The U.S. Census Bureau reports 7.6 million Americans suffering from illness or chronic health conditions to receive in-home care. Home care agencies have grown significantly over the last few years because of the senior population wanting to stay in their homes as long as possible. If those seniors living at home weren’t able to use the services of home care agencies, they would be living in assisted living or long-term care facilities, which are much more costly.
Home Care vs Home Health Agencies
Home care agencies have Home Care Aides (HCAs) that may include those with Certified Nurse Assistances (CNAs) or Home Health Aide ( HHA) type of specialized training. They perform daily basic tasks, like cleaning, cooking, bathing, grooming, and toileting. HCAs also remind their clients to take their medication. These assistants and aides do not provide medical care.
Home health agencies provide registered nurses and health care administrators to seniors who need medical treatment and personal care. They are state and federally regulated and are usually Medicare and Medicaid certified. This means that federal financial assistance may be available for their services.
Home Care Agency Services
Home care agencies provide many services to make it possible for seniors to live at home for longer. While the services depend on needs, these are the most common services:
- Grooming and Dressing Assistance
- Cleaning and Housekeeping
- Grocery Shopping
- Medical Monitoring
- Medication Monitoring
- Social Interaction
- Incontinence Care
- Walking Assistance
While most services are provided during the day, some home care agencies provide after hour or overnight care.
What to Expect with Home Care Agencies
When you decide to use a home care agency, you will need to make an appointment for the assessment. Someone from the agency will call and come to the home to ask questions for information on what services are needed and to see if their services are a good fit.
Following the assessment, the home care agency will create a care plan that includes the services needed and a schedule for when those services will be rendered. This will help the senior feel at ease because he or she will be able to expect when the worker will come to the home. Loved ones will also be able to schedule when they are able to tend to other matters in their personal life.
The HCA will come to the home as scheduled, and as time goes on, if anything changes, the level of services can change as well. If the senior needs a higher level of care than the home care agency can provide, additional resources can be summoned into the home or it may be decided the best solution is a move to a different type of living arrangement.
Paying for Home Care Agency Services
Most people pay for home care agency services out-of-pocket or with insurance. Long Term Care Insurance policies often cover the services provided through home care agencies. There are also certain Veterans benefit programs that may be available depending on several factors including income and the time of service the Veteran
Finding a Home Care Agency
Due to the high demand for home care agencies in the United States, it’s not too difficult to find home care agencies. A simple search will bring up many agencies around your area. Not all of them are the same, though. It’s important to look into each agency to determine what services they provide, the staff they have available providing those services. Each home care agency has its own charges as well, so it is possible to shop around. It is critically important that which ever agency you choose has a HCO License issued by the California Dept. of Social Service. This assures you that they are in compliance with the regulations and laws as they pertain to the services home care agencies provide and that they adhere to the State’s labor and wage laws.
As you search for the best home care agency for your loved one, know that you’re doing something good for him or her and yourself. While you may want to provide all of the care your older loved one needs, you have other responsibilities that you need to tend to and it’s only fair that you do that. With you having less to do to care for your loved one, you will be able to spend more quality time with him or her. This will make this stage of life much happier, which are the memories you will carry with you forever.
When you need a hand, contact Optimal Senior Care Solutions. As a private family owned and operated agency, our fully licensed and insured caregivers will serve as an extended family in your senior’s home so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be.
Our highly trained aides can perform duties like light housekeeping, personal hygiene, meals, and companionship. And, all our family trusted in-home services can be personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! To learn more about Optimal Senior Care Solutions, or to schedule a FREE, in-home care consultation for a special senior in your life, please visit us online today.