Many overestimate cost of home care

Aug. 12, 2011 at 9:53 PM
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OMAHA, Okla., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Some consumers may be deterred from using non-medical home care, or even from considering it, because they think it is too expensive, a U.S. survey indicates.

A survey conducted by Home Instead Senior Care, a provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, indicates about 73 percent of seniors and their families who receive paid home care to help with their daily tasks said they were satisfied with the care and thought it was a good value for the money.

Those who don't receive home care estimated an average cost of $24.67 an hour for companionship care -- basic assistance with things such as cooking, light housekeeping, conversation, while it costs $26.84 for personal care, including bathing.

However, the actual average per-hour home care cost paid by the 70 percent in the survey who got care was $17.10 per hour, said Roger Baumgart, chief executive officer of Home Instead Senior Care, an international caregiving company.

"One of our goals is to enable seniors to remain in their homes, where studies show they are happier and receive more care," Baumgart says in a statement. "More seniors could utilize professional care to stay in their homes if they knew how modest the cost really is."

The national average cost for one year in a nursing home was $70,000 a year, a MetLife market survey of nursing home and home care costs in 2004 found.

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