Finding long-term care might seem like a long and challenging task, but it isn’t. With the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age, senior care services are growing, and you can find anything you need wherever you are. In-home care has become a very popular choice among older adults because it allows them to stay in their home and it tends to be less expensive than moving into a facility. In El Paso, the average daily cost for in-home care is $110 and compared to the $152 to $183 per day it costs to live in a nursing home, that is manageable for most.
However, you should know all your options when it comes to in-home care because there are quite a few. It’s also important to understand what you can get from in-home care providers and caregivers, so you get the best assistance possible. This guide should help you learn more about your options as well as find out what other seniors in the area like about in-home care agencies and ways to cover the cost of your care.
There are a few in-home care agencies in the El Paso area and even more in the surrounding neighborhoods. Most in-home care is categorized as either personal care, sometimes called home care or health care. Homemakers are considered personal care and can help clean your house, make your meals, take you to appointments, or help with personal grooming like getting dressed. Home health aides are considered health care and these people deal with things like monitoring existing health conditions, medication reminders, wheelchair transfers, and any other medical needs.
What should you expect from in-home care? SeniorAdvisor.com allows clients and family members to leave reviews of agencies and we looked at a few to check out the environment. There are certain things seniors value when it comes to their care.
One of the most important aspects of any caregiver is their attention to detail. Homewatch Caregivers of El Paso rated very highly when it came to attentive and kind caregivers. One wife wrote, “I thought that one of the girls was very apt and she seemed to know exactly what to do without my telling her and she got things straightened up and she was good to my husband and he liked her very much and seemed pretty content. I have had very nice ladies from them come over.”
These agencies can also provide family members with peace of mind because they don’t have to worry about their loved one being alone. It’s helpful for family members that don’t live near their elderly relatives. One child of a client at Homewatch Caregivers said, “They were good at helping out my loved one. They were helpful in trying to find out what I needed for my dad and giving me guidance and assistance with that.”
A few other things that many seniors and their family members find important is good communication. It helps if the caregiver can keep everyone on the same page so that the senior is always getting the best care possible. Many agencies also provide last minute scheduling emergencies. If for some reason, you find yourself without a caregiver, never hesitate to call your provider. They should be able to help you locate the care you need so you’re not stranded alone.
As you get older, you want to be in control of your life and in-home care lets you do just that. You can plan care around your lifestyle and needs. If you don’t need care every day, then you can have someone come over once a week. If you have a family member that provides care most the time but they need a rest, you can use an agency for respite care. If all your family lives out of state, they can rest easy knowing you have a caregiver that will make sure you have healthy meals, transportation to appointments and errands, and have someone to help you out around the house.
To make sure you always have care, it’s a good idea to keep a variety of senior care options on hand. Unlimited resources for your care means never worrying about being alone without assistance.
Hiring a caregiver on your own gives you total control over the process. Whereas an agency might place you with one of their caregivers they think would be a good fit, with this option you do all the choosing. It’s also a good option if you have a family caregiver and want to pay them. You will have to handle the entire hiring process including interviews, payroll, insurance, and tax information as well as take care of all the scheduling.
Some seniors choose to use both personal caregivers and agency caregivers. This option gives you a lot of flexibility and allows your caregivers to take breaks. If you use a family member for care, enabling them to rest and recharge is important, so they don’t experience burnout. It’s also a good idea if your regular caregiver is on vacation, has an appointment, or gets sick and can’t work. You can still rely on an agency caregiver.
Online concierge services and shopping have also grown in popularity among seniors. No matter where you live, you can find help for any number of tasks. Rover is a site that lists local dog walkers and pet sitters while TaskRabbit is a site that helps you hire people to do things like pick up your groceries or drop off your dry cleaning. Amazon Prime Now is an online service that will deliver selected items to your doorstep the same day you order them.
Before you use any one of these options, do your research. Start by talking to friends and relatives to see if they have any good suggestions. Then check out sites like the Better Business Bureau of El Paso to read reviews and profiles on local businesses.
You might be able to use Medicare but they have some strict rules. A doctor must state that you’re homebound and you need therapy or skilled nursing assistance. You also must use a Medicare-approved facility if you use this as your payment.
You could also pay for it with your own money. If you already own a long-term care insurance policy, check for in-home care coverage. If you have a house, a reverse mortgage could be an option but you will need to meet with an HUD-certified counselor to go over all the risks.
Finally, if you’re a low-income senior Medicaid is your best option. If you’re a veteran or a widow of a veteran, you can most likely get coverage through your VA benefits. There are also many useful services available to seniors through local organizations like Bienvivir. They can help you obtain medical equipment, get to your appointments, and deliver home-cooked meals.
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