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Most seniors not only prefer, but also intend to grow old in the comfort of their own homes. The main reason that seniors prefer to age at home is as simple as "I like my home and don't want to move out". Even stronger is seniors' intentions to live at home – around 90% of older Americans intend to live in their current homes for the next 5-10 years.1
Home care has grown in popularity due to this overwhelming desire of our elderly loved ones to age in place. Hiring in-home caregivers is a fitting compromise to respect our aging parent's wishes and make staying at home a practical option.
What is Home Care?
Home care in reference to non-medical agencies encompasses a variety of custodial services including housekeeping, shopping, cooking, and driving to appointments. Hiring caregivers through home care agencies can help manage activities of daily living including personal care such as bathing, toileting, grooming, dressing, exercising and walking. Additional assistance from home care agencies may include companionship, medication reminders, and safe supervision of those with dementia. These services are not covered by Medicare or private insurance but instead must be paid for privately out of pocket. Alternative payment options include long-term care insurance or VA health care benefits. Regardless, home care is typically more affordable then other care options, and thus should be a first consideration to accommodate your senior's lifestyle choice.
It can be notably confusing to understand the various types of home care, whether non-medical, skilled home health care or even staffing and registries. Basically home health care agencies differ from non-medical home care agencies because they do not offer custodial care. Instead, RNs and rehab therapists like PTs, OTs, and STs provide skilled care to patients reimbursed by Medicare and private insurance (under very strict regulations).
Likewise it may be unclear as to the type of caregiver needed to care for your loved one, for example a certified nurse (CNA), companion, or homemaker. It's most sensible and cost effective to hire a caregiver that is not over or under qualified. Our nurses have devised an easy to use Caregiver Selector Tool to guide you through this home care maze.
Other Home Care Options
Adult Day Care programs are a very worthy home care option to consider accommodating our parent's aging in place with some added social benefits. Less expensive than home care or when used in conjunction with home care often makes it more budget friendly. Limited facilities in many areas, transportation issues, and health restrictions may limit eligibility. Refer to our directory for programs in your area as clearly it should weigh in as a viable home care option.
Alzheimer's care is typically and best managed with home care and adult day care due to minimal disruption of routines and keeping loved ones in familiar surroundings. It's crucial from the start to recognize the need to hire in-home help or adult daycare to relieve you of burdensome caregiving responsibilities.
Hospice care is covered by Medicare and private insurances to give families support they will need on many levels to honor their loved one's wishes to die at home. Most of our loved ones near end of life strongly voice the desire to spend their last months at home. Home care agencies furnish additional caregivers including nurse assistants, companions and homemakers to complement hospice care already provided.
Privately hiring caregivers is another home care option in which you become the employer. Disadvantages of private hires are supervisory responsibilities, no back-up caregivers, and financial duties of employee wages and taxes. However, hiring private caregivers is usually less costly and offers more control over hiring and scheduling. You may refer to our website to place an employment listing for private job openings or browse resumes of caregivers seeking employment.
Home Support Services
The complexity of coordinating and managing home care services, coupled with expenses, and declining health, often calls for, and justifies the need to acquire some of the following home support services.
Home Health Care Products are available in our online store that has been compiled by our nurses over the years based on listening to what our family caregivers need. Fair and reasonable pricing along with our unique nurses notes reviewing products will help you make better decisions.
Home Modifications services help seniors adapt their homes to meet needs related to their declining abilities, such as building entry ramps and installing grab bars in bathrooms.
Meals Delivered to your senior's home provided by your local "Meals on Wheels" programs are nationally funded and designed to ensure your home bound loved one is getting daily nutritious meals.
Transportation services for travel assistance to doctor appointments and other errands are often arranged by local "Areas Agencies on Aging".
An Elder Law Attorney should be contacted when your parent needs legal assistance to plan advance directives for health care such as living wills and durable power of attorneys for health and finances. Hire an eldercare attorney to manage complex estate planning, guardianships, wills, and trusts.
A Financial Advisor may be consulted for help with decisions about long term care including long term care insurance, reverse mortgages, life and health insurance.
Use our handy Home Care Safety Checklist to learn ways to safely prepare your loved one's home or your own home when an elderly relative or friend is moving in with you.1. The United States of Aging Survey 2012.
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