More and more baby boomers are finding themselves wondering how best to care for their aging parents. Is there an alternative to nursing homes, assisted living or inviting the in-law to stay in the spare bedroom?
Costs Comparisons: Nursing Home, Assisted Living Care, & Mother In-Law Suite
Nursing home care costs range from $42,000 (Louisiana) to $200,000 (Massachusetts) per year. The national average is $75,190, or $206 per day.
Assisted living in a private room, typically with meals, housekeeping and personal care assistance, ranges from $20,904 (North Dakota) to $52,560 (New Jersey). The national average is $35,616.
Keeping the elderly parent at home in an arrangement such as a mother in law suite, can entail the cost of food and medicine, adult day care ($56 per day national average), home health aides (around $19 per hour), or a part-time caretaker, depending on the level of care needed. The elder may need assistance with eating, toileting, bathing and getting dressed.
Other Considerations: Honor, Respect, & Love
Deviating from the finances for a minute, let’s get down to basics. In a pleasant, successful family, the parents love and help their children. They are a child’s best friends. They help the next generation grow into people who can solve the problems of life.
In return, the children honor and respect their parents. It is a relationship without lies, where communication brings about love and agreements. As parents age, it sometimes falls upon the children to care for them.
A Personal Choice
The best route to go in determining whether to care for the elders at home or not depends on the individual circumstances. One may take into account finances, health and the relationship. Additionally, folks on the decline have been known to exhibit antagonism, anger, resentment, fear, grief and apathy; in other words, they are not always themselves but respond best to cheerfulness.
Benefits Of A Mother In-Law Suite
Those who choose to care for their parents at home may wish to contact a local contractor to build a room addition with a separate entrance and its own bath and kitchen. A 300 square foot in-law suite in Southern California, for example, might cost $30,000. This would be around 15 feet by 20 feet, including a small bath and kitchenette.
If zoning allows for more than a single-family residence, such as zoning for a duplex, fourplex or apartment, an entirely separate structure can be built. Local laws can be consulted about how far away from property lines one can build. A 20 feet by 20 feet structure with a small kitchen and bath, at Southern California prices, might be built for around $40,000.
Additional expenses would be emergency call buttons, wheelchair ramps, wider doors, larger tubs, tubs that open on the side and grab bars.
Besides saving on nursing home and assisted living costs, a room addition also adds to the resale value of the home. Depending on the area, you can generally get back the money you spent on it. Homeowners not wishing to lose their inheritance to nursing home fees may go the room addition route.
A separate building or a separate entrance is good for the senior and good for the rest of the family. It gives the elder privacy, dignity, a sense of belonging and a place for their beloved possessions.
Best of all, the parent is close to those who love them.