How to Choose Between Elder Home Care Services and Nursing Homes

Deciding whether elder home care services or a nursing home is the right choice for your loved one is important when considering the best type and amount of care. Both options for senior care have their benefits and drawbacks. Cost is often a deciding factor, but so is the level of care needed.

According to U.S. News & World Report, while nursing home costs have continued to rise in recent years, in-home care costs have remained stable. This is good news for families whose elderly loved one needs regular assistance but not around-the-clock nursing care. Elder homecare services are charged by the hour and only provide the services your loved one needs. This keeps costs low compared to the much higher annual costs of nursing homes, especially when you consider the fact that many seniors don’t actually require twenty-four-hour nursing home care.

When choosing between elder home care services or a nursing facility, most seniors say they would much rather be independent and live in their own homes as long as they are able. Home care agencies make it possible for seniors to maintain a higher quality of life while receiving the type of personalized in-home care they need.

Elder Home Care Services Vs. Nursing Homes: What’s Best for Your Loved One?
The factors you need to consider when weighing the pros and cons of in-home services and nursing facilities include:

• Health: The senior’s physical and mental health conditions are the most critical factors. If he or she needs skilled nursing care on a daily basis, a nursing home may be the best option. However, if he or she is relatively healthy and needs help with daily tasks, such as bathing, toileting, hygiene, shopping, cooking, and medication management, home care is a better choice.

• Quality of care: Generally speaking, your senior loved one is going to receive the same high-quality of care regardless of whether it’s provided by an elder home care services agency or a nursing home. However, you should conduct thorough research and interviews with homecare agencies and nursing homes alike. Each will offer different services, benefits, conveniences, and activities.

• Cost of care: Unless money isn’t an option, the cost of care is always a deciding factor when making these difficult decisions. Nursing facilities can be very expensive and, although Medicare may cover some of the costs of nursing homes, elder homecare services are almost always more affordable.

• Quality of life: Unless the senior is bedridden and requires regular nursing care, most people agree that your loved one will benefit most from elder homecare because he or she can still live at home surrounded by family and friends.

Should Dad Live Alone? Signs It’s Time For Homecare

Most people will come to a point when they must make that complicated and delicate decision about whether or not their loved one is able to live on his or her own (from here on, for simplicity’s sake we will use the pronoun “he”). But how will you know it is time? There are plenty of elderly individuals living independently–some well into their 90s–but there are also many who need help with day-to-day activities as early as in their 50s.

The decision to start using homecare services isn’t easy. No one wants to admit that their parent or loved one can no longer care for himself on his own, but there will come a time when it is imperative for your loved one’s safety that he no longer lives by himself.

Health Concerns
While weight loss can be common as we age, extreme or unhealthy weight loss is not. If you notice your loved one is losing weight, becoming weak or even frail, it may be an indication he’s not eating appropriately and could use some assistance.

When you visit your loved one, how is his appearance? Elderly individuals often lose the energy or capability to shower and dress themselves on a daily basis. If you notice his clothing is inappropriate, he’s forgetting essential pieces of clothing–such as a jacket in the winter–or he hasn’t bathed in a while, it may be time for homecare.

Household Concerns
A cluttered house is an indicator that a person may not be able to upkeep his residence as he once did. Unopened piles of mail, dirty dishes, and even unpaid bills need to be addressed regularly and, as your loved one ages, he may no longer be able to take on these tasks alone.

General Concerns
It’s not uncommon to forget something every once in awhile. Everyone does it and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost control of your home or life, but if you notice your loved one is consistently forgetting things, such as missing appointments, forgetting to take medication, forgetting to bathe, or not attending family events, he could be suffering from a degenerative memory and may be a perfect candidate for homecare services. When a person’s mental abilities decline, his motor skills will often follow. With that decrease in capability, your loved one may have more difficulty getting out of bed, doing chores around the house, or even feeding himself.

Sometimes the best indicator is your own instinct. You know your loved one better than anyone. If minor signs of forgetfulness are random and don’t occur very often, and he is able to take care of himself and his home, it may not be time to enlist the help of a homecare agency. If, however, your instincts tell you he isn’t handling life on his own, you can still help–even if you’re not there 24 hours a day to provide assistance yourself.

