Most people rarely think about in-home care for the elderly until something unexpected happens, like a stroke or an accident. Due to the pressure of living their ordinary lives, these families turn to in-home care help, which provides 24-hour in-home care for the elderly. Getting the best care-giving agency requires careful research and respecting individual preferences. The best choice looks different for every client. However, it is advisable to know what to look for in these agencies.
Use these methods below to choose the right in-home care agency for you and your loved one.
Conduct Your Research
Before you randomly search the internet for information on in-home health care, you should determine what level of care is required for the patient to live comfortably at home. Once you have determined the level of care that is needed, you will be on the right path to research your options.
Online sources may be full of marketing information. Therefore, if possible, move around your local community and get a close-up chance to interview caregivers about the services they offer. It is also the best time to determine what works for your budget or not, in order to prevent financial problems.
Interview Agencies and Caregivers
Once you have gathered your choices, you should get curious about their services. Have a list of comprehensive questions you will want to ask them before any agreements. These are nine of the best questions to ask the in-home health care service provider:
- How long has your agency been providing home care for the elderly?
- Do you provide any resources that outline your services, costs, and eligibility terms?
- How do you choose, vet and train your employees?
- Are you required to evaluate the patient’s home care needs? How do you go about it? Do you consult with the patient’s relatives and doctors?
- Is your agency licensed by the state to provide in-home health care?
- Do you document the patient’s process of treatment and detail each specific undertaking by the assigned caregiver?
- How will you ensure the caregiver is the perfect fit for the patient?
- Do the patients have one consistent caregiver, or will you be changing them regularly?
- Do you supervise your professional caregivers? If so, how often?
Ask for Recommendations
Personal recommendations will help you find trustworthy in-home assisted living services. Discuss with friends, colleagues, neighbors and extended family some of their preferences. Some of them could be clients in such agencies, or they probably know someone who benefitted from in-home care services for seniors.
Also, seek recommendations from the client’s physicians and other medical professionals about in-home health care. They may have referred a patient or two to their preferred agencies or know trusted professionals practicing in-home health care.
There are local agencies for aging in many states. They may be able to help families locate senior home care resources and such services. You can discover local in-home resources in your community by contacting Eldercare Locator via their toll-free number. Local senior centers can also recommend the best available home care providers.
You can also get a recommendation from organizations and associations that your patient’s condition is associated with. They may not just refer you to caregivers, but they can enlighten you on what to expect from these caregivers and provide questions you can ask before engaging their in-home health care services. These associations include the following:
- You can contact the National Cancer Institute for a cancer patient or the American Cancer Society .
- For Alzheimer’s disease, you can contact the Alzheimer’s association.
- For multiple sclerosis (MS), you can request a recommendation from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
- Contact the American Parkinson’s Disease Association for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
Determine your Budget
The national median hourly rate for long-term in-home care in the US is $22.5 for homemaker services and $23 for home health aide services. In-home health care costs vary depending on the degree of need. Before you commit to an agency or caregiver, you should evaluate your finances and your ability to pay for the services. Find out if insurance can cover the home care assistance services. You can also negotiate with the patient’s insurance for a plan that will cover the services if they cannot cover them on the current plan.
You can request your friends’ and relatives’ help with some of the services required. Some local agencies and institutions like churches can provide some of these services at a considerably lower fee or no cost. It will reduce the strain on your budget.
You can also minimize service costs as part of having a lighter budget. Below are some of the tips you can use to reduce fees for senior care in homes.
- Understand the costs. While determining your budget, it is essential to understand all the costs of in-home assisted living. Extra costs may include:
- Interviewing and vetting.
- Participate in the Services. Home care for elderly persons can be more expensive, especially if they have severe health conditions such as degenerative illnesses or chronic conditions that require extra attention. Therefore, if you want to minimize your spending, you should reduce dependence on caregivers and learn a few things that you can help with. Playing an active role will reduce your expenses. Besides, it will help you to be closer to your loved ones.
- Concentrating services. You can look for an agency or caregiver who is versatile. They may be able to provide comprehensive services such as transportation, shopping and cleaning services. Some of these services are chargeable. So you want a handy person to handle these besides issuing care.
Choosing the right in-home care agency for seniors can be overwhelming. You have to understand the level of care your loved one needs, plan your budget wisely, and go around conducting research and interviews. It is ultimately rewarding if you find a caregiver or agency that provides the ideal in-home assisted living service, that will ensure your loved one is well-cared for.