According to a recent AARP survey, over 90% of all Americans aged 65+ want to stay in their current home for as long as possible. And although that’s an admirable goal, most seniors eventually require at least some in-home caregiving to remain independent.
When no informal caregivers are available to assist them, professional in-home caregiving becomes a viable option. That home care usually takes one of two forms: non-medical personal care or home healthcare. Here’s a breakdown of what each type entails.
Non-Medical Home Care
Non-medical caregivers assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) like cooking, cleaning, and hygiene. A certified nursing assistant (CNA) or home health aide (HHA) usually provides that care. And although they are not medical professionals, CNAs and HHAs are trained to help someone with a chronic illness, disability or other mobility issue carry out essential daily activities. Those professionals are then usually supervised by a licensed nurse.
Some personal caregivers assist with laundry, cooking and cleaning. Others are trained to help clients with activities like bathing or transferring from bed to a wheelchair. A family might also hire an in-home “personal assistant” for an elderly loved one so they can provide them with companionship or mental stimulation that helps prevent or slow the progression of dementia.
Since most health insurance companies don’t cover the costs for unskilled care, clients typically pay for these services out of pocket. However, there may be times when coverage for in-home personal care is included in a senior’s workers’ benefits program, V.A. benefits or long-term care insurance policy.
Finding the right caregiver
Having a “stranger” in the home can cause your loved one to feel anxious or suspicious. To restore everyone’s peace of mind, finding them the right companion or personal assistant is possible by taking these steps:
- Conduct screening and compatibility interviews with each candidate
- Seek recommendations from friends, neighbors, and coworkers
- Check online reviews
- Research their certifications, awards, and licenses
Searching for a private caregiver can be a daunting task. A simple solution is contacting a licensed home care agency. If you do, look for one that performs background checks and drug tests on their employees, along with providing all the personal care services that your loved one will need.
Home healthcare, also known as home-based skilled nursing care, is for seniors who need more intensive medical care for a disability or chronic illness, or after being in the hospital. Professionals who provide home healthcare are either registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
In-home nurses may perform basic tasks like trimming nails, administering medications or helping a patient bathe. That said, the care they provide is usually more skilled. They might care for patients that have a catheter, colostomy, tracheostomy, post-surgical wound or pressure ulcer. Home healthcare nurses may also be asked to monitor a patient’s health and manage their medications. They can also train family members on how to care for a loved one.
Because it relies on skilled medical professionals, home-based nursing care can be expensive. However, it may be worth it for a loved one who would like to avoid or shorten the length of their hospitalization. Most Medicare and Medicaid plans cover some of the costs of home healthcare services. Certain V.A. benefit and long-term care insurance plans can do the same. It’s always best to check with your loved one’s insurance provider first before hiring them a private duty nurse.
Highly Personalized In-Home Care for Independent Seniors
Finding the right source of in-home caregiving for your loved one can be challenging. At Help at Home, we’ve been assisting families for over 20 years now with our reliable home care solutions. For your added peace of mind, all our health professionals are thoroughly screened and well trained in advance. While in the home, our compassionate caregivers use a highly personalized, hands-on approach that’s designed to ensure client satisfaction and put your mind at ease.
We take great measures to match your loved one with a qualified caregiver that’s compatible with their unique personality and specific needs. Services that we provide include personal care, respite care, companion care, transitional care, medication assistance, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and end-of-life care. To learn more about Help at Home now, or to contact us about a senior in Virginia, Maryland or the Washington, DC, metro area today, please visit us at: www.helpathomecare.com!