Homecare gives your loved one the independence he needs by providing him with the opportunity to live at home, but also provides him with the in-home help he needs to sustain a quality living environment. Your aging loved one has provided the care you needed throughout your life; now it is time to provide him with the same care when he needs it the most. If you ever feel your loved one cannot manage on his own, contact a homecare company for the sake of his health and his happiness.

A Homecare Provider Helps Seniors Age Independently

As our population ages, medical advances are enabling many seniors to live longer, fuller lives than ever before. Exciting travel, new hobbies, making friends-your golden years can be your chance to experience all those things you’ve been saving up for.

And with new medical advances, it can be difficult when you realize that a family member is no longer quite as independent as before. People rarely change overnight from complete self-sufficiency to needing round-the-clock care. There is a transition that can last years when a senior may only need help for a few hours a day or a few days a week.

Homecare services can help you bridge this transition. Hiring a licensed homecare provider can keep your family member in her home for longer and for less money than nursing home placement would cost.

The Benefits of Homecare Services

There are many advantages to hiring a homecare provider to help your loved one age independently:

• Familiar surroundings. In some cases, as a person ages, change can become difficult or confusing. A home that has been lived in for years can provide a much needed touchstone and anchor.

• The comforts of home. Whether your family member has an active social life and is always on the go, or whether she is a homebody who enjoys puttering around the garden, living in her home brings with it an added level of freedom and privacy.

• Self-determination. Nursing homes determine the schedules, menus, and staffing for their residents. But in her own home, your family member will have control over her own schedule, her own meals, and who she chooses to work with from the homecare provider.

• Better socialization. A personal home is just more welcoming than a nursing home. Hosting family dinners or afternoon teas for friends is easier in your own house.

• Personalized care. In a nursing home, the staff members’ attention is divided between many different people at the same time. But with homecare services, your family member receives one-on-one assistance.

One Client, One Homecare Provider

Every senior’s needs are different. Some may be suffering from an illness such as dementia or Alzheimers. Some may have a physical disability that limits movement. And some may simply need physical assistance with chores and getting around town. A homecare provider can provide you with an in-house aide who is a specialist in your family member’s condition, and will treat her with respect and caring.

Additionally, when there are only one or two persons providing care to your family member, communication is easier and mistakes in treatment are rarer. Your homecare aide isn’t looking at a chart; they are looking at your family member and will be more alert to any changes in her condition.

Recovery and Short-Term Care

Homecare services are also available for short-term care, such as during a convalescence after surgery or other hospital procedure. Caring for your family member in her own home can be significantly less expensive than the cost of keeping her in the hospital to recover, especially since Medicaid does cover many licensed homecare providers.

Homecare Agencies Help Prevent Senior Abuse

Senior abuse affects thousands of elderly adults every year, often in their own homes, relatives’ homes, or long-term care facilities. Seniors can become victims of abuse for a wide variety of reasons. Since they are typically not as strong and may not see, hear, or think as well as they once did, they are especially vulnerable to both active and passive attacks. One of the best ways to prevent elder abuse in our area is to hire a trusted homecare agency to care for your loved one and watch out for the tell-tale signs of senior abuse.

Signs of Senior Abuse:
These are the most common types and warning signs of senior abuse:
• Physical senior abuse: Physical abuse can range from unexplained scars or bruises to sprains and even broken bones. Other signs of physical senior abuse include the improper use of prescribed medications as indicated by having too many or too few pills remaining, and evidence of restraint such as having rope marks on wrists.

• Emotional elder abuse: Psychological abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse, and can be both verbal and nonverbal. Verbal senior abuse can include intimidation through constant threats and yelling to the use of humiliation and ridicule. Nonverbal emotional senior abuse can include isolation from family and friends or ignoring basic needs. A homecare agency can provide the type of daily support many seniors need and help prevent emotional abuse.

• Financial senior abuse: Since most seniors are on a fixed income, financial abuse can be especially devastating. Signs include suspicious changes in insurance policies, wills, titles, and power of attorney; large amounts of cash missing from the senior’s bank accounts or home; and payment of unnecessary good, services, or subscriptions.

• Healthcare fraud and abuse: Medical identity theft and healthcare fraud are prevalent in every part of the population, but seniors are especially vulnerable. Signs of healthcare fraud and abuse include abnormal activity on credit reports, inaccuracies in insurance statements or explanation of benefits (EOBs), overbilling or duplicate billings for healthcare services or devices, incorrect info evidence of insufficient care when healthcare bills have been paid, and evidence of being either undermedicated or overmedicated. If you are not available on a regular basis, a homecare agency can be a vigilant protector against senior healthcare fraud and abuse.

