do not plan on passing the property down to your family members. Upon death, your family is obligated to settle the remaining loan or sell the house if they lack sufficient funds.

How much does home care for seniors cost?

  • A home support worker or personal care worker costs about $24 to $30 per hour to hire
  • Registered nurses cost about $40 to $60 per hour to hire

Depending on your needs, you may consider hiring a companion for minimum supervision. More than 150,000 Ontario residents require and purchase additional hours of long-term care services to keep living at home. 

There are also government subsidy programs for in-home care for seniors. Research what options exist in your region. You could qualify for subsidized care programs.

Government Aid for Low Income Families

  • Between 2016 to 2017, approximately 760,000 people in Ontario received funding for home care services

Government-funded care resources in Ontario are accessible through your Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The Network helps coordinate government-funded services for seniors living at home.

You need to apply for care by contacting a case manager online or via telephone. They can determine the level of care you need and decide which services you qualify for. A home visit will be scheduled to reassess your plan of care.

Resources to Afford Long-Term Home Care 

If you are over 65 and are retired, the Ontario government will also supply a guaranteed income supplement. This will help cover your monthly expenses but is not enough to afford at-home care.

Many local caregivers charge their own rates for home care services. You can negotiate with these professionals and ask them how they can fit your needs. Check out Caremada’s directory for local caregiving providers near you.


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