For many seniors, home is where the heart is, and many want to stay home as they age. In 2014, AARP conducted a survey reporting 71 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 don’t want to leave their current home as they age. In the next age category of 65 and older, 87 percent wanted to remain in their present home. Jersey City has several options for you to stay where your heart is - safely at home. You can find assistance with both household chores and medical aid. There are a variety of services available including medical and assistance with household chores.
You can search all licensed New Jersey health care agencies and also review surveys and inspections.
New Jersey’s Department of Health regulates the licensing for the health care agencies.
Low-income seniors can apply for Medicaid to receive home health services.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 814,000 health aides employed in the United States in 2016, with about 38,510 in New Jersey.
The average annual income for New Jersey home health aides was $23,230 in 2015.
In 2016, the median cost of homemaker services in the Jersey City area was $136 a day. This average totals $49,718 when taking this daily rate for a 5-day work week and multiplying it by 52 weeks for the year.
Homemaking services help seniors live at home by handling some of the household chores such as cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, and organizing. Other homemaking services include:
Getting dressed and personal hygiene
Engaging the mind with activities such as games
Taking prescription medications
Caring for pets and plants
Limiting hazards during safety checks
Contacting family to inform of senior’s health status
Homemaking services are an optimal solution for individuals that need little health assistance but could use help around the house. This service also provides regular companionship to help prevent loneliness and depression.
For those individuals who need more assistance with health-related issues, you may want to consider hiring a home health aide. The services for a home health aide are more expensive, averaging $138 a day. New Jersey’s nursing home rates are rather expensive. You could save a significant amount if you consider the average cost for a semi-private nursing home room was $339 a day, and a private room averaged $390 a day. With these averages, you could save $74,000 - $92,000 a year!
Home health aides also assist with the same services as homemaking services. However, they can monitor some health conditions by checking blood pressure, taking temperatures, changing wound dressings, and offering assistance with mobility tools.
State home care agencies typically employ home health aides, who are mandated to complete training requirements set by the state. Aides must complete both classroom and clinical experience under the direction of a registered nurse. Because of this training, home health aides can check blood pressure, assist a senior with walking, and give medicine. Some aides are trained to manage medical devices like a ventilator.
You may need various forms of care, and there are many services to help you get the amount of care you need. Home Health Care Agencies can help you create a plan and schedule to stay at home comfortably. You can also update this plan and care as needed. Here are the different levels of care:
Respite care is for when your regular caregiver is unavailable or needs a break. This care can be for just a few hours, days, or weeks. Because this is a short period with little commitment, you can review other caregivers or agencies to determine if you would like to work with them.
Part-time care is regularly scheduled care that is either a few hours daily or a couple days a week. With this care, you can