• Sexual senior abuse: This type of senior abuse is particularly unconscionable. Signs include unexplained anal or vaginal bleeding, bruises around genitals, and even venereal diseases.

• Neglect: Signs that seniors are being neglected by a caregiver include untreated bedsores, unexplained weight loss or malnutrition, unsanitary living conditions, being unbathed or improperly clothed, and even living in a home without heat or running water.

Preventing Senior Abuse:
There are many things you can do to help prevent elder abuse, starting with recognizing there is a problem and reporting it right away. Pay close attention to the behavior of seniors and their caregivers, be on the lookout for the various types and signs of elder abuse described above, and consider hiring a homecare agency to be your eyes and ears. All seniors deserve an advocate to protect them from any kind of abuse.

Homecare Agencies – Things That You Should Check Out When Hiring One

Check out license

Homecare agencies provide a happy and desirable alternative to staying in retirement homes. The provision of home care is more convenient and comforting emotionally as well. You can enjoy personalized care specific only to you. Furthermore, services provided include everything from personal grooming services to taking care of the cooking and grocery shopping. However, all depends on the homecare agency you hire. One of the first things that you need to check is if the agency is licensed because they are highly reliable. Licensed agencies take a lot of care when it comes to hiring care providers, training them to provide special services and various specialized care requirements. You can be assured that care providers are well trained and equipped for the job.

Check out how much of family involvement is required

The other thing that you have to find out is how much family involvement is necessary. This can help you evaluate the most suitable home care agency. If a large amount of family involvement is required and if you are unable to provide the required time, then the agency will not work in your favor. In such cases, you can opt for a full service and full time care provider who can take care of everything that the needy require. If you can spend part of your time and involve yourself in lending care, then you can always choose a suitable agency. A very important thing that you need to ensure is whether the agency provides aid for menial household chores.

Check out staff and services

Before you choose an agency, make sure that you check out the staff and services provided. The staff has to be well trained and should not have any sort of criminal background, be it violence, drunken driving, addiction, theft or any other aspect that is illegal. One good way of finding out these things is to approach a referral agency. Another option you have is to choose a licensed agency because such agencies do conduct a thorough background check. Regarding services, you have to check if the company offers specialized care if the needy requires it. People, who suffer different levels of mobility impairment, diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases, require specialized care. You should also check out the procedure adopted by the agency in case there is an emergency. Staff has to be trained in providing first aid and in taking charge of emergency situations.

Check out the fee structure

Although homecare agencies provide the best of services, they are very expensive. Further, costs increase with the services that you require. Full time services are charged more. Almost all services require an advance before they can start providing care. You can check out different financial arrangements and details about the mode of payment. If you live abroad, then you should have the facility of online wire transfer. Based on your situations, consider the best options and choose a service that can cater to all your requirements. You can reduce costs by increasing your involvement in the care process or by hiring a separate maid for the menial jobs.

How Private Assisted Living Homecare Can Help an Aging Parent

As technology advances, so do medicine and health awareness. With that, the population of the elderly are becoming more, and that also means that the number of assisted living homecare is becoming more abundant. While many might feel that they can do well on their own, it is good to know what this alternative can offer you.

Most of the time, a person might seek the services for assisted living due to several reasons. They might feel stressed with their daily tasks, or have difficulty living on their own. But what does homecare actually do to lessen that burden? First of all, you will need to understand that in assisted living, the goal is to help a person to function independently, which is done by forming a thoroughly thought care plan which the staff would assist the person with so that they can eventually gain a certain degree of independence. Furthermore, unlike nursing homes, it actually cultivates independence through their environment that has little restrictions. The resident of the assisted living homecare can actually go about living how they like there, only with some help to do things they have trouble with.

In private assisted living homecare, there are a number of services that the home would actually offer. The home can help out by doing light housecleaning for the resident’s unit, like sweeping the floor or doing up the bed which may be a little difficult for seniors to do at their age. Nutritious meals are also provided for the residents so they do not need to cook, although a kitchenette is usually available so that residents who love to cook or prefer eating food beyond what is offered at the home can actually feel independent enough to be allowed to cook. The staff there can also remind the residents to take their medications, considering that old age would affect one’s memory to do such simple tasks. Apart from that, there is shuttle bus services provided as well. Seniors may have difficulty driving on their own, so this allows them to be able to go about for their appointments of meetings with friends, without actually feeling confined to the house as a patient.

