Southern Living Caregivers
Look to us as a resource to help you find support. The decisions you face today with the care of your loved one may seem overwhelming. Here are some resources that might help.
Types of Private Home Care Services
Web Resources to Help
Dementia Society of America
Congestive Heart Failure
American Stroke Association
American Cancer Association
Hurley Elder Care Law
The decisions you face today with long term care are much more complex than they were just a few years ago. First, elderly people are much more concerned about their quality of life as they get older. The prospect of being confined to a nursing facility is not something that most elderly people find comforting. Assisted Living is, of course, an option, but at best provides a relatively short window of solution. As soon as the patient's health begins to deteriorate further, the Assisted Living will no longer remain a solution. Private home care offers a long-term solution keeping the patient in the familiar surroundings of their own home. Secondly, patients are living much longer with greater degrees of mental acuity. Nursing Homes are simply not well suited for patients that remain mentally aware and studies have shown that patients fare far better in private care environments. Finally, while there are more numerous and varied alternatives to Assisted Living and Nursing Home based care, the cost for these services are not inexpensive and the risks of handling the caregivers privately are often hidden (theft, abuse, and failure to show up for work at critical times are just a few examples). The following information is provided to help you better understand the issues and prepare for the decisions you will have to make. We hope it is useful to you.
What is private home care? Private home care allows patients to remain in the comfort of their home while assistance is provided for activities of daily living, light housekeeping and meal preparation. Services include errands and escort to activities outside of the home and medical appointments. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) include such things as bathing, toileting, ambulation, meal prep, medication reminders, exercise, trips outside the home, cooking, housekeeping, shopping, laundry, reading to the patient and many other services. In short, all the things the patient used to be able to do for their self when they were able. Private home care services can be short term for rehabilitation after injury or surgery or long term for chronic illness, dementia or companionship.
Who pays for long-term care? The answer to this depends on a lot of factors. It depends on what State you live in because the aid policies differ across the country. It also may depend on your personal assets and income. It also depends on if you have long-term care insurance or not. Generally, Assisted Living and Private Home Care services are paid out of pocket or by long-term care insurance. General health insurance policies and Medicare do not pay for long-term care. Medicare has some programs for rehabilitation coverage, but generally these last for a few weeks. If you have been in a hospital, you should talk with your social worker about what Medicare will help you pay. In most States, Medicaid will only pay for services if the patient has very low income and/or assets. There are some Medicaid programs for in-home care, but most often these are for only a few hours a week and eligibility is based on low income. Some agencies, like Alliance Care, will accept long term care insurance directly. That is, they will work with you to gain eligibility, file ongoing claims for you and then accept payment directly from the insurance company. Be sure to ask about this before you start care.
O.K, I can afford the care or I have insurance. I think I need care. How do I start the process? Each insurance company has their own forms and process for beginning care. There are also different kinds of policies with different provisions within the same insurance company. Talk with your agent or give us a call. We can help you understand what your insurance company expects you to do and can often help you get it completed. If you don't have insurance and intend to pay privately for care the best thing to do is call a reputable Home Care Agency. Ask them to send you information.
How does hourly care work? Hourly care services are paid for on an hourly basis, with usually a minimum of 4 - 6 hours being required. Hourly caregivers are to be available during their entire shifts and should never sleep on the job. The primary task for a caregiver is to take care of the patient, but they should use some of their time to do light housekeeping services and other general tasks to assist good quality care. Hourly care is usually scheduled in regular shifts for regular days, but it can be used on a demand basis and is available for to 24 hours per day.
Explain more about live in care. Live in caregivers actually live with the clients, sleeping at night when the client sleeps and being awake during the day with the client. It is a requirement that the caregiver gets 8 hours of sleep at night while the client is asleep, but they remain in home with the client. Caregivers will prepare meals for both the client and themselves with the food being provided by the client. A separate sleeping area should be provided by the client. This can be a comfortable pull out sofa or day bed in another room.