What is Senior Home Care?
Senior Home Care is a large topic that includes a variety of care and services that helps senior stay at home rather than moving to a nursing home, assisted living facility or other facility that serves seniors.
Senior Care agencies will provide in-home caregivers that provides a large range of services that vary depending on your needs. Sometimes family members, social service agencies that assist seniors or friends will look to hire a in-home senior care professional, all this helps the senior remain at home.
While it used to be the norm to go into a facility immediately, more so common these days, especially since Covid-19, seniors and their caregivers are opting to stay at home, multiple sources including AARP, indicates that approximately 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to stay home as they age.
When this isn’t possible, within your community there are various local agencies that provide senior home care to its community residents, of course, the service they provide will vary from agency to agency.
Possibly hiring in-home professional senior care is an option, this could range from a few hours a day or 24 hours, depending on the level of service needed.
Senior Home Care vs Home Health Care
There are national and local in-home care companies, as well as referral and registries for caregivers to help families find a private caregiver in their area. The other option is to hire in-home care or a private caregiver in the seniors home or their loved one.
Home care providers should be skilled but usually services traditionally includes non-medical care for seniors like bathing, dressing, medication reminders, housework, respite care, companionship and more.
Home Health professionals will provide more clinical and technical services (and more expensive) including prepping and administering medication, wound care, and other duties that may be needed.
Unfortunately Medicare does not cover home health care.
What Kinds of Services Can Home Care Workers and Senior Home Care Agencies Provide?
There is a clear difference between these two providers. If you choose an agency, you can expect that the employees will be screened, background checked and received advanced training, this would be called nursing care. They would needed if you are receiving medication that require an order or prescription that details the care for the senior while staying at home.
Some agencies have both home care workers and more trained senior home care professionals, and you might need to hire someone from both of these types of companies. You also may find that you have to hire more than one agency to accommodate your needs, don’t get discouraged, you won’t be the only one who has to receive services from more than one agency.
Some types of services and care offerer by senior care home :
Household chores such as grocery shopping, light cleaning, laundry, personal care like bathing and dressing, cooking and preparing meals, any other daily assistance tasks. They will also just sit with the senior so they aren’t lonely or alone while everyone is at work, or run errands for and with the senior.
How Can You Find Senior Home Care?
Before you choose a senior home care provider, make sure you perform your due diligence first. You should consider checking the internet for community websites with resources for seniors, also talking to your local hospital or doctor about options, and many seniors have found success with recommendations from friends and neighbors.
Sometimes senior home care agencies promote themselves on TV, in the local newspaper, local magazines or other publications. You can also check your social services agency, they will know about local resources and information for seniors and their family members.
How Do You Choose The Best Senior Home Care?
This depends largely on many personal factors, and if the provider offers the services you’ll need. You can choose an agency with a full range of services or very limited services, so you should make it a point to ask many questions and take notes on each provider so you can compare later, make sure they’re licensed by the state and that it’s current and active, ask if the employees are insured.
Ask about the training that the senior home care workers receive. Some agencies require different levels of certifications and training.
Some people prefer to use an agency because they may require their employees to pass inspections and there are regulations that they must comply in order to operate.
If you feel more comfortable hiring someone you know, and because they are less expensive, this could be a preferred option if on a budget, but be prepared that hiring a family member or a friend will likely come with some issues including availability and limitations in services they can perform expertly. If they need to miss a day or shift, you’ll need to have someone on backup to fill in for them.
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Senior Home Care?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover senior home care. You can read more about this on Medicare’s website on its “What’s not covered by Part A and Part B” page. The agency considers this long-term or “custodial” care, similar to putting in eye drops, which you could typically do on your own.
Medicare does cover skilled nursing care, but not senior home care.
The services that Medicaid covers vary from state to state, make sure that you find out through research to see if Medicaid covers senior home care, if it does cover senior home care, you can be certain there will be lots of limitations.
How Much Does Senior Care Cost?
One thing to know is that different agencies charge different fees and costs for the same services. This is the reason that you should shop around before making a final choice. The cost of senior home care varies because it depends on many factors.
The factors that affect costs are the types of services needed, do you need someone at the house while everyone is at work, take a trip or run errands for you? Does the senior need overnight care or some one to assist with ADL’s (activities of daily living) meal preparation, grocery shopping, or picking up prescriptions?
When making your final decision, find out from the agency if they provide services on the weekends, longer shifts and overnight care.
Some agencies prefer a CNA license (certified nursing assistant or similar license, you can expect to pay more for a licensed in-home care provider.
Determine how you pay for senior home care, does the agency or worker bill you weekly or monthly? How will you recieve the bill for services? You should ask these questions before making the final decision on which agency is the best choice.
If you have private insurance, ask if they cover any portion of senior home care costs. Many people have to pay for services completely out-of-pocket, this is another reason you’d want to check around and shop around wirth several agencies before hiring a specific agency for in-home senior care.
Some states like Virginia provides a federal respite voucher through the Virginia Division for the Aging to a family member who resides with a senior for up to $400.
You should check with your county and state agencies, like in Ohio, they have a Department of Aging that provides a variety of senior services called Senior Options, these can help seniors remain at home by providing taxi-cab rides to shopping centers, medical appointments, meals at home, respite care and some homemaker services for seniors that qualify.