Some 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.
However, a recent study conducted for Home Instead Senior Care shows that many people don't know how affordable home care can be, and 49 percent overestimated the cost by more than $6 per hour.
The actual average per-hour cost paid by the 70 percent in the survey who got care was $17.10 per hour.
Those who don't receive care estimated an average cost of $24.67 an hour for companionship care - basic assistance with things such as cooking and light housekeeping, as well as conversation - and $26.84 for personal care, including bathing.
The national average cost for one year of nursing home care is $70,000, which is almost 75 percent more than home health care.
The study shows that people may be deterred from using non-medical home care - or even from considering it - because of a misconception about the expense, according to Roger Baumgart, CEO of Home Instead Senior Care, an international care-giving company with more than 900 franchises in 15 countries.
"One of our goals is to enable seniors to remain in their homes, where studies show they are happier and receive more care," said Baumgart. "More seniors could utilize professional care to stay in their homes if they knew how modest the cost really is."
Seniors and their families who had the right pricing information would see how home care might fit into their budgets, Baumgart said.
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 900 independently owned and operated franchises in 15 countries spanning four continents.
Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners employ more than 65,000 CAREGivers(SM) who provide more than 45 million hours of client service each year through activities including companionship, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, errands and shopping. Home Instead Senior Care founders Paul and Lori Hogan pioneered franchising in the non-medical senior care industry and are leading advocates for senior issues throughout the world.
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