Affordability in senior care is one of the three big topics we are taking on at the Mavericks Transformation Summit 2020. This complex topic will require creative thinking and leadership to make change.

The average U.S. cost of home care alone is $16-$28/hour. That may not sound like a lot, but it adds up fast. In fact, one study showed that “only 57% of seniors over 65 with significant disabilities could afford to pay for at least two years of moderate home care if they liquidated all their assets, while only 40% would be able to fund two years of extensive care.”

older man

Rising costs of caring for our older adults is putting a financial and emotional strain on family caregivers, and putting pressure on our tax-payer funded programs.

What is “affordable?”

Affordable is a subjective term. For some, affordable means $7,500/month in senior care costs. For others it means less than $500/month.

Our society isn’t built to provide the same care to everyone. Each of us have different lifestyles based on choices, circumstances and economic power. But does that mean that someone with little financial means should not have access to decent care in their older years?

Is there a way to create solutions for everyone, regardless of their economic situation?

We think it’s possible. But it won’t happen overnight. Which is why we need to start talking about it and taking action now.

What makes these so expensive?

As we said earlier, it is complex and multi-faceted. One reason is related to labor shortages and extraordinarily high turnover rates, which drives up wages. Another is because we want to create a great environment, so many senior living communities add in luxury amenities.

In an article in Senior Housing News in 2017, they suggested that “in theory, nixing some of the traditional senior living services would help keep monthly rents down while still allowing for the kind of shared social experiences that many independent living residents covet.”

What can we do better?

Home Health Care News summarized the impending trouble when they said, “if nothing changes, a growing number of seniors could be left without the care they need, while also burdening family caregivers and taxpayer-funded Medicaid programs.” 

This is a complex problem and requires people from all different roles to sit down at the table and talk about it. So that we understand each other’s challenges, processes and goals, allowing us to rise above our own silos to begin to solve the bigger picture. And the bigger picture needs to be solved. For our parents, for ourselves, and for our children.

If you are pulled to make change in today’s senior care, whether because of your own personal experiences or because you simply know we can do better, please join the conversation at the Mavericks Transformation Summit Spring 2020.