Home Care Services Questions
What is the difference between home care and home health care?
Home care services like Assisting Hands include assistance with household activities that allow you to maintain your independence at home. An Assisting Hands caregiver can work for 4 hours-24 hours/day to assist with light housekeeping, meal preparation, companionship, continence care, medication reminders, local transportation, and meal preparation, among other services. Check out our full list of services.
Home Health Care is often covered by Medicare and will provide a short visit from a team including a nurse, CNA (shower visit), and Physical Therapist. Home Health Care services are usually arranged following a stay in the hospital, skilled nursing, or as otherwise prescribed by a doctor. The visits from home health care are shorter in nature and they will not be able to assist with activities of daily living.
Families may use the services of home care and home health care in conjunction with each other.
What is included in home care services?
Our home care services include assistance with Activities of Daily Living. This includes but is not limited to bathing, dressing, grooming, medication reminders, meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, companionship, transportation and exercises. Please check the full list of services.
Does your agency provide transportation?
Yes, we provide transportation to doctor appointments, social outings and errands. If the caregiver utilizes their vehicle then a $.60 per mile reimbursement will be applied to your statement. Please check our in-home care services for details.
My mom is healthy, but I worry about her alone at home all day. Do you offer companionship services for people like her?
Yes! We do provide companionship services have a knack for making a great match. We’ll come out to learn more about your loved one and to tailor our companionship services to meet your individual needs.
What is the minimum number of hours required for home care services?
We require a 4-hour minimum per shift. We have a variety of service options ranging from “rise and shine” visits to live-in coverage. We make an effort to be flexible with your needs and offer an array of options. Our respite care services will help home caregivers to take a much-needed break from taking care of family members.
Can I cancel my home care service at any time?
Yes, we require 24-hour notice to either cancel a shift or services all together. We do understand that emergency situations arise and will be flexible.
Can I change my home care service or schedule?
Yes, we are flexible and can adapt to your needs as they change. Major changes may require a reevaluation of the service plan.
In-Home Caregivers Questions
What are the qualifications of the people who train your caregivers?
Our caregivers are trained by our Agency Manager, Daniellah Salario, Certified Senior Advisor. They complete additional training by local visiting specialists (hospice, dementia care practitioners, etc.), and online training through Caregiver List.
How are your caregivers supervised?
We use the latest technology “Telephony” to supervisor our caregiver’s arrival and departure times. This technology notifies the managerial staff within 10 minutes of the caregivers scheduled start time if they have not called in. Most often, the caregiver has already begun their duties. We also provide on-site supervision every 30-60 days and ongoing communication.
How does the scheduling process work?
We start by learning your care needs during the initial phone call and in-home consultation. The schedule works best when it is consistent week-to-week, whether that’s live-in care, 12-hour days, 8-hour days, 4 hours shifts, or once/week. We work with our coordinator and entire care team to find you the perfect match for the days and times requested.
Will I always have the same caregiver?
It is always our goal for you to have the same caregiver. It works best for you, our caregivers, and our office staff to ensure seamless communication and care. We still recommend having more than one caregiver who is familiar with the case for unexpected situations. Those who require more than 40 hours/week will have a few different caregivers. One may work Monday-Thursday, and a second Thursday-Monday. You will get used to seeing the same face on the same day. Routine is key!
What if my caregiver is not a good fit for me?
Your comfort is our first priority. We follow up with you and your loved one frequently. Anytime you are not completely comfortable with your caregiver, we will work with you to find a perfect fit.
Home Care Agency Questions
Who answers the phone after hours if we have an emergency?
Assisting Hands Home Care managerial staff will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, especially during an emergency. We feel it’s important to have a competent staff member available at all times.
What is the difference between a direct caregiver and home care agency?
When you become part of the Assisting Hands family work hard on your behalf to find the perfect match for your family! Additionally, we make sure the process complies with all state and federal laws through our licensing from Illinois Department of Public Health. When you hire directly, you are responsible for paying employment taxes and screening potential employees. We hope to earn your trust in doing what we love to do and what we do best: providing quality care to your loved one!
Can Assisting Hands Home Care assist with medications?
One of your trained caregivers can remind your loved one to take medications at prescribed times. Assisting Hands Home Care is licensed through the Illinois Department of Public Health and follows administrative code regarding medication governed by the state. According to Illinois law, a caregiver can only remind, not administer medication.
Is Assisting Hands Home Care licensed?
Yes, Assisting Hands Home Care is licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health. We are also bonded and insured. All of our caregivers are employees of Assisting Hands Home Care, whereby we assume liability for salaries, workman’s compensation and all staffing concerns.
Do you provide in-home consultations?
Yes! We are happy to come to your home for a complimentary one-hour in-home assessment. At that time, we can create a care plan and provide more information about how we may assist your family
Home Care Cost Questions
Will my insurance cover home care services?
Home care services may be covered by a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy. At this time, we do not work with any other type of insurance.
Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for home care services?
At this time services from Assisting Hands Home Care in Arlington Heights are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
How can I pay for home care?
Assisting Hands Home Care is a private duty home care agency. You can pay by check, credit card, ACH debit, or through your Long-Term Care Insurance Provider.
Do I pay the caregiver directly?
No, when you work with a home care agency, it’s our job to cover all employment taxes, payroll costs, workers’ compensation insurance and management of caregivers. Payment is as easy as paying any reoccurring bill. We can set up autopay, and mail or send a weekly invoice for the total cost of services.
