More and more seniors feel the comforts of home as they choose to stay put instead of moving to senior communities. AARP conducted a survey in 2014 and reported 71 percent of older adults between 50 and 64 wanted to age at home. This number soared to 87 percent for those over 65. Chula Vista offers choices for in-home care along with several resources to help you or your loved one age safely at home. These services range from medical care to housekeeping. Another notable benefit is that these services can cost significantly less than nursing home care.
You can search Medicare home health agencies by searching on Medicare’s site.
The state of California provides the licenses for these agencies and regulates practices.
Low-income seniors and those with risks of going into a nursing home can get assistance through the state from programs such as Medicare.
More than 814,000 Americans were home health aides in 2016. There are about 25,910 aides in California.
The average salary for home health aides in California was $29,210.
In 2016, the median cost for homemaking services was $147 daily in the Chula Vista/San Diego area. According to these numbers from the Genworth’s survey, this adds up to $53,768 annually when you account for 5-day workweeks for the 52 weeks in a year.
These services aid with common household tasks to help make living at home more comfortable. These services include grocery shopping, transportation to appointments, meal planning and preparation, and light cleaning.
Additional homemaking services help with:
Social activities including games and friendly discussions
Safety checks to eliminate any hazards
Reminders to take prescriptions
Pet and houseplant care
Communication with family on the senior’s condition
Homemaking services are a viable solution for seniors who can manage health independently but need assistance with household chores. This service also provides companionship, so seniors don’t get lonely.
In Chula Vista, home health aide rates average to a little higher than the homemaker rate, with a median daily rate of $150. If you compare this to the average daily costs for nursing home rooms in San Diego/Chula Vista area of $240 for a semi-private room or $327 for a private room, you could save $32,000-$64,000 annually depending on the type of nursing home care.
Home health aides handle household chores along with some light health monitoring such as taking blood pressure, checking and dressing wounds, dispensing medicines, taking temperatures, and assistance with walking. Some aides can assist with medical devices like a ventilator.
Home health aides employed through home care agencies are required to meet training and experience standards. Aides must have both classroom and hands-on clinical experience supervised by a registered nurse. This training and experience are why home health aides can assist with medical care that homemakers cannot.
There are different levels of care to fit everyone’s unique needs. Agencies can help you create a schedule and plan of service to make the most of your care. You will also be able to update your services at any time when your needs evolve. Here are some of the options of in-home care.
Respite care is temporary care when your caregiver is unavailable. These are great trial periods to determine if other caregivers and agencies are a good fit for the future.
Part-time care can be a few hours a day or a couple days a week. This service helps with grocery shopping, preparing meals, doing laundry, and cleaning. This is a good choice for seniors who don’t need a large amount of care. This extra assistance will make living at home easier and provides consistent companionship to prevent loneliness.
Full-time care provides care 40 hours a week and is suitable for seniors that need all-day supervision while the family is at work or even overnight to assist with bathroom trips.
Live-in care provides constant care around the clock. There are typically multiple caregivers that split day and night shifts. This care is best for seniors with the most health needs that still want to be home instead of a nursing home facility.
When deciding on a home health aide, you can either hire through an agency or do so yourself. Agencies provide the convenience of handling all the taxes, payroll, insurance, and licensing. Plus, an agency has backup contacts should your aide need to cancel on short notice.
You can choose a family member to be a caregiver if you have someone who is a good fit. You are the boss if you hire directly and have the final pick of the aide. Remember that you have to manage all the taxes, accounting, and insurance reporting since you are the direct employer.
It’s always a good idea to ask around and get a referral for either the agency or the home health aide. Online reviews also provide great feedback. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource to find out information on an agency and see if there are any standing complaints. You can also search California’s home health aide registry to check for a criminal record.
If you want to use your long-term care insurance to cover these expenses, you will need a doctor's recommendation for home care based on your medical condition. If you are a low-income senior with minimal assets, you may be eligible for care through the California Care Network. Wartime veterans and widows may be entitled to a VA Aid & Attendance pension to cover home care costs.
If you own your home, you can consider a reverse mortgage to use the equity in your home to pay expenses. You can also get a lump sum by cashing out a life insurance policy early. You should discuss these options with your financial planner, attorney, or accountant because these options carry hefty tax and inheritance penalties.
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