There are so many different reasons that people decide to get in-home care versus entering an assisted living or nursing facility. One of the big reasons is the ability to stay in your own home. This makes many seniors feel more comfortable and they have a certain amount of freedom to do as they please without following the rules of a facility.
Cost is another factor for many people and choosing in-home care might be a little less expensive. In 2015, the average cost per day for in-home care was around $132 and the daily cost of a private room in a nursing facility was $253. Assisted living was also more expensive at around $163 per day. However, what does in-home care include, and what is it like?
Let’s take a look at all the ins and outs of in-home care and see what people in the Chicago area really feel about these services.
The Chicagoland area is home to hundreds of in-home service agencies that can provide you with care right in the comfort of your own home. The nice thing about these agencies is that they can cover a wide variety of needs. If you just want a companion or a little extra help around the house you can find an agency that specializes in that, but you can also find agencies that provide specific medical care, and send nurses or other health professionals to your home. All agencies must be licensed and listed with the Illinois Department of Public Health under state law.
Senioradvisor.com allows users to review different agencies. In order to get a feel about Chicago home health agencies, let’s take a look at some of those reviews:
Help put everyone’s mind at ease and make the hiring process smooth and comfortable for everyone by having the owner come to the senior’s home: “It's sort of a scary experience hiring a stranger to come into your home for this sort of help, but they did a great job putting our minds at ease. They introduce themselves well, and the owner came out with the caregiver for the initial interview, just to make sure we felt at ease and all of our questions were answered,” wrote a family of an All Help Health Services client.
Arrive on time and take charge with the best care for the client: One daughter of a Water Tower Nursing Home Care client said, “They were excellent, always on time and more assertive with activities and suggestions than the others I worked with.”
Keep all family members informed of any changes in the client or in the type of care that is needed: “They have been great! I really appreciate the fact that they keep me informed with any changes with my Mom's medical condition and do just about anything we ask of them,” one son wrote of a Care at Home client.
Many people also liked that even if there were a few different caregivers, they did their best to make sure everyone was well-informed on the care that was needed.
Another great benefit to using an in-home care agency is that no matter what your schedule might be, you can find care. Most agencies will work with your schedule as it suits your needs. If you only need care for a few hours a day or even just one day a week, you can customize your care. In-home care is also a great way to ease the burden of taking care of a family member when you have another job or family as well. You can have care while you’re away at work or running errands and then come back and provide care yourself.
More often than not, senior care requires a few different methods of care. This can be a combination of in-home care, respite care, assisted living, and adult day care. No matter what, you always need to have a few options when it comes to providing care for yourself or a loved one and in-home care can be one of the tools you use. Here are just a few other tools you can use for care:
Hiring Your Own Caregiver. Instead of using an agency you can hire your own caregiver. This can give you total control over who comes into your home and provides care. This is also a good way to help pay family members for the services they provide when they otherwise might not get paid. The one downside to this option is that it can be a little time consuming to find the right person because you have to handle the search, interview, background checks, and everything else that an agency takes care of. You also have to take on all payroll, tax, and insurance responsibilities.
Using an Agency and Hiring Your Own. You can get a little of both worlds if you decide to use an agency to provide some in-home care along with hiring someone yourself. This is a great option if you’re paying another family member to provide care, but you also want to make sure they get a break too. It’s also a good option to blend both so you always have someone to provide care if someone gets sick or can’t make it to work.
Concierge Services. This is another tool that you can use to make your job a little easier. While concierge services won’t provide care for you or your loved one, they can take care of other jobs around the house like cleaning, picking up the groceries, or even walking the dog. You can use services like TaskRabbit, Angie’s List, or Amazon Prime Now to find people to take care of your errands or get same-day delivery of food or other products.
Low-income seniors might be able to get some coverage with Medicare but there are some pretty strict rules you have to follow. You have to be under a doctor’s care and that doctor has to be willing to say that you are entirely homebound as well as need some type of therapy whether that is occupational, physical, speech or other skilled nursing care.
If you want to pay privately, you can use long-term insurance policies to cover your costs as long as that is part of your coverage. You might be able to use a reverse mortgage if you want to go that route, but you need to go through counseling with an HUD-certified agent so that you know all of the risks beforehand.
Medicaid might also be able to help low-income families, if they don’t qualify for Medicare reimbursement. You can also take advantage of many of the programs available to seniors in Chicago like caregiving assistance and senior assessments.
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