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Living Safely at Home - A Guest Blog

FCP Live-In Caregiving - A Cost-Effective Alternative

by Kevin Williams, Care Coordinator, FCP Live-In

Attorney RJ Connelly III

"One of the major issues families struggle with when it comes to aging parents is their living situation," said certified elder law Attorney RJ Connelly III. "Most seniors want to stay at home where they are comfortable, where memories were made, and family can be present whenever they choose to. Let's face it, starting over for those of any age is stressful, and to do so in your senior years is especially difficult. FCP Live-In offers families a choice and from the direct care providers to the office staff, they are truly compassionate and dedicated professionals. Because of this, I asked Kevin Williams, care coordinator at FCP Live-In, to do a guest blog about their services."


FCP Live-In Caregiving I'm not safe living at home independently. What are my options?

I'm glad you asked. As a nurse, I have seen many challenges with living at home independently, especially with our senior population. Navigating through the different options can be overwhelming, so I will try to simplify it for you.


Assisted living may be a good option for some that can still meet the state requirements to live in this type of facility. They have activities and social events, meals are prepared and served in a restaurant-like atmosphere, and they offer laundry and housekeeping, on-site maintenance, medication management, and in most cases, on-site nursing for at least part of the day. However, staffing is an enormous challenge for facilities these days. It has always been a challenge in our area, but COVID has made it infinitely worse.


Depending upon the type of facility and the location, the cost associated with living in an assisted living could be substantial to the point where you would have to sell your home and potentially liquidate some assets to make it work, and you may, in most cases, have to commit to a period of 1 year. And on a side note, if for some reason you have any medical issue which causes you to go to the hospital and then you have to go to rehab before going back to the assisted living, you would still be paying for your room at the assisted living and potentially paying privately for your room at the rehab as well.

Live-In caregiving an option

For those that are more medically complicated, a nursing home/long-term care facility may be a good option. However, there is also an even bigger staffing challenge at these facilities, and before insurance will pick up the tab, in most cases, you need to liquidate everything based on what they refer to as "a spend down." These facilities are also tremendously expensive. Depending on if and or how you have set up your estate planning and depending on the state that the facility you go to is in, cost can range from the mid $300s per day upwards of over $500 per day.


Another option is hiring hourly caregivers to come in for different segments of time throughout the day or night. This could be a good option for those who don't need much extra assistance. However, due to staffing challenges, there may be times were a caregiver calls out, and the organization may or may not have someone to fill that gap. This could be dangerous for clients that may be non-ambulatory and bedbound.


The cost for these services has increased, like everything else these days, and typically there are waiting lists- with some organizations. This is a good option for people who don't want someone living in their home, need less hands-on care, or perhaps don't have the space in their home for a live-in, and depending upon your situation, insurance may cover all or part of this type of service.

Most seniors would rather remain in their home

The last option for those with the financial ability to do so (Whether it be private pay or long-term care insurance) is live-in care. At FCP Live-In, we have provided live-in care to clients throughout New England for almost 26 years. We recruit nationally, so we don't typically face the same challenges as most organizations. We are a much more cost-effective option; most importantly, you get to stay safely in your home—the place where you raised your family and built a lifetime of memories.


Our caregivers do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, medication setup, and reminders. They will drive you to doctors' appointments, social events, etc., and they will take care of all your personal care needs such as toileting, bathing, dressing, feeding, etc. I was the Executive Director and Director of Nurses at a beautiful, waterfront, brand-spanking new assisted living facility, and I had clients coming up to me every day telling me how much they liked the staff, how much they enjoyed the view, etc., but in many instances, they finish their conversation with, "but I would've rather have stayed in my own home."


The biggest pushback I get with live-in care is, "I don't want a stranger living in my house," which I can certainly understand. However, I like people to keep in mind that caregivers can be as visible or as invisible as you need them to be. Sometimes, clients have to be a little flexible to achieve their ultimate goal of staying home.


The most important thing I like to impress upon people is that we only have a two-week minimum, so if you're not sure which option best suits your needs, I always recommend you try it for two weeks and see what happens. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

Kevin Williams has been a nurse for 17 years. He also has held positions as director of

nurses in an Assisted Living facility, a Memory Care Director, a charge nurse, a Unit

Manager in a Skilled Nursing Facility and ran the medical department at a prison. Kevin

also developed a computer program for the medical industry that is still utilized in some

care facilities in MA. He is now a care coordinator with FCP Live-In and truly feels he

helps more people in this role than in any of his other roles.


If you would like to learn more about Live-In care, please feel free to email me at kevin.williams@fcplivein.com or call me at 401.408.9183.

 

The opinions expressed in our guest blogs are those of the author(s) only. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Attorney RJ Connelly III, or the employees of Connelly Law Offices, Ltd.