When you hear about the very high assisted living community and nursing home expenses we are seeing in the United States these days you are probably going to be looking for alternatives. One very logical possibility would be to simply stay at home and engage the services of a caregiver to help you as needed.
While there are costs involved in this as well the expense will be considerably less than the charge for full-time residence in an assisted living community or a nursing home.
You do have to be very careful about selecting an in-home health aide. Many people who are sent out are not qualified, and a rather shocking percentage have never been subject to a criminal background check or a drug test.
Researchers at Northwestern University were interested in finding out about the diligence of agencies that provide in-home caregivers. They acted as though they were individuals asking questions on behalf of a relative who was looking for in-home care.
A total of 180 private agencies were involved. Almost half of them conducted no criminal background checks at all, and none of them probed outside of their own states. Amazingly, just 15% of these agencies provided their caregivers with any training at all. Just a third of them conducted drug tests.
Most people are not going to feel comfortable if they knew that their caregiver may or may not have a criminal record and/or a drug problem. You are also probably going to want your in-home health aide to be qualified and fully trained.
Staying at home while engaging a caregiver can be a good choice, but in light of this research you would do well to be very discerning and ask a lot of questions before making any final decisions.