Senior Home Services

 

QUICK OVERVIEW – non-medical care: A Home Health Agency (HHA) is usually the provider of non-medical senior home services at one’s place of residence. These homecare workers are trained caregivers who provide companionship, custodial care, and are also for keeping a safe physical environment for the person receiving care in their own home.

APPROPRIATE FOR: Seniors who are able to take their own medicines and who are mentally alert, need minimal assistance with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), and who are able to move throughout the house, even with a walker, cane, scooter or wheelchair.

SERVICES PROVIDED: Services include light housework, companionship, errands, and grocery shopping and/or meal preparation. Also, they provide assistance with some Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, and providing reminders to take medicines (not allowed to administer medications).

COST RANGE: $18/hour and up

FUNDING SOURCES: Private Pay, some Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) policies, Medigap or a combination of these payment sources.

QUICK OVERVIEW – home medical care: A state-registered, federally regulated Home Health Agency (HHA) is usually the provider of this in-home medical and/or nursing health care. Care is provided by a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) and/or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN); sometimes complementing the work with other health professionals.

APPROPRIATE FOR: Seniors who are not able to take their own medicines because of confusion and/or physical impairment. Senior would need more than just minimal assistance with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), and cannot move freely throughout the house, even with a walker, cane, scooter or wheelchair.

SERVICES PROVIDED: In-home health care must be prescribed by a physician, and can include services such as physical therapy and occupational therapy. A more intense level of care depends on the assistance needed with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, using the toilet, etc. A home health aide can also administer medications under the supervision of a nurse.

COST RANGE: $25/hour and up

FUNDING SOURCES: Private Pay, some Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) policies, Medigap, or a combination of these payment sources.

Regardless of the type of senior home services you choose, several factors will weigh in on the best choice for you. Here are some of the issues in evaluating your options:

  • Location and accessibility. Where is your home located? Are you in a rural or suburban area that requires a lot of driving? If you’re in an area with more public transit, is it safe and easily accessible? How much time does it take you to get to services such as shopping or medical appointments?
  • Home accessibility and maintenance. Is your home easily modified? Does it have a lot of steps, stairs or a steep hill to access? Do you have a large yard that needs to be maintained?
  • Support available. Do you have family and friends nearby? How involved are they? Are they able to provide you the support you need? Many older adults prefer to rely on family to provide help, but as your needs increase, they might not be able to fill in all of the gaps. It’s important to consider proximity to community services and activities as well.
  • Isolation. If it becomes difficult or impossible for you to leave home without help, isolation can rapidly set in. You may not be able to participate in hobbies you once loved, stay involved in community service that kept you motivated, or visit with friends and family. Losing these connections and support is a recipe for depression.
  • Medical conditions. No one can predict the future. However, if you or a loved one has a chronic medical condition that is expected to worsen over time, it’s especially important to think about how you will handle health and mobility problems. What are common complications of your condition, and how will you handle them?
  • Finances. Making a budget with anticipated expenses can help you weigh the pros and cons of your situation. Alternate arrangements like assisted living can be expensive, but extensive in home help can rapidly become expensive as well, especially at higher levels of care and live-in or 24-hour coverage.
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One Comment

  1. Posted July 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Very helpful post thanks for sharing

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