Statistics show that more than 90 percent of older adults wish to stay in their homes as they age. As people grow older, however, their health gradually declines and makes living at home more and more problematic – seniors begin having difficulty moving around, doing housework, and performing basic activities of daily living.
If you have an elderly relative in a similar situation, home care is your best solution. In-home caregivers can provide the assistance and support your loved one needs to be able to continue to live safely and comfortably in their own home. Whether the senior requires hospice care, help with self-care and medication, or only limited assistance with housekeeping and transportation, in-home caregiving is a greatly beneficial option that will provide them not only with excellent personal care, but also with friendly companionship and emotional support.
When it comes to home care, it’s essential that you find the right fit for you and your elderly loved one. There are several important things to consider before choosing a home care provider in order to ensure the best possible care services for your senior relative:
What Are the Senior’s Needs?
The first thing to do when considering home care services is to determine the actual care needs of the senior:
- What daily activities do they need help with (shopping, housekeeping, meal-preparation, etc.)?
- Do they require assistance with self-care (bathing, dressing, grooming, etc.)?
- Do they need “skilled” care, such as taking blood pressure, testing blood sugar levels, administering injections, etc.?
- Do they require special health care that can only be provided by a licensed medical caregiver?
- Do they need dementia care?
- Do they need someone to escort them to medical appointments and social activities? If so, what mode of transportation will they use?
- Do they require around-the-clock care or just daily check-ins?
Some aging adults are capable of following most of their daily routines on their own and need help only with tasks they’re not physically strong enough to complete (such as shopping, housekeeping, and laundry). In such cases, two to four hours of home care a few times a week will suffice.
Other elderly people have difficulty performing even the most basic activities of daily living and need 24-hour home care.
Seniors who live with their families may require caregiver services only for a part of the day while their family members are at work.
Some older adults may need a caregiver in the mornings to help them bathe, dress for the day, and make breakfast. Others may need companionship and assistance in the evenings. Every individual has their specific needs and preferences.
It’s your elderly loved one’s physical and mental condition that will determine how many hours of caregiver services (and what kind of care) will be required.
Good to know: Many senior care agencies carry out a thorough assessment process that allows them to evaluate the level of care and companionship needed by the senior and develop an appropriate care plan.
How Much Care Can the Family Provide?
The next most important thing to consider before choosing home care services is the level of help the senior’s family can provide. Depending on the nature of your work and where you live, you and your family members may or may not be able to care for your elderly relative:
- Larger families may be able to contribute more hours of care than smaller ones;
- Family members who work part time or work from home may be able to assist an elderly relative more frequently and for longer periods of time;
- Family members who live far from their senior loved one may not be able to provide any care at all.
Family caregivers provide over 75% of caregiving support in the US and help aging loved ones maintain a safe and comfortable lifestyle in their own homes. Yet, as the senior’s health deteriorates over time and their abilities continue to diminish, it becomes increasingly difficult for family members to provide appropriate care.
If the level of care your elderly relative requires has become more than you can handle, it’s time to consider professional caregiving services.
How to Choose a Home Care Agency
Once you decide that in-home care is the right solution for you and your family, you’ll want to ensure that your aging relative gets the best possible care. This means finding a reliable caregiver who has plenty of experience in dealing with cases similar to your own.
But how to choose the best home care provider for your needs?
In order to be the right fit for your family, your chosen senior care agency must not only provide qualified care that can be customized to meet your specific needs, but should also be one you feel secure and comfortable with. The employees must be highly trained, experienced, trustworthy, and compassionate. Your caregiver should also be properly licensed, insured, and bonded.
Here are some of the most important things to consider when looking for a professional in-home care provider:
- Is the agency licensed by the state?
- Is it certified by Medicare?
- Does it meet the applicable federal requirements for health and safety?
- How long has the provider been in business?
- What kind of home care services does the agency provide? Do they offer the specific services your elderly loved one needs (physical therapy, dementia care, etc.)?
- Can they meet any special needs you may have (language or cultural preferences, hourly care schedule, etc.)?
- How does the agency select its employees? Does it perform thorough background checks on its caregivers?
- Are employees licensed and insured?
- What type of training do caregivers receive? Are there any specific certifications or courses the agency requires its caregivers to complete?
- Are there any qualified caregivers that have specializations in the areas your senior needs help with?
- Who can you contact if you have questions or concerns?
- How does the provider follow up on and resolve problems?
- What’s the agency’s rating with the Better Business Bureau?
- Does the provider have references? What sort of feedback have you got from other people receiving care from this agency?
- How does the provider handle medical emergencies?
- How do they protect patient information?
There are many other considerations when choosing home care services, of course, but these questions will start you out on the right path to finding a trustworthy, experienced caregiver.
Good to know: When discussing your loved one’s care needs with a senior care agency, be sure to give an example of your elderly relative’s typical day – from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed (including a timeline of when they prefer meals and naps, a list of the activities they like to engage in, etc.). You need to make sure that your senior receives excellent care that is compatible with their habitual daily routine.
What Is the Cost of Home Care?
Last but not least, you need to consider the cost of home care services. It’s a major deciding factor and often a limiting one for families on tight budgets. Fortunately, many home care providers are both reliable and affordable. Besides, there are several good funding solutions that can be used to cover home care costs.
Depending on the type of services required, the cost of home care ranges from $20 to $25 an hour.
Long-term care insurance will cover at least a part of the expenses. Based on the type of policy and plan of care, this insurance may pay for a wide variety of home care services, including care options that may not be covered through government programs. Depending on the senior’s preferences, the policies can be deluxe or frugal, covering all caregiver expenses for an unlimited amount of time or any partial expenses for a limited period.
If your senior relative is a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran, they may be eligible for a VA benefit called “Pension with Aid and Attendance.” This benefit may provide reimbursement funding of up to $25,020 a year to help cover medical expenses, including home care services.
Reverse mortgages and life settlements are also viable options for funding home care.
In general, you should not expect for Medicare coverage to pay for elder care services, though it may cover some of the costs under certain circumstances.
Anyway, do not let financial concerns stop you from ensuring the best care services for your senior relative – home care is usually more affordable than you may have initially thought, especially if only lighter assistance is required.
Why Choose Assisting Hands Home Care?
Assisting Hands Home Care is a licensed and insured home care agency that emphasizes quality customer service and highly personalized in-home care in order to provide seniors with the chance to remain independent, safe, and comfortable in their own homes – as they wish.
We offer a wide range of senior home care services – from assistance with daily routines and personal hygiene through meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation, and companionship to specialized care as hospice care and Alzheimer’s care. Our home care plans are tailored to meet every person’s individual needs and health care requirements. Our skilled, courteous caregivers are richly experienced and highly trained to provide excellent care, emotional support, and friendly companionship. You can use our effective, affordable senior home care services for as many hours a week as you need to.
If you have an elderly loved one in the Miami, FL, area who needs assistance with daily living, Assisting Hands Serving Miami is the company to call. Contact us at 305-274-6471 with your questions and concerns – we will respond quickly and effectively to your needs and will provide exceptional home care to your senior relative, improving the quality of their life and providing peace of mind to you and your family.