Louisville families faced with the need to move a senior loved one into residential memory care often struggle to anticipate the true cost of that care. Monthly costs for assisted living and memory can vary, based on geographic location. It’s a significant financial strain for many Kentucky families. But another way of looking at it is to consider the value of that care.
Residential memory care can reduce the load on family caregivers
When an elder can no longer safely live at home, the burden of care falls to someone, and that’s most often the spouse or the adult children.
According to family caregiver and Life Happens contributor Sara Hogan, the ancillary cost of providing full-time care can become crushing.
"Many caregivers say that you don’t plan on being a caregiver—it often happens to you," Hogan wrote. "That’s how I found myself caring for my mother. We didn’t have a plan in place, and since I was the only one of my siblings still living in the same state, I became her caregiver."
"The next seven years required a delicate balance of responsibilities, as I continued to work full-time and my husband and I raised our three teenage children. Inevitably priorities changed and sacrifices had to be made to provide my mom with the care that she needed, which impacted all areas of our lives," she said.
People who leave the workforce to provide full time care to an aging parent lose an average of $300,000 in income and benefits, Hogan noted. And the burden of care provision can negatively impact familial relationships.
“When you’re so focused on caring for a loved one, it’s easy to forget to care for yourself," she said. "Sometimes there just may not be enough time in the day, so it’s easy to understand why about one in five family caregivers believes their health has gotten worse as a result of their responsibilities."
Families who opt to place an elder loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s know that he or she will have round-the-clock medical and safety monitoring, access to a social support network and help in remembering to take his or her life-preserving medications. That peace of mind is valuable.
Plan ahead to prepare for the cost of memory care
How can your family be ready to meet the costs of a senior loved one’s memory care? Plan ahead.
First and foremost, know which memory care facility — in Louisville or elsewhere — your relative wishes to live in. It’s most helpful if, in the early stages of dementia (or even pre-diagnosis), you visit retirement communities together and decide which one is right for your family’s needs.
Once you have identified the community your loved one wants to receive care from, and know whether its costs are feasible, you can develop a budget and adjust your family’s financial planning to meet the need.
If your older loved ones are still healthy, they may still be able to purchase long-term care insurance. Make sure that any policy they consider is accepted by the memory care facility they wish to receive their care in.
Some elder veterans, too, may qualify for memory care benefits as part of their VA entitlements package. Make sure that you investigate any eligibilities their veteran status may afford them under federal and state provisions.
A move into residential memory care may be the best move for your loved one.
Residential memory care, in a not-for-profit retirement community like Episcopal Church Home, doesn't take an Alzheimer’s or dementia sufferer’s independence away. Rather, it provides a safe environment that allows your loved one to continue living as independently as possible.
Weigh its costs against all the potential costs — monetary and otherwise — of family care. In many cases, you'll find that assisted living or residential memory care is the most feasible course of action. All that remains thereafter is to choose a provider, and budget accordingly.
Learn more about Episcopal Church Home’s person-centered approach to senior care.
If your older loved one needs residential retirement care in Louisville, we’d love to show you the difference holistic care can make in seniors’ overall well-being.
Click here to learn more about our senior services — from assisted living to residential memory care — then come take a tour of our Kentucky retirement community.