Feb 02, 2012 at 8:30 AM
Senior living for your loved ones is all about safety. As long as both your parents are still alive, and in good mental condition, it is probably fine for them to live alone. As they get older, one parent often slips into the role of caregiver for the other. Ensure that both parents are safe by assessing their living situation. Can both parents:
If they can, then living at home is probably a fine option. If one of your parents is no longer able to perform all of these tasks, then it may be necessary to provide additional in home care services or look at other senior living arrangements. Assisted living facilities can provide the needed help with care. Other options might include senior apartments.
At home care is inexpensive until you start adding in the cost of at home health care services. A home health aide starts at $14 per hour for a licensed care provider. Unless your parents live in a community that offers retirement village services, this can quickly become too expensive once daily assistance is needed. Assisted living facilities start at $1,084 per month, for single occupancy. Care services are added in on top, and the total cost can reach $3,000 or more, quickly. Medicaid may help with some of the health related services or personal care services depending on eligibility, but the basic rental for the apartment, utilities and meal plans must be covered out of pocket.
Once home care options have been eliminated, it is time to start researching alternative options. Many senior living facilities offer tiered living and pricing options. Senior apartments can be turned into assisted living and an eventual transfer to a nursing home is very possible. Research local communities to find the one that meets your parents needs.