Insight and answers to the most common questions about senior home care
When should I begin to think about enlisting home care and home health care services?
There are generally three scenarios under which families should begin to explore senior care service options:
1) In anticipation of release from a hospital or discharge from a rehabilitation center. The need for rest, recovery and healing is greatest following a hospitalization. In addition, it is highly likely one’s ability to perform routine activities of independent living will be impaired following hospitalization.
2) When you begin to observe a decline in a senior’s ability to perform routine tasks at home, giving rise to concern about their safety and well-being.
The signs will be subtle, so play close attention to these behavioral clues:
- Frequent repeating of the same questions or discussion could be the signs of early memory impairment
- Increasing difficulty keeping up with household chores and management
- Cluttered pathways between rooms and around seating areas
- Expired or rotten food in the refrigerator
- Unpaid bills and accumulated mail
- Challenges attending to routine personal care, including clean undergarments
- Out of date pills, loose pills scattered about, pills in baggies etc.
- Unexplained scrapes or dents on the car or the garage; or fresh paint on the car or garage walls
3) When, as a family caregiver, you begin to experience physical or mental fatigue or exhaustion. Everyone needs a break. For family caregivers, respite care services help alleviate the stress, anxiety and challenges of day-to-day caregiving. Respite care allows for time away to focus on self-care.
What care options are available following discharge from hospitalization or rehab?
There are essentially five care options available to seniors following a discharge…
- Self-Care - assuming the senior is able to safely and easily perform routine activities of daily living such as running errands, maintaining meal prep and personal hygiene.
- Spouse Care – for seniors fortunate to have the companionship and support of a healthy wife, husband or life partner.
- Family Care – Proximity is everything when it comes to this option. Having able and willing family members nearby is often the first and preferred route for many seniors. However, with aging comes decline and the eventual need for more professional and skilled caregiving capable of managing all aspects of care related to physical and cognitive impairment.
- Private Home Care - If you are looking for personalized care after a hospitalization, private duty home care can be a great option. Highly-skilled care teams provide assurance of safety, well-being and full compliance with the physician’s care orders for a few hours a day, several times each week, or up to 24-hours per day.
How should I prepare for returning home following a discharge from hospitalization or rehab?
Safety, well-being and recovery should be your top priorities when returning home from the hospital or rehabilitation. It starts by taking appropriate measures to ensure your home is safe for your return. We recommend a three-point assessment:
- Perform a home safety check/review or inspection. We offer a free guidebook that can help.
- Consider what type of care will be needed (help with light chores, errands, and meal prep or more complex needs such as memory or medication management) and how much care will be needed (from a few hours a day to full time).
- Consider care resources. Do you have family members or close friends who can assist you with care? Do your care needs require more than what a friend or family member can provide, and would a professional in-home caregiver be helpful?
How do I determine what type and level of care is needed?
The type of care needed following a discharge from a hospital or rehab facility will be determined by a discharge planner, case manager or personal physician. A close family member, friend or custodian can also help advocate for care on your behalf. As a matter of practice, each Right at Home client receives a complimentary care assessment and a detailed care plan specific to our clients’ care needs.
What are the differences between home care and home health care and why is it important?
Home care is mostly non-medical services such as companionship, housekeeping, transportation, personal care, respite care and dementia care. Enlisting home care services does not require a doctor’s order.
Home health care is skilled nursing care and certain other health care services related to the treatment of an illness or injury, including rehabilitation services for speech, physical and respiratory therapies. Medicare may cover some home health services if certain criteria are met, including a doctor’s referral for home health services.
How are the costs of home care and home health care services generally paid for?
Both home care and home health care services can be paid direct or via HSA’s, FSA’s, or Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits programs. Additionally, some long-term care insurance plans pay for the cost of home care or home health care. For home health services, Medicare pays for some of the care in a patient’s home only if all four of the following conditions are met:
- The patient must need intermittent (and not full time) skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech/language pathology, or continuing occupational therapy.
- The patient is homebound.
- The care must be referred by a doctor and medically reasonable and necessary. It must be related to the problems encountered and the care plan must address realistic outcomes. The plan and care needed must show potential for an improvement in the patient’s health/activities of daily living.
- The home health agency caring for the patient must be approved by the Medicare program.
If you have questions about affording home care or benefit eligibility, give us a call at (941) 929-1966. We are certain we can help.
What will it cost to hire a caregiver? Is it expensive?
Given their qualifications, training regimen, and the enormity of all the services they provide under a single engagement, professional caregivers are an extremely economical solution for families with senior safety, comfort and well-being as their top priority and agency selection criteria.
Beyond hiring for skill, competence and reliability, the factors influencing price are related to the type of care needed and time desired or required to render the care. Generally speaking, Right at Home fees come in at about 15% of the blended hourly rate you can expect to pay were you to purchase each of our bundled services from individual standalone providers of transportation, meal prep, housekeeping, laundry and home care services.
What kind of training do your caregivers receive?
Our caregiver training is considered by many to be among the most rigorous and comprehensive in our market. Each applicant undergoes an initial screening that includes:
- Comprehensive background check
- Professional reference check
- DMV and auto insurance check
- Drug screening
- Skills check
- Rigorous interviewing
Once hired, each team member is required to attend new hire orientation and ongoing educational and training workshops to learn specialized training and the latest care techniques. We pride ourselves on assembling a team that exceeds our high standards of professionalism and shares our commitment to exceptional care.
What is the process for selecting and pairing caregivers to clients?
There are several factors involved in our caregiver matching and assignment process. With professional skills and training being equal, matching comes down to individual client care needs, along with caregiver disposition, proximity to where the client requires care, and general availability for the schedule and shift required. Given the size and quality of our care team, we generally have multiple caregivers who are compatible with practically every care assignment.
Are you still providing care during the pandemic?
Yes! Practicing safety protocols has always been part of our day-to-day interaction with clients. Since the pandemic began, caregivers have been receiving additional training on the latest CDC and WHO guidelines to ensure optimum safety. We also closely monitor the recommendations and guidelines from our state and local departments of health. Caregivers wear appropriate PPE during all interactions and sanitize high-touch surfaces. Additionally, frequent handwashing and temperature checks are part of our daily routine.
How is scheduling and billing handled?
Right at Home Sarasota uses the latest and most advanced technology for scheduling, billing, administration, tracking, reporting and client relationship management. Special care is given to understanding and meeting the unique schedule requirements of each client.
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