Just because you need long-term care doesn’t mean that you have to leave your home to get it. Most people would prefer to stay in their homes and they’re not alone. 71% of adults 50 to 64, and 87% of adults 65 and older want to be able to stay in their homes as long as possible. Luckily for them, Denver has some great in-home care options.
59.5% of the Colorado population that uses home health care has five or more chronic conditions.
There are over 800,000 jobs in the US in the home health care industry and Colorado employs about 7,000 to 12,000.
Most home health agencies in Colorado are owned by proprietors rather than government or nonprofit.
Using a homemaker service tends to be one of the least expensive options when it comes to in-home care. In Denver, the average hourly rate is about $22. If you have someone employed for a full day, the cost is $193. However, what does a homemaker do?
Think of them as your extra helping hand around the house and neighborhood. They can do things like:
Care for your pets and plants
Grocery shop and prepare meals
Clean the house and do the laundry
Communicate mood changes and other things about the patient to family members and other caregivers
They can’t provide you with specialized medical care, so if you’re a senior who is fairly healthy and just needs a little extra help, these services are for you.
While a home health aide is more expensive than homemaker services, they are still less expensive than other long-term care options. The average hourly rate in Denver is $23 which is about $203 per day. When compared to a private nursing home at $283 per day that is a better deal.
Home health aides cost a little more because they have more training and can handle more skilled nursing techniques. The state of Colorado requires aides to complete a training program and competency exam before they can start working. The program will teach them how to transfer patients from mobility devices, check pulses and blood pressure, care for wounds, and change bandages. Agencies also have to make sure their employees know how to handle infection control, senior nutrition, emergency procedures, and proper communication.
The great thing about in-home care is that you can plan your care for what works best for you and your schedule. Most agencies will offer these types of services:
Respite Care: When your regular caregiver needs to be away or calls in sick, you can use an agency to get respite care. This is also a really good way to try out new caregivers or agencies if you’re looking for a switch.
Part-Time Care: If you don’t need or can’t afford full-time help, you can have someone come over for just a few hours each day or even a few days each week. They can make sure what you need is done while they’re there and this can also offer peace of mind to adult children who worry about their parents being alone all the time.
Full-Time Care: This is usually a typical 40-hour work week and you can have someone there with you all day or all night. This is a good choice for people who might care for a family member but also have to work all day.
Live-In Care: This is the highest level of in-home care. If you don’t want to go into a nursing facility but need to be constantly supervised, this could be the best choice for you. A group of two to three caregivers will rotate shifts so you’re never alone and always have care.
You can do one of two things when you’re trying to find in-home care. You can use an agency that will do all of the work for you and find the best caregiver for your situation, or you can hire your own caregiver directly. Agencies are a little easier because they can handle a lot of the work that goes into finding and paying a caregiver. However, hiring your own allows you to have total control such as a family member you could pay for their care services.
Beyond deciding between an agency or a direct hire, you should make sure you do your homework about any caregiver you choose. Ask for suggestions and recommendations from family and check agency ratings on the Denver Better Business Bureau.
If you can’t pay out-of-pocket for your care, you have a few options. If you know you meet the requirements for Medicare, choose a Medicare-certified agency and your care could be covered. Also, low-income seniors that qualify for Medicaid in Colorado can use that coverage for in-home care costs.
If neither of those work and you already have a long-term care insurance policy, check with your agent to see if in-home care costs are included in your coverage. You could also cash out a life insurance policy, but that could have ramifications so know those risks first. A reverse mortgage is an option, but talk to an HUD-certified agent to understand all the consequences before you go ahead with that plan.
Find assisted living in Denver near you.