One of the best things about private assisted living homecare is that there will be all sorts of recreational activities or wellness programs available for the residents, which they may not get the chance to do if they lived alone. This opens doors for them as well as gives them the opportunity to socialize. And for those with limited mobility, there are services where the staff can help with bathing or dressing them up. All in all, assisted living gives seniors the opportunity do things they cannot when they live alone.

How to Select a Homecare Agency

Most people only think about using the help of a homecare agency once they need it, which means that decisions are often made during a particularly stressful time. It’s important that you don’t panic; research each agency before you decide which one to choose.

A homecare service will help people who are experiencing difficulties managing at home. It’s for people who feel they may need assistance with their day-to-day lives.

This first step towards arranging help from a Agency home care agency is to ask for an assessment of your needs, either from the council or a homecare agency. It’s also known as a community care or needs assessment.

After the assessment you should be provided with a care plan. That’s simply a statement that explains what the needs are and how they will be met.

Once you know what levels of care are required, you can then assess the agencies which can help you. Each home care agency must produce a ‘statement of purpose’, which includes details such as the aims of the agency, the nature of the service provided and terms and conditions.

You should find out what procedures are in place to protect you or the person who is being cared for from accidents or other causes of harm. It is standard practise to prevent home carers from accepting gifts or money, using your personal property, such as your mobile phone and disposing of your property. All care staff should have identification at all times, which includes a photo, their name and the agency’s name, in large print for people with visual disabilities. Written records must also be kept, with details of home care nursing and medicines administered recorded properly.

If you are happy that the home care agency complies to all legislation and codes of practise, it is then time to use personal preferences to whittle the list down.

The most important thing to remember is not to panic and make an impulse decision. After all, the home carer will play an important part in the life of the person who is being cared for, and provide vital services for the rest of their life.

Ten Questions to Ask a Senior Home Services Agency

Finding the right senior home services agency for your elderly loved one can seem like a daunting and stressful task. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. By asking some direct, pertinent questions, you can learn all you need to know to select the right homecare company.

Here are ten questions to ask before choosing an agency to provide senior home services:

1. How long has the company been providing homecare services and what is its background? Although the number of years in business doesn’t always equate to the quality of care, it gives you an idea of the homecare agency’s stability and success rate. Research the agency’s background to get a clear understanding of its reputation in the community, which includes checking the homecare company’s Better Business Bureau ratings.

2. Does the senior home services agency perform background checks on employees? Don’t take this one for granted. For the protection of your elderly loved one you need to ensure that the agency performs a thorough background check for arrest records indicating senior abuse, sexual misconduct, DUIs, and other crimes.

3. Are employees bonded and insured? It’s important to ask whether the homecare agency has workers’ compensation insurance for its employees. This protects you legally and financially if the caregiver is injured in an accident.

4. Can your loved one meet the caregiver before service begins? A professional senior home services agency will allow your loved one to meet and approve the caregiver. This is another step in the process of building trust and letting your loved one know that they have control over their care.

5. Will one caregiver be assigned? Care is almost always better when the same caregiver regularly assists your loved one. This helps create a strong bond, trust, and higher level of comfort with the caregiver.

6. How does the homecare agency hire, train, and review employees? Make sure you understand the entire process to ensure the quality and ongoing education of the caregiver.

7. Does the senior home services agency provide a written plan of care? A plan of care is important because it sets everyone’s expectations and goals for the type and amount of homecare services to be provided.

8. Will the agency provide references? Ask for a list of the home caregiver agency’s professional references and clients, and take the time to speak with as many of them as you can. After all, your loved one’s care and safety will be in its hands.

9. Will the company provide a no-charge, no-obligation assessment? Ask if the homecare agency will visit you and your loved one in his or her living environment. This builds rapport, gives the senior the ability to meet and decide whether the agency is a good fit for them, and enables you to compare one senior home services agency with another.

How to Choose Between Elder Home Care Services and Nursing Homes

Deciding whether elder home care services or a nursing home is the right choice for your loved one is important when considering the best type and amount of care. Both options for senior care have their benefits and drawbacks. Cost is often a deciding factor, but so is the level of care needed.

