The majority of seniors want to be able to stay in their home for as long as possible and in-home care makes it possible for many people. With the American population quickly aging, especially as the baby boomers get older, there are more options when it comes to the type of care you can get. Houston is home to hundreds of home health care agencies that make it easy to find a caregiver to help you in your home.
Texas has one of the highest employment rates for home health aides at 62,930 people in the industry.
DADS (Department of Aging and Disability Services) in Texas can help seniors 60 and over find in-home care.
Most in-home health workers are trained on the job and you don’t need a higher education degree.
Home health aide jobs are expected to grow by 38%.
In Houston, homemakers can make about $167 per day which breaks down into about $19 per hour with an annual salary of $43,472. Homemakers provide a variety of services but they mostly deal with daily chores that you can no longer handle yourself.
This can include things like driving you to appointments around town or picking up your groceries. They can also help with maintaining your house and meal preparation as well as:
Taking care of pets and plants
Spending time with their client socializing, playing cards, or reading to them
Getting dressed and other personal grooming
Reminders to take medication or pay bills on time
Keeping the family informed of moods and information pertaining to the health of the client.
Generally speaking, homemakers do not provide any type of specialized medical care so this option is often better for seniors that are fairly healthy, but need extra help around the house.
Health aides provide more specialized care than a homemaker so their rates are often a little more expensive. Here in Houston, a health aide makes about $172 per day and an annual salary of $44,616. This might seem expensive but when you compare it to the cost of a nursing home at $228 per day, it is a more affordable option for many people.
Health aides will take care of daily chores like a homemaker, but they can also handle things like checking blood pressure, taking care of wounds, and changing bandages. In Texas, health aides must complete specific training and competency requirements and all home health agencies must be trained in things like emergency situations, infection containment, transfer techniques, and seniors’ rights.
Not everyone will need the same level of care or supervision at home and many agencies will allow you to customize your care so that you only get what you need. These are a few of your options:
Respite Care: If your regular caregiver needs to be away for a few hours or even a few days, home health agencies can provide you with respite care. This is also a good option if you need to find a new caregiver or are just starting your search. You can use this as a test-run to see if you like the agency and its workers.
Part-Time Care: This is for seniors who are mostly mobile and healthy, but just need a little extra help around the house or would like to have some companionship. You can have someone come over for just a few hours each day, or maybe just one or two days a week to take care of things like cleaning the house or running a few errands.
Full-Time Care: Seniors that need to have someone with them all day can use full-time help. If you have a full-time job as well as take care of an older parent or relative, this is a good choice because they can take over the care while you’re at work. This can also be a good overnight option so you don’t have to worry about your loved one needing help in the middle of the night and being alone.
Live-In Care: This is the highest level of care and often involves two or more caregivers rotating in shifts so that there is always someone at your home. If you’re homebound and need constant supervision, this is the best choice of care if you want to stay in your own home.
You actually have a few options when it comes to hiring a caregiver. You can choose to use an agency that will handle the whole process of interviewing, background checks, taxes, and insurance and then send someone to your house who fits your needs, or you can opt to hire directly and take care of all those things yourself.
Hiring directly might be a little more work but it gives you total control of everyone who comes into your house. It’s also a good option if you have a family member already providing care and you want to make sure that they get paid for their services.
It’s crucial that you only use a caregiver that you feel comfortable with and provides the exact services that you need. You can check with user reviews on sites like Yelp or SeniorAdvisor.com to see how a company operates and whether they are well liked by the community. Check the Better Business Bureau to make sure they have a good rating and talk to friends and family, if they have gone through this process to hear their recommendations.
There are Medicare-certified home health agencies and if you meet all the requirements for Medicare, you might be able to cover some of your costs that way. Medicaid could cover some costs if you’re a low-income senior and veterans can check with their local VA office to find out if their benefits would cover in-home care.
A long-term care insurance policy might also cover costs, but only if you bought the policy before the time you needed care. A reverse mortgage or cashing out a life insurance policy can also free up some funds to pay for care but each of those options can have long-term ramifications so you need to understand all the risks first.
Find assisted living in Houston near you.