Thursday, August 1, 2019

The cost of care for the elderly

Care for the elderly within an aging population is an ever growing challenge, but quality services are already in place in the Algarve for visitors and permanent residents from abroad, as well as local citizens  –  at a significant cost.  
The various services include assistance from unofficial carers, registered caring agencies, retirement homes and sheltered communities with nursing facilities.
The Portuguese have traditionally looked after their own elderly within their family circles.  This is partly due to their culture, as well as costs and a state system with poor resources.  Foreigners who have not worked in this country and paid into the social security system are obliged to return to their country of origin or seek private care.
With people generally living longer and illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia increasingly on the rise, private care has become all the more vital. 
Competent help at home can be best obtained through reliable personal recommendations. 
Arrangements to help those with physical or mental impairments can range from a few hours a day a few days a week, to round-the-clock full-time in extreme cases.
The current normal hourly rate for informal daytime care is €10; less overnight. That means that round-the-clock care can reach  €6,000 or more a month.
Registered agencies charge more – typically €12.50, €15 or even €17 an hour during the day – in providing a wide range of home services all over the region using networks of fully trained associate nurses and carers.    
A cheaper option for those in need of full-time care would be a partially state-funded retirement home. Full-board in a single room – if you can find one –  may cost  €1,900 a month, not including medications or special medical treatment.
By contrast, the Madrugada charitable organisation, founded in the western Algarve in 2009, offers palliative care free of charge. Most of its patients affected by a life-limiting illness  are located in its main operational area, between Lagoa and Budens. 

Dependant on fund-raising events, donations and charity shops,  Madrugada’s  clinical team provide care to those who prefer to spend their remaining days in their own home.

Madrugada say the criteria for receiving home care considers the patient’s wishes, the clinical indications, the suitability of the home environment for safe and effective nursing care, the willingness of the patient’s family and current medical team to work in tandem with their professional team.
Special care equipment is made available to ensure that patients remain as safe and as comfortable as possible.
In addition to palliative care, Madrugada provides more normal hourly or daily services with carers looking after patients at home.

Another unique organisation in the Algarve but in a very different setting is the Monte de Palhagueira sheltered community. Comprising a village of 33 privately-owned properties next to a 20-room nursing home, it's located in a beautiful hillside setting at Gorj├┤es,  a 20-minute drive from Faro Airport. 

Other features interspersed by landscaped gardens and  connected by tranquil lanes include an Anglican Church, a restaurant, a tennis court, two swimming pools and an ornamental lake.
The village properties are all different in size and shape, costing from £90,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to £340,000  for a three-bedroom, two-storey villa.
Properties seldom come on the market and when they do, those already living in the community or on a waiting list have first choice. 

The nursing home costs at Monte de Palhagueira depend on the size of the room and the level of care, but are between €1,100 and €1,350 per week.

Whichever of the above options is most appropriate, two important points, especially for foreign residents to bear in mind, are the likely need to plan well ahead and the volatility of foreign exchange rates.

Monte de Palhagueira

1 comment:

Amy said...

Reducing the costs of elder care nowadays is next to impossible but what you can do is purchase an insurance that can help you afford the cost of care.
Reference: Assisted Living Minnessota