Many of today’s older adults were raised in the Great Depression. They lived through a period when the nation was pinching pennies and cutting corners. Frugality was embedded in many of them at an early age and often remains firmly in place for a lifetime.
So what exactly occurs when an older adult is in need of care at home, has the financial ability to afford care, but is hesitant to see the value in the cost for elder care?
First, empathize. Keep in mind that the person’s perspective 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 additional layer of difficulty may be in simply accepting the necessity for care altogether, something that is above and beyond mere frugality.
Spend some time shopping with the older adult. Costs were far different years ago than they are today, for everything from a gallon of milk to a new car. If the older adult has not had the opportunity to go shopping lately, go online to show them current pricing for a variety of items. Or check out 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 will help if a senior is experiencing “sticker shock” at the cost for care services.
Plan ample time for conversations. The decision to accept home care services is a life-altering one that frequently requires more than one conversation. Engage in discussions with a frugal senior concerning the cost-cutting measures they have proudly followed through the years. Utilize these strengths to compromise if needed on covering the cost for care needs. For instance, it may be that instead of full-time care, the senior would accept a few hours of care each week for help with necessary tasks at home. When the person is more comfortable with their caregiver and sees what a positive change home care makes, they may be more responsive to increasing services.
Additionally, it may be beneficial to enlist assistance from a third party – someone the person trusts, such as their attorney, religious leader, physician, or a close friend. Engaging in a conversation with this individual about the advantages to be attained through a home care assistant may help minimize any concerns about cost.
When a senior is ready to investigate elderly care in Norfolk or the surrounding communities, connect with Seniorcorp’s home care experts at 757-640-0557. We will be pleased to discuss care options with you and help you discover one that is most effective.