In a 2014 survey conducted by AARP, seniors reported that they wanted to stay in their current home as they continue aging. The study stated that older the person got, the more likely they wanted to continue living in their present home. Around 71 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 wanted to stay, and that number increased to 87 percent for seniors over 65. Fort Wayne has numerous programs and services to help you live at home comfortably. These services range from housework to medical assistance.
Indiana Department of Health regulates the home health agency licensing.
There are 18 licensed home health agencies in Fort Wayne. You can find a directory along with Consumer Reports on area health agencies on Indiana’s State Department of Health’s website.
Low-income seniors may be eligible to receive home health services through Indiana’s Medicaid program.
In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nearly 814,000 people were health aides in the United States, with about 13,020 in Indiana.
The average salary for home health aides in Indiana was $22,820.
In 2016, the average rate for homemaker services in Fort Wayne was around $128 a day. This service averages $46,629 annually, based on a five-day week for the 52 weeks.
Homemaking services help with regular household chores including cleaning, errand running, grocery shopping, meal preparation, laundry, and washing dishes. You can also find additional homemaking services that aid with:
Personal hygiene and getting dressed
Engaging the mind with activities like games and letter writing
Reminders to take medicine
Pet care, including walking the dog walking
Safety checks to minimize fall hazards
Homemaking services can be a practical solution for seniors who can manage their health but just need a little assistance with household chores. This service also provides companionship and can update the family on the senior’s physical and mental status.
For those who need some medical care, health aide services in Fort Wayne cost slightly more than homemaker services with an average of $129 a day. Staying at home and using these services can save you a tremendous amount of money when compared to nursing home rates. The average cost for a semi-private nursing home room in Fort Wayne was $211 a day, and a private room averaged $267 a day. Using these averages, you could possibly save $30,000-$50,000 a year depending on what type of room and nursing home you choose.
Home health aides will also assist with chores like homemakers. However, they can also provide some medical care like checking and monitoring blood pressure, dispense medication, redressing wounds, and aid with walking and mobility devices. Some aides are also able to manage medical devices like a ventilator.
Home health aides are normally employed with home care agencies. They are required to keep licenses by meeting both training and experience requirements set by the state. Aides must complete both classroom and hands-on clinical experience, which is supervised by a registered nurse. This training equips aides to handle medical monitoring when visiting a patient.
All seniors are different, and so there are a variety of options available. Home Health Agencies can help you create a custom plan to meet your needs and update when your demands change. Here are the different levels of care:
Respite care is temporary care when your normal caregiver is not free, whether it's care for a few hours or days. Since this care is for a short period of time, you can try out caregivers and agencies to see if they would be a good fit for the future.
Part-time is caring for just a few hours a day or a couple days a week. It is regularly scheduled care that assists with household chores including shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, and dishes. This is the best option for seniors who do not have medical needs but need help around the house.
Full-time care provides care 40 hours a week, typically when family members are working. You can also hire help overnight to help with bathroom breaks and medications.
Live-in care is for seniors who need constant care and health assistance but want to still live in their current home. Multiple caregivers will split the hours for the day and night shifts.
Your first option with home health services is whether you want to hire your caregiver directly or want to work with an agency. Agencies provide the benefit of handling all the paperwork, taxes, and insurance, which can be cumbersome for some people. An agency can also find a replacement aide quickly should your current aide become unavailable.
If you want to hire directly, you will be able to choose the person you want. You can even choose to hire and pay a family member. Remember since you are the employer, you must manage taxes, reporting earnings, and insurance.
To begin your search, ask for referrals. You can also search for online reviews. The Better Business Bureau is another source for information to review any reported complaints.
If you have a long-term care insurance policy, your policy may cover home health care expenses if your doctor states the services are a medical necessity. If you are a low-income senior with limited resources, you may be eligible to apply for Indiana’s Medicaid program.
Wartime veterans along with their widows might be eligible for a VA Aid & Attendance pension to pay for home care costs.
Don’t worry though as there are other options if you don’t have insurance or benefits. If you own your home, you can look into a reverse mortgage to use the equity in your home for a cash payment. Another option is getting cash from a life insurance policy. Both of these options can have significant tax and inheritance penalties, so it is best to discuss with your financial planner, an attorney, or tax advisor before choosing one of these options.
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