April 20, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Many of today’s seniors were raised during the Great Depression. They lived through a period of time when the nation was pinching pennies and cutting corners. Frugality was embedded in many of them very early on and often remains firmly in place for a lifetime.

So, what happens when an older adult is in need of care at home, has the financial capacity to pay for the care, but refuses to spend the money needed for that care? 

First, empathize. Understand that the person’s perspective is valid and based on past life experiences. In the event the senior seems to be reluctant to the notion of spending money for the care they need, remind yourself of the emotions behind the behaviors. An additional layer of difficulty might be in simply accepting the necessity for care altogether, something which is 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 loaf of bread to a new house. If the older adult has not had the opportunity to go shopping lately, go online to show them current pricing for items in general. Or take a look at 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 can help if a senior loved one is experiencing “sticker shock” at the cost for care services.

Allow lots of time for conversations. The choice to accept home care services is a life-altering one which often requires several conversations. Engage in discussions with a frugal senior concerning the cost-cutting measures they’ve proudly followed through the years. Utilize these strengths to compromise, if necessary, on covering the cost for care needs. For instance, it might 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 comfortable with their caregiver and sees what a significant difference home care makes, they may be more open to increasing services.

Additionally, it may be beneficial to enlist assistance from a third party – someone the person trusts and respects, such as their attorney, religious leader, primary care physician, or a close friend. Engaging in a conversation with this individual in regards to the benefits to be attained through a home care helper often helps minimize any doubts about cost.

When an older adult is ready to investigate home care services, get in touch with our home care professionals at (315) 579-HOME (4663). We’ll be pleased to discuss options with you and help you discover one that works the best.