Home care is a service that is meant to allow a person (most commonly the elderly) to remain independent in their home, senior facility or wherever they call home. Most commonly, these services are required because of a chronic illness, cognitive impairment, surgery, disability and/or falls. Home care agencies provide a licensed, trained, bonded and insured caregiver to be an extension of the family. This caregiver or set of caregivers’ role is to care for the client’s needs as if their son or daughter were to quit their job and dedicate themselves to their loved one’s care. For example, someone who may suffer from Alzheimer’s, Dementia or Parkinson’s may need a caregiver to assist them with bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, feeding, using the restroom, walking and mobility assistance, transportation to Doctor’s appointments, rehab sessions and/or errands. In addition to this, home care services also include taking your loved one to activities they might enjoy such as going to the museum, out to eat, movies, or going to grandson’s basketball game! Although nearly 90% of aging homeowners would prefer to stay in their home, something that is worth mentioning about these services is that should the senior need to be moved to an assisted living facility, a nursing home or be put in Hospice care, Home Care companies can help support families all along that process by adjusting their care based upon the evolving needs of the family and the senior.
Even though these services are not medical, they can do some things to help with their medical care such as documenting oxygen levels, blood sugar levels, and coordination of care. With coordination of care, we can relay the information to doctors and family members which helps medical professionals make more informed decisions and can lead to better medical and non-medical care.
It is very common for one to ask themselves how these services are paid for. Since these services are considered ‘Non-Medical Care’, it is not covered by Medical Insurance (such as Medicare) Although the most common way to pay for this is private pay, there are many other resources available to help afford such care. Some examples are Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits and Long Term Care Insurance to name a few. Reaching out to a Home Care agency might help you uncover some resources and payment options that you may not be aware of. The Senior Estate Concierge has a group of thoroughly vetted Home Care agencies that can help you find a viable way to care for your loved one within your means.
A perfect example may be of a Senior Veteran with Parkinson’s and Dementia who lost his wife and all of his children live outside the city. A Home Care agency can step in to care for this Senior and assist with applying for Veteran’s Aid & Attendance benefits to help him get the care he needs. These services can help him with meals to make sure he is getting the nutrition he needs. We find that many times, people with dementia like to get out and do things they used to enjoy. Whether it’s going to get a beer, a hot dog or going to a movie, to the Texan’s games or going to their favorite restaurant, these services can give them the enjoyment that would no longer be available without a support from a caregiver. This does not only enhance the Senior’s and it’s family’s quality of life, but protects the senior from falling into depression, loneliness and reduces the risk of falls, medication over or under dose, and can have significant impact of functional decline and early death as stated by American Psychological Association.
One of the primary reasons Home Care agencies exist is due to physical or cognitive impairment such as Paralysis, Parkinson’s or Dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association someone in the United States develops this disease every 65 seconds. This means that every 65 seconds, loved ones associated with the person who develops Alzheimer’s Disease are having to play the role of a family unpaid caregiver. This is especially challenging because “Approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers — meaning that they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18”, says the Alzheimer’s association. To further compound the situation, early on-set Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease has increased by 200% among commercially insured Americans between the ages of 30 and 64 over a recent five-year period, a new analysis of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurer claims shows, says Forbes.com.
Another example would be if a family member has dedicated themselves to caring for their loved one, they may need some support in order to take time off or handle their own lives. A Home Care Agency can provide that support, even on a “as-needed” basis for the family caregiver to be able to support themselves and therefore effectively support their loved one. In some cases, the family caregiver may have a temporary illness such as a major surgery or an accident, which disables them from properly caring for their loved one. In these cases, a Home Care company can step in and care for both of them on a temporary or permanent basis by taking them to Doctor’s appointments, helping them bathe and dress in the morning, cook some fresh meals and keep up with the home with some light housekeeping and laundry.