According to U.S. News & World Report, while nursing home costs have continued to rise in recent years, in-home care costs have remained stable. This is good news for families whose elderly loved one needs regular assistance but not around-the-clock nursing care. Elder homecare services are charged by the hour and only provide the services your loved one needs. This keeps costs low compared to the much higher annual costs of nursing homes, especially when you consider the fact that many seniors don’t actually require twenty-four-hour nursing home care.

When choosing between elder home care services or a nursing facility, most seniors say they would much rather be independent and live in their own homes as long as they are able. Home care agencies make it possible for seniors to maintain a higher quality of life while receiving the type of personalized in-home care they need.

Elder Home Care Services Vs. Nursing Homes: What’s Best for Your Loved One?
The factors you need to consider when weighing the pros and cons of in-home services and nursing facilities include:

• Health: The senior’s physical and mental health conditions are the most critical factors. If he or she needs skilled nursing care on a daily basis, a nursing home may be the best option. However, if he or she is relatively healthy and needs help with daily tasks, such as bathing, toileting, hygiene, shopping, cooking, and medication management, home care is a better choice.

• Quality of care: Generally speaking, your senior loved one is going to receive the same high-quality of care regardless of whether it’s provided by an elder home care services agency or a nursing home. However, you should conduct thorough research and interviews with homecare agencies and nursing homes alike. Each will offer different services, benefits, conveniences, and activities.

• Cost of care: Unless money isn’t an option, the cost of care is always a deciding factor when making these difficult decisions. Nursing facilities can be very expensive and, although Medicare may cover some of the costs of nursing homes, elder homecare services are almost always more affordable.

• Quality of life: Unless the senior is bedridden and requires regular nursing care, most people agree that your loved one will benefit most from elder homecare because he or she can still live at home surrounded by family and friends.

These are some of the many factors to consider when choosing between elder home care services and nursing homes. As they are critical decisions you will need to make as your elderly loved one ages, speaking with professionals about the benefits of both kinds of care is important. Evaluate your options and learn more about the type, quality, and costs of care by visiting http://www.CambrianHomecare.com or calling 877.422.2270.

Who Pays For Homecare Services?

People seeking homecare services for themselves or for a family member may be concerned with how the service is to be paid for. There are a number of sources of funding people use to cover these services.

Medicare: Medicare is a federal health insurance program available to people who are disabled or over 65. It consists of four parts, each covering different types of medical services. Medicare will cover homecare services for members who meet eligibility requirements that include satisfying the definition of “homebound” and the ongoing need for skilled services such as nursing or physical therapy. Medicare is not a needs-based plan so the member’s financial situation does not affect eligibility one way or another.

Medicaid: Often confused with Medicare, Medicaid is a joint federal and state program designed to fund healthcare services for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Every state offers Medicaid although some states may use another name for the program – for example in California it is called Medi-Cal and Arizona Medicaid is called AHCCCS (pronounced “access”). Medicaid is needs based and to be eligible the member must meet a set of guidelines regarding income and assets.

Employer Insurance Programs: Most health insurance people have through their employer includes coverage for home health services. The benefits and eligibility vary widely so it is difficult to give general guidelines. Consult with your insurance company or with the provider of homecare services to confirm benefits before initiating service.

Worker’s Compensation: Although retirees make up a large segment of those who need homecare services, people injured on the job often need homecare after surgery or hospitalization to complete their recovery process. Homecare is included along with other medical services required for recovery.

State Block Grants: The federal government gives social services grants to states each year, allowing them significant leeway in how these grants are spent. Some of this money is used by states to fund programs to provide homecare services for state residents. Your state health department may be able to tell you more.

Veteran’s Administration: The VA pays for homecare services for veterans who were at least 50% disabled after receiving a service-related injury or illness.

Third Party Liability: If another party is responsible for the injury, illness or disability then homecare services may be part of the settlement reached.

Self Pay: When all other sources have been used, some expenses may fall to the patient or the family to pay.

The examples above are some of the most common methods of paying for homecare services. State initiatives, charitable foundations or other sources of funding may be available in your area. Homecare providers may know of local programs that will help pay for some of the care needed. Homecare is a growing need in this country and new ways are being found to finance the costs involved.