In-home care agencies are plentiful. With around 13,000 agencies in the US, seniors and their families have an abundance of options from which to choose. The numerous emerging and established senior care agencies may overwhelm families when it comes to selecting the most suitable agency for their loved one’s needs.
Involving an in-home care agency in a senior’s life requires a great deal of reliability and trust, since the caregiver will enter the loved one’s home and assist with personal tasks. When evaluating in-home care agencies, consider several important factors to help narrow down the many options for senior care.
Assess Needs: Non-medical or Medical
Discuss with your loved one what his or her needs are. Does the senior require weekly transportation to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store?
Your loved one’s health condition may necessitate help with the activities of daily living, such as grooming, bathing and toileting. Basic assistance, like these mentioned, can be provided by a non-medical in-home care agency.
If the senior in your life has recently recovered from a surgery or returned home after a hospital stay, the individual will benefit from medical care at home.
Changing wound dressings, checking vital signs and administering medication are all medical tasks that must be performed by a skilled healthcare professional.
In such instances, the services of an in-home healthcare agency are appropriate. A registered nurse will arrive at the home of your loved one and provide the necessary medical care.
Once you’ve narrowed down your in-home care agency options based on the type of care needed, evaluate the agency’s credentials.
Evaluate Credentials: Licensed, Bonded and Insured
A licensed, bonded and insured in-home care agency is critical, since the caregivers will be responsible for your loved one’s well-being for the duration of care. Caregivers should be screened and proven trustworthy and dependable.
Licensure verifies the agency’s ongoing compliance with state and federal regulations and standards. Being licensed also lets clients know the agency is competent in the field.
Bonding is legalese speak that covers theft by a caregiver. In the event a caregiver steals from the care recipient, the agency will compensate the victim up to the amount of the loss.
Insurance protects clients if the caregiver is injured on the job. Working with the elderly population has its risks, especially when shifting clients in and out of bed or attempting to transfer the senior. Any claims are filed against the home care agency’s insurance rather than the client’s.
Understand Payment Options: Insurance, Medicare
Financing a loved one’s in-home care is a hefty expense. Long-term care insurance can cover the majority of the senior’s healthcare costs. Premiums increase with age.
Healthy seniors in their 50s and 60s will pay significantly less than individuals in their 70s; however, seniors with chronic or severe medical conditions and those over the age of 84 may not qualify for coverage.
Certain non-medical caregiving services are covered by private medical insurance, while other personal home care services are not covered. Investigate various insurance plans to determine optimum coverage options.
Medicare is a payment option for seniors aged 65 and older. Short-term, in-home medical care that is prescribed by a physician is typically covered. Medicare will not pay for non-medical care. Home care agencies that are Medicare certified offer a range of covered health care services.
Determine Availability: Short-Term, Long-Term
Home care agencies recognize that some seniors require around the clock care. Meet with potential in-home care agencies to determine the frequency of care. Is live-in care available? Is 24-hour care an option? Families who need the services of a caregiver for only a few hours a week should also investigate respite care options.
Home care agencies may be available on short notice, with some having the staffing ability to dispatch a caregiver to the senior’s home within 48 hours.
Reputable home care agencies will screen their caregivers and conduct background checks prior to employment. Interview agencies to ensure management recruits only skilled, experienced and certified professionals.
Families should also check references from clinical experts, friends and colleagues. Online review sites and social media are good indicators of an agency’s reputation. Positive reviews left by customers offer a great degree of confidence in the agency’s services, while warnings from past customers should be heeded.
Allow an Adjustment Period
When you settle on an agency, it is important to allow for an adjustment period. Your loved one will need time to become accustomed to a new individual in the home.
If possible, families should spend the first few hours in the company of both the caregiver and care recipient to ease the transition process.
Families can inform the caregiver of the senior’s daily routines or mealtime preferences, for instance. Over time, the senior will look forward to the caregiver’s services.
The right caregiver will give the senior in your life a sense of dignity and help him or her live with as much independence as possible. Assisting Hands Home Care in Schaumburg, Illinois, is a well-recognized in-home care agency with a dedication to compassionately serving the local elderly population.
Our team at Assisting Hands Home Care starts the caregiving process with a meeting with family members. During the discussion, a customized home care plan is developed to meet the individual needs of your loved one. Once care officially starts, the flexible care plan is updated to allow for changing needs.
The non-medical services provided by Assisting Hands Home Care range from personal services, such as bathing, dressing and grooming, to meal preparation, transportation and fall prevention.
We also retain a staff of skilled caregivers who are trained to accommodate specific ailments, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses.
Companionship is vital to every senior’s life and Assisting Hands Home Care caregivers offer several opportunities for seniors to socialize, including pleasant conversation, playing card games or transportation to social activities.
Rely on Assisting Hands Home Care for compassionate, dedicated elder care services by caregivers who are licensed, bonded and insured and offer maximum peace of mind.