April 21, 2022

Misconceptions over the cost of care can unfortunately drive seniors away from the help they need.

A lot of today’s older adults grew up during the Great Depression. They lived through a period when the country was cutting corners and pinching pennies. Frugality was embedded in many of them at an early age and often remains firmly in place for a lifetime. 

So what occurs when an older adult is in need of care in the home, has the financial ability to pay for the care, but does not want to spend the money necessary for that care? 

First, empathize. Understand that the person’s viewpoint is valid and determined by past life experiences. In the event the older adult seems to be reluctant to the idea of spending money for the care they need, remind yourself of the emotions behind the behaviors. An added layer of difficulty might be in simply accepting the necessity for care altogether, something that is above and beyond mere frugality.

Spend some time shopping with the senior. Costs were much different years ago than they are today, for everything from a loaf of bread to a new car. If the senior hasn’t had the opportunity to go shopping lately, go online to show them current pricing for items in general. Or take a look at this inflation calculator that shows you the value of $100 between one year and another. (For instance, $100 in 1950 is the equivalent of $1,166.59 today!) This can help if a senior loved one is experiencing “sticker shock” at the cost for care services.

Allow lots of time for conversations. The choice to accept home care services is a life-altering one that frequently requires several conversations. Engage in discussions with a frugal senior concerning the cost-cutting measures they have proudly adhered to through the years. Utilize these strengths to compromise if necessary on covering the cost for care needs. For example, it could be that instead of full-time care, the older adult would accept a few hours of care every week for help with necessary tasks around the house. When the person is more comfortable with their caregiver and sees what a significant difference home care makes, they may be more amenable to increasing services.

Additionally, it might be helpful to enlist the help of a third party – a person the senior respects and trusts, for example, their attorney, religious leader, primary care physician, or a close friend. Engaging in a conversation with this particular individual in regards to the benefits to be gained through a home care helper can help overcome any doubts about cost. 

When an older adult is ready to investigate home care services, get in touch with Continuum’s experts in companion care in St. Louis and surrounding areas at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 . We will be happy to discuss options that help you find one that is most effective.