5 Steps to Figuring Out Which Type of In-Home Care Services Your Loved One Needs and Wants
It can be really tricky when your loved one isn’t wanting to move to a residential care home. We can help you with the struggle of knowing how to give the best care for mom and dad as they age.
In-home care services are a likely solution for you and your loved one. In-home care services often can cater to an elderly person’s needs so they can feel safe and comfortable and continue to live at home.
Keep reading to find out the types of types of elder home care services available, how much they cost, and how you can find the best in-home caregiver for your loved one.
What is in-home care?
Over time as our loved ones get older, it may become unsafe for them to continue to live on their own and provide their own care. Age-related conditions including reduced physical ability or cognitive decline can make aging in place unsafe.
In-home care, a type of senior care, provides safety for seniors who wish to age in place. With in-home care, older adults receive care from the comfort of home. This type of care can range from basic care such as personal assistance to specialized care such as dementia care.
The home caregiver comes to the client’s home at the specific day and to provide specific care. This could be assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) such as bathing, grooming and eating, companionship, housekeeping, and medical care.
Home care can also be a form of respite care for family caregivers who need a break from caregiving, or can no longer provide care for their loved ones.
Types of In-home Care Services
Different types of in-home care can be provided depending on the needs and wants of your loved one. They include:
- Companion care services
- Personal care services
- Specialized home care
- Respite care services
Companion Care Services
Companion care is provided for seniors who live alone, and require little assistance from day to day.
Companion caregivers offer older adults the support they need by running errands, helping with basic housekeeping, driving to doctor’s appointments, preparing light meals, and spending time with them doing fun activities like reading, seeing a movie, or taking a walk.
Companion care service is of immense benefit to seniors because research has shown that social isolation and loneliness can pose health risks. Having someone to talk to, play games with, and provide a little assistance when needed will help reduce isolation and improve mood.
Personal Care Services
Personal care services include companion care as well as activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, eating, medication reminders, grocery shopping, and housekeeping. This is just like assisted living but at home.
Personal caregivers also called personal care assistants do not provide medical care, but can help with transportation for doctor’s appointments, keeping track of medications, and picking up prescriptions.
Specialized Home Care
This is also called home health care and requires a higher level of medical care. This can include skilled nursing, dementia care, Alzheimer’s care, palliative, and hospice care.
Home health caregivers must have undergone specialized training or be licensed as a nurse to provide such care.
They offer services such as checking vital signs, wound dressing, setting up medical equipment in the residence, providing occupational or physical therapy, administering tube feeds, prescribing medications, or working with doctors.
If you have been the sole caregiver for your loved one, you may need a break to recharge your “care batteries”. In-home respite care allows you to avoid caregiver burnout, spend time with family, and pursue your ambitions while ensuring your loved one is being taken care of just as you would.
Companion care aides and personal care aides can provide respite care as well.
What is the cost of home care?
The cost of in-home is influenced by factors such as:
- The number of hours the caregiver puts in
- The type of in-home care service needed
- The State where care is provided.
You want to ensure that your loved one gets as much care as they need. However, depending on your circumstances your loved one may not need as much care as others. When interviewing care providers, consider asking for a personalized plan for the amount of care your loved one needs, to save costs.
How to pay for home care services
There are different options when it comes to financing the cost of in-home care services for seniors. They include:
- Out-of-pocket pay
- Long-term care insurance
- Life Insurance
- Supplemental Social Income (SSI)
- Veteran benefits
Out-of-pocket pay, or Private Pay
Home care for your loved one can be financed from your pocket, your loved one’s retirement savings, dividends, interests, and other personal sources.
Home care that isn’t medical care is not covered by Original Medicare. However, Medicare covers some eligible home health services such as part-time skilled nursing or physical therapy. Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage provided by private insurance companies might cover some costs of personal care as well as home health care.
Just as Original Medicare, Medicaid doesn’t cover basic in-home care such as personal care. However, Medicaid can cover some costs associated with medical care at home.
Another thing to note is that Medicaid varies from state to state, and rules about coverage may differ. Be sure to check your State’s Medicaid to find out which home care services are eligible for coverage.
Long-term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is specifically designed for long-term elder care. They may cover home personal assistance services as well as medical care. However, the extent of coverage may vary from one provider to another.
If your loved one has long-term care insurance, contact the provider to see what services are eligible for coverage.
Some life insurance policies can be converted to finance home care if your loved one has one in the form of “accelerated death benefits”. If your loved one’s insurance policy doesn’t provide that, check if the provider allows the life insurance to be sold to a third party for cash as this is also an option.
Supplemental Social Income (SSI)
Seniors who are 65 years and older may be eligible to receive supplemental social income benefits. Since SSI is paid monthly, it can help to offset some of the costs of in-home care.