Is there a deposit for home care services?
Yes, a deposit equal to one week of home care service is made at the time service is established. When the service is discontinued, the deposit will be applied to any remaining balance for services rendered.
What are the Home Care benefits for Veterans?
Veterans can receive additional pension funds to pay for home care costs. Please check out our VA home care page and/or contact us to learn more about the Aid and Attendance or Homemaker benefits. We would be happy to connect you with a local resource.
What is the best term to use: elder, senior, older adult?
Adults over 65 can be divided into three categories: young-old (65-74), old (74-85), and oldest old (85+). When unsure, the best term to use is older adult.
What are the common conditions in older adults who receive home care?
Chronic conditions in older adults who receive home care include arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, among others can make living at home unsafe. Our senior/elderly care service can help you maintain your independence in your own home and keep you safe from falls, help you with light housekeeping as well as companionship, bathing, preparing meals, etc.
My parents need some home modifications to make their home safe. Can you help advise us on installing grab bars or a ramp?
Yes! Assisting Hands Home Care can refer you to local resources who can help you out with these home modifications to make aging in place a reality!
When is it time to call Hospice?
Hospice can be elected when a patient suffers from a terminal illness and there is a prognosis of less than 6 months. If you are unsure, a visit from a physician can provide more information and help select a hospice organization. A person on hospice has elected to cease medical treatment for their disease.
How long can a person be in hospice care?
The prognosis should be less than six months, however patients may continue hospice care past this time.
What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?
Hospice care and palliative care share the common goal of pain and symptom management. A patient on hospice has a terminal diagnosis where the palliative patient may begin symptom management at the onset of the disease.
How does home care fit into hospice and palliative care?
Our home care services fit into hospice and palliative care by working with the hospice team to make sure you are comfortable and cared for in your home. The caregiver can help reposition you, change linens, give you a bed bath, prepare light meals, and keep you company between visits from hospice workers.
Is home care only for seniors?
We help adults who need an extra pair of hands to help them live independently in their homes.
Common Family Dilemmas
How do I know when home care is necessary?
We use the activities of daily living (ADLs) as a guide to determine when home care is necessary. Can eating, dressing, showering/bathing, grooming, continence care, etc, be accomplished safely on a daily basis? Think about your morning and nightly routines. Can your loved one accomplish these self-care tasks easily? If not, it might be time for help. Give us a call at (847) 462-4402 and we can come to do a free home safety assessment or refer you to other professionals in the community who can offer advice.
A few signs it might be time for some assistance:
- Falls: Has your loved one suffered from a number of falls recently? Did he or she end up in the hospital due to a fall? Our caregivers are trained in fall prevention techniques and can help your parent with activities during time of the day when a fall may be more likely to occur.
- Concern for driving: Are you starting to feel worried about your family member behind the wheel? Is his reaction time much slower than it used to be? Check out our blog post on how to talk with an older adult about driving.
- Nutrition suffers: Lifting heavy pots or carrying bags or fresh fruits and veggies can be hard for the older adults (think of someone suffering from osteoporosis or sight problems). They often opt for a microwave meals or skip meals altogether. Our caregivers can stop by to prepare some home cooked meals and leave leftovers in the fridge for the next day!
- Household chores are not being Accomplished: Do you notice a change in the way your loved one cares for the house? Our caregivers can visit to wash the comforters, vacuum, and do some other light housekeeping.
- Other Safety Concerns: Is there a chance he or she may forget to turn that burner off at night? Have you visited mom and dad and found the door unlocked? Consider a nightly “tuck-in” visit. Our caregiver can stop by in the evening to make sure medication has been taken, burners are off, and doors are locked!
What if my mother or father is stubborn and doesn’t want a caregiver?
It’s normal for a family member to feel a bit hesitant before inviting someone new into their home. Most of our parents have been caring for themselves and others for most of their adult lives. Try to involve them in the decision making process as much as possible. For example, would you rather have a caregiver come at 8:00am or 9:00am? Or would you prefer a female or male caregiver? Rest assured that after a bit of an adjustment period, your caregiver will become part of the family and you won’t be able to imagine life without them! Check out our blog post on what to do when a family member refuses home care.
My brothers and sisters live all over the country. How can we all stay informed about your home care services?
At Assisting Hands Home Care, our software utilizes the “Family Room” feature, where families can login to view schedules, care notes, invoices, etc. The staff at Assisting Hands serves as your concierge to keep all authorized parties informed about your services.
Our clients are our neighbors and part of our family. Are you worried about mom or dad from afar? Just give us a call and we will send someone over to check in and make sure all is well. The agency manager and majority of our caregivers live throughout Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Wheeling, and Prospect Heights. We work quickly to get to your parents in case of emergency.
If you need some tips on setting a plan of home care among siblings, please check out our blog post on how to coordinate care for an aging parent among siblings.
My parents are from a different generation, one where they were very distrusting of strangers in the home. Is this uncommon? How can I convince them that your home care workers are trustworthy?
This is a very common feeling. All of our caregivers pass through state and national background checks. They are fingerprinted and registered through the Illinois Department of Public Health Healthcare Worker Background Check. The caregivers are our employees and we are legally responsible for the work they perform inside your home.
Trust is built over time. Shortly your family member will feel like the caregiver is part of the family!