If you’re just starting your search for long-term care, you might be trying to decide what is your best option. Facilities can provide a high level of attention, but more seniors are turning to in-home care instead. Why? For one, the cost of in-home care is less than facility care. The average cost of in-home services in Austin is $135 per day compared to the $150 per day for an assisted living facility and the $165 to $231 for a nursing home.
In-home care is also great for the seniors that want to stay in their home surrounded by their loved ones and a familiar environment. There are more than a few ways to get care in your home, and you should know about each one before you make your final decision. Here’s a look at some of the in-home care options available in Austin.
You can find dozens of in-home care agencies throughout the Austin Area. Most of these organizations fall into two different categories of care. Some homemakers or companions take care of basic needs like housecleaning and transportation or home health aides that take care of health and medical needs like medication reminders and wound care. You can also find agencies that provide both types of care, and per state law, all providers must be certified and listed with the DADS Home and Community Support Services Agencies.
So, you can get a better idea of what you should expect from these agencies; we’ve looked at a few of the reviews from SeniorAdvisor.com. These reviews are from clients and family members and show just what seniors want from these agencies.
Caregivers that are attentive, knowledgeable, and able to communicate effectively with clients and family members. One family member of a CareGivers.com client wrote, “The caregiver we had was great. She was very knowledgeable and caring. They really provided me with peace of mind. The agency was great with communication.”
Attention to details and listening to the needs of each client. “I am so happy I went to Stellar Senior Care of Austin for my parents. They deliver wonderful care, and do not miss any details.”
Owners that are involved with each of their clients instead of just seeing them as numbers. A customer of Assisting Hands Home Care said, “The owner of Assisting Hands was very helpful and professional. The caregiver was skilled and very capable.”
It’s also important for many seniors that the agency they use have last-minute help available. Plans can sometimes change last-minute, and most agencies should have the resources to send someone to you even if you don’t have care scheduled for that day.
Another aspect of in-home care is that it is highly customizable. The agency you use will work with you to make sure you have a caregiver when you need it. You will have a schedule and won’t have to worry about sticking to an arbitrary calendar of events. Perhaps you only need care while your family caregiver is away on vacation or you need someone to stay overnight because you just had surgery. A good care provider will look at all your needs and make sure you get what you want.
It’s a good idea to have a few different types of care on hand for any situation that pops up. Plans can change, needs might alter, and you never want to find yourself or your loved one stranded without care. Here are a few ways you can make sure you always have care no matter what.
Hiring your own caregiver is one way to make sure you have control over every aspect of your care. Instead of using an agency, you would meet with different caregivers or hire a family member so they can get paid for their services. While this gives you the most control, it can also be the most time-consuming. You must seek out help, interview potential hires, keep track of their schedule, and handle all payments, including insurance and taxes.
A blend of agency care and private hires provides the best of both worlds. You can hire a family member and allow them to get paid for their services but also use an agency caregiver so they can get rest. Caregiver burnout is a real issue, especially for family caregivers, and giving everyone enough time to relax and recharge means that you will always get their full attention and care.
Concierge services and online shopping are another way to care for your needs from home. Concierge services help many seniors handle their daily errands or chores without ever having to leave home. TaskRabbit and Rover are great examples of this and allow you to hire local people to run your errands or walk your dog. Online shopping is an easy way to make sure you have everything you need, and with services like Amazon Prime Now, the products you need are delivered on the same day you order.
Before you use any of these types of in-home care, you must do your research. You want to hire only reputable services, providers, and people so that you don’t have to worry about any complications.
The Better Business Bureau of Central Texas can help you find trustworthy businesses. You can also talk to friends and family members and see if they have any suggestions.
There are a few ways to cover the cost of in-home care. Medicare is only available under certain restrictions. A doctor must state that the senior in question is homebound and needs some physical, occupational, or speech therapy or occasional skilled nursing. You also must choose Medicare approved facilities to use this as your form of payment.
You can pay for these costs with your own money as well. Long-term insurance policies often have in-home care as part of their coverage, so check to see. You could use a reverse mortgage to free up some funds, but some risks come with this option, and you should meet with a HUD-certified counselor first.
If you’re a low-income senior, Medicaid will be your best choice. Veterans should consider their VA benefits to see if they have in-home care covered. You can also find free or discounted services through your local government. Programs like VNA Meals on Wheels brings home-cooked meals right to your door and can even help you feed your pet.
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