Veterans who signed up for VA Healthcare may be eligible for benefits such as the “Aid and Assistance Benefit” to help pay for home care aside from VA pensions. Benefits are paid monthly to eligible veterans and can help cover costs. Veterans can go to the VA website to check if they are eligible or apply in person.
5 Steps to figuring out which type of in-home care service is right for your loved one
To figure out the right in-home care service for your loved one,
- Observe recent behaviors/changes
- Have the talk
- Identify the type of care needed
- Determine the level of care
- Find an in-home caregiver for your loved one
Observe recent behaviors/changes
Recent changes in behavior will help you realize when it’s time for at-home care. Some of these changes could be:
- Reduced Mobility: Is your loved one finding it difficult to move around, reach for items on the shelf, or get out of bed? Reduced mobility not only increases the risk for isolation and loneliness since they can’t get out of the house as often, but it can also lead to falls and injuries.
- Cognitive Decline: Is your loved one showing signs of increased forgetfulness? Is this affecting everyday activities such as taking medications, locking the door, and preparing meals? Increased forgetfulness can be a sign of cognitive decline related to dementia, and if this is noticed early, the right care can slow the progression of the illness.
- Inability to take care of themselves: Is your loved one finding it difficult to maintain the home? Is he or she finding it hard to perform essential everyday activities such as bathing, grooming, or eating? Evidence of this could be dirt around the house, cluttered kitchen countertops, and loss of weight.
- Isolation/Loss of interest in activities: Are you noticing signs of loneliness in your loved one? Lack of motivation or zeal to engage in otherwise preferred activities? Maybe they no longer tend to the garden, watch their favorite TV show, or call and visit friends and family.
- Medical conditions: Is there an onset or progression of a medical condition that has made living alone unsafe? This could be chronic arthritis, diabetes, or hypertension.
Once you have noticed abnormal behaviors or changes that have been consistent over a period of time, the next step is to…
Have the talk
If your loved one is at the stage where they can still understand and process their thoughts, then discuss with them the changes you have been noticing and the possibilities of having someone in the house to help.
Some older adults will see the move as a parent-child role reversal, or a means to rob them of their independence. But, gently communicate the reasons why living alone or without help is unsafe and why they need someone.
Identify the type of care needed
We have talked about the different types of in-home care services. At this point, your goal is to determine the right type of care. Figuring out the right type will be largely dependent on the changes you have observed.
If your loved one is showing signs of loneliness, and appears to need little assistance, you would know companion care services would be the best option.
If your loved one is finding it difficult to move around and take care of themselves, then maybe a personal care assistant would make more sense.
If there are signs of cognitive decline, or other conditions requiring medical care, then home health care would be preferred.
Determine the level of care
Now you have identified the type of home care needed, what amount of care does your loved one need?
Do you need a full-time caregiver that works 44 hours per week?
Do you need a part-time caregiver that provides care for only 20 hours per week?
Do you need two caregivers, one for day and night?
What type of services would you require from them based on the needs of your loved one?
Answering these types of questions will help you determine the amount of care needed.
Find an in-home caregiver for your loved one
The final step is to find an in-home caregiver to provide the care your loved one requires. You can choose to go with an agency or hire independently.
Whichever is the case, check out their credentials, reputation, and payment options. Ask about the types of care services they offer, caregiver availability, and how they intended to provide care for your loved one.
Set expectations for the caregiver, and don’t forget to be actively involved in your loved one’s care.
In-home care services at Amy’s Eden
Providing quality in-home care for seniors is what we do at Amy’s Eden. We believe that everyone including seniors deserves to live life to the fullest, filled with love, happiness, and comfort.
We follow an approach that enables us to provide care that is personalized for each client. Our caregivers are trained specifically for each client they are to work with, so they can deliver the best quality of care.
Amy’s Eden provides home help for seniors living at home including personal care, companionship care, respite care, and much more.
If you have been considering in-home care for your loved one, then reach out to us today to see how we can help.
ADLs (Activities of Daily Living): These are basic activities that are essential for day-to-day living such as bathing, grooming, eating, and mobility.
Alzheimer’s: This should not be confused with dementia. Alzheimer’s is a form or cause of dementia that is not treatable. Symptoms are progressive loss of thought, memory, and language.
Dementia: This is a general term for a range of cognitive impairments that can be caused by Alzheimer’s, Parkison’s disease, Huntington’s Disease, etc. The chief symptom of dementia is the inability to communicate properly and perform essential tasks. Some forms of dementia can be treated, especially those caused by depression, drugs, or alcoholism.
Hospice Care: Hospice care is comprehensive care focused on comfort and quality of life for an individual that is living with a terminal disease such as cancer or dementia and is approaching the end of life.
At this point, the individual has decided to forgo treatment options, or it may no longer be possible to cure the illness.
Palliative Care: While this is similar to hospice care, the major difference is that the individual is still exploring treatment options, while receiving care to provide relief from symptoms and pain.