If you want to stay at your home versus moving to another senior living option, you are not alone. AARP conducted a survey and found 71 percent of older adults between 50 and 64 wanted to stay home and finish aging. This percentage went up to to 87 percent for those over 65. Irvine provides choices and services to help you with in-home care to age safely and comfortably at home.
Another notable benefit is that these services cost significantly less than nursing home care, and you are in your comfort zone.
You can search California Medicare-approved home health agencies by searching on Medicare’s site.
The state of California regulates the licenses and practices for these agencies.
Low-income seniors and those at risk of going into a nursing home may apply for assistance through state programs such as Medicaid.
In 2016, there were more than 814,000 home health aides in the US. In California, there were about 25,910 health aides.
The average 2016 home health aide salary was $29,210 in California.
In 2016, the median cost for homemaking services was $133 daily in Orange County. According to these numbers from the Genworth’s survey, this adds up to $48,620 annually, by figuring five work days for 52 weeks.
These services aid with everyday 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:
Personal grooming and getting dressed
Social activities including games and friendly discussions
Safety checks to minimize falls and other hazards
Reminders to take prescriptions
Pet care including walks
Communication with family for status on senior’s condition
Homemaking services are a viable solution for seniors who can manage health independently but could benefit from some help around the home. This service also provides regular companionship, so seniors don’t get lonely at home.
In Irvine, home health aide rates average the same as the homemaker rate, with a median daily rate of $133. You could save a significant amount of money by living at home versus a nursing home.
If you compare to the average daily costs for nursing home rooms in the Orange County area of $254 for a semi-private room or $410 for a private room, you could save $44,000 - $101,000 annually depending on the type of nursing home care you would choose.
Home health aides handle the household chores along with some light health monitoring such as checking and bandaging wounds, taking blood pressure, dispensing medications, taking temperatures, and assistance with walking. Some aides can assist with medical devices like a ventilator.
Home health care agencies employ the aides, who are required to meet training and experience standards set by each state. Aides must have both classroom and hands-on clinical experience supervised by a registered nurse. This training is why home health aides can assist with medical care.
There are different levels of care to fit everyone’s unique needs and schedules. Agencies will help you determine the best attention and help you adjust when necessary. Here are some of the options for in-home care to help you live at home.
Respite care is temporary care when your caregiver is unavailable, whether it’s a few hours, days, or weeks. You can take advantage of this time to test out other home health aides to see if you want to work with them in the future.
Part-time care can be a few hours a day or a couple of days a week and is regularly scheduled. This service offers assistance with grocery shopping, preparing meals, doing laundry, and cleaning. Part-time care is an excellent choice for seniors who don’t need a significant amount of medical attention. This extra assistance will make living at home easier and provides consistent companionship to prevent loneliness. Families can also request regular status reports to see how their loved one is doing.
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 similar to a nursing home, but the senior gets to stay in his or her current home. There are typically multiple caregivers that split day and night shifts.
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, which tends to be time consuming and confusing. Plus, an agency has back-up contacts should your aide not be available.
If you hire directly, you can choose a family member. You get the ultimate say in who the aide will be. Remember that you have to manage all the taxes, Social Security withholding, and insurance since you are the employer.
It’s always a good idea to ask around and get a referral on either the agency or the home health aide. It’s good to know if there are ones you should hire or if there are ones you should avoid.
Online reviews also provide great feedback. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource to view ratings with the BBB and check for complaints. You can also review California’s home health aide registry to search for a criminal record before hiring an aide.
If you want to use long-term care insurance to cover these expenses, you may need a doctor recommendation for home care based on your medical condition. If you are a low-income senior with minimal assets, you may be eligible for state-sponsored care programs such as California Care Network. Wartime veterans and widows may be eligible for a VA Aid & Attendance pension to pay for home care costs.
If you own your home, you can consider a reverse mortgage to get the equity in your home without selling. You can see if you can get your life insurance policy money early. You should discuss these options with your financial planner, attorney, or accountant because these options have many fees and tax and inheritance penalties.
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