Home health care is one of the most popular options for taking care of aging seniors. There are many benefits to home health care for seniors, but there’s also a lot you need to know before deciding on a home health care provider. There are many different types of home care for seniors, and each type of care varies slightly depending on the individual provider. Here’s everything you need to know to find the best home care and home health care near you for the senior in your life. In this guide to home care and home health care, you will find:
What is home health care and how is it different from home care?
Home care is when seniors receive help with daily tasks and needs in their previously existing home, instead of moving to an assisted living facility near them. Basic home care does not offer health care services, but can help maintain good health using preventative tools, such as medication scheduling, help with physical therapy and exercise, and good nutrition monitoring. Home health care offers help with daily tasks and chores, but also provides health care services at home. Home health care is usually administered by a certified nurse or other certified health care provider.
Home care is different from other types of senior care because the senior does not have to move to receive the care. They can stay in their residence, where they are comfortable and settled, and may be living with family. Home care is also different than other types of care because a home care aide is often only around during the day, while care in a retirement facility is available around the clock.
Who is home health care for?
There are many seniors that can benefit from home care. Home care is particularly ideal for seniors who need mild to moderate levels of assistance, but can still do some tasks independently. Home care works well for these seniors because they get to maintain the sense of independence and control while living in their own residence, while at the same time having the security and care that comes with professional assistance. Home care is also ideal for seniors who either cannot afford a big move or who want to remain close to their families.
Home care isn’t always the best choice for seniors who need extensive assistance with their daily routine. Since home care aides cannot always be on hand to help, particularly at night, there can be some challenges when seniors have to deal with a problem at off hours. In many cases, home care makes the most sense when the senior isn’t living alone, but has family members or a partner that can provide extra help on occasion to make things easier.
What are the benefits of home care?
There are many benefits to using home care to help your senior manage their schedule. The first is that seniors can stay in their environment. Moving can be very stressful for seniors, particularly if they are struggling with memory problems like Alzheimer’s and require dementia elderly care. With home care, there’s a familiar environment and comfortable feeling of being at home that will help the senior feel more at ease and can even minimize the confusion that comes along with early dementia.
Home care services are also very flexible, which makes them ideal for families with challenging schedules. Home care aides can be hired for hours that fit your needs each day, so if you tend to need more care early in the morning or late at night, then you can find someone who is available during those times. Home care agencies can also personalize their services and routines to fit the needs of your loved one. This makes having a care aide more comfortable and enjoyable for the senior. The senior can also develop a personal friendship and relationship with their caregiver, which is much more difficult to do in an external assisted living facility.
Additionally, home health care is affordable, and there’s a range of prices available depending on the experience of the aide and the area you live in. In many cases, it makes more financial sense to hire a daily caregiver and pay only just for the hours that you need each day, instead of paying for full time care, room and board in a larger facility. If you are paying for a home health aide that provides professional health services, you may pay a more expensive hourly rate to cover the extra services. However, home health care services are often covered by insurance, evening out the extra cost.
Finally, home care helps families maintain happy, peaceful relationships, even as the senior is transitioning into older age and dealing with the challenges that come with that. Staying close together ensures that everyone in the family gets to enjoy time with their precious older relatives, and it also means that seniors get the support and social interaction they need in a very healthy way. Having care assistance at home means that family members can get more enjoyment out of having their senior close by, without having to stress out about taking care of them on their own. It also can be very comforting to have your loved one at home with you instead of a senior retirement community, because you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing what’s going on throughout the day, and you can make changes to their care routine as needed.
What are the disadvantages of home health care and home care?
Although there are many benefits to home care and home health care for seniors, there are some disadvantages too. There are some instances in which it makes more sense for seniors to be placed in external residential care facilities in order to get the best care. For example, home care doesn’t typically offer service around the clock, so if your senior struggles at night, they won’t have the assistance they need unless you schedule it, which can be costly and difficult to do.
Another downside to home health care is that homes don’t have the same safety measures in place that assisted living facilities do to prevent injuries and other issues from happening. Senior care facilities are typically equipped with physical assistance measures like grab bars and grip mats, which prevent seniors from falling or slipping. The doors and windows are also secure, and there’s more access to immediate care in the event of an emergency.
Home care and home health care do not always address seniors’ social and emotional needs in the most effective way. Even after transitioning into retirement, it is still very important for seniors to have social interaction throughout the day. Assisted living facilities give seniors the option to make new friends and interact with people throughout the day, which can prevent depression and anxiety by keeping them in a good mood. Social interaction is also ideal for mental stimulation, which can prevent deterioration of cognitive functioning over time.
Finally, having seniors at home can sometimes be stressful for families, because there’s an extra level of care and worry present in the household. For seniors’ adult children, balancing caring for a parent on top of work and personal responsibilities can be very overwhelming, even if they have help from a home care aide. In some cases, it is better to have the senior in personal care home nearby where they can receive the care they need and everyone can have enough space.
How much does home health and home care cost?
One of the reasons many people opt for home care over other senior care options is because it is very affordable. Home care aides typically charge by the hour, so you are only paying for the hours of care you actually use. You also don’t have to pay additional rent costs, which you would at an external care facility. The hourly charge for this type of care typically starts around $20 per hour, depending on your location, the experience level of the care professional, and the specific services they are providing. If you hire a home health aide with some medical training, you can expect to pay higher rates. This can work out to over $100 per day, which may initially sound daunting, but is actually less expensive than many assisted living facilities. Long term care insurance usually covers home care costs, and if you hire an in-home medical aide, you may be able to get some of these costs covered by health insurance as well. In order to determine which services are most affordable, break down the individual needs your senior has, and then compare costs that way.
What should I look for in a home care provider?
There are many things you should look for in a home care aide. Since you will be working with them on a very personal basis, it is helpful to get to know them very well ahead of time and make sure you really trust them before starting a contract. The first thing to consider is that everyone in the family feels comfortable and safe around your care provider, because they will be spending a lot of time with you. Your senior should be present for an interview before making the final decision about a care provider, because ultimately, they will be spending the most time with them.
The next thing to look for in a home care provider is their experience level. The caregiver should be certified by the appropriate board or organization in your state, and have the requisite training to provide helpful and safe care for your senior. If you are hiring a home health aide, they should have an HHA license. If you are hiring a personal care aide, they should have passed their personal care aide training. It’s also helpful if they have experience with caregiving in a similar situation in the past, because then they will be able to better handle any issues that come up. If you are contracting with home care agencies, it’s also important to look at the services they offer and make sure they really align with your senior’s needs. Your caregiver should be able to handle the natural day-to-day challenges that come with caring for a senior with ease.
Many home care providers work through an agency, so another good thing to look at is what resources and support the agency can provide your loved one with. Your senior will receive better quality care if they have access to further medical care, physical therapy, mental health help, and other resources through their care provider. It’s also important that the agency has a reputable vetting process that they use to ensure that their aides are appropriately trained and background checked, so you can feel completely secure about using their services.
Since every senior’s needs are different, it is important you find a home health care provider that you are comfortable with. Your care provider will become a constant part of your senior’s life, so it’s important to find someone that you and your senior trust and can communicate freely with. Take your time when searching to find a home care or home health care aide who is a truly amazing fit.
How can I find a home care provider near me?
There are a few ways to find an appropriate home care provider for your senior in your area. The first is to do an online search for home health care agencies nearby that are based in your area. These agencies will often have a directory and protocols to match you with a caregiver who will be a good fit for your needs. You can also usually browse through their service offerings to see what would be a good fit for you.
Another way to find a home care provider is to place an ad online or in a local publication and conduct interviews yourself. This is sometimes the way to go if you live in a rural area where there aren’t many home care options for you as far as agencies go. While bypassing an agency means you won’t get the same certification levels or resources, you will have more control over who you hire and the rates you pay them.
Both home care and home health care are a good first step to helping your senior live a healthier and more comfortable lifestyle. Every senior deserves to enjoy their retirement, and with a little bit of help from a professional, seniors will be able to socialize and enjoy their favorite hobbies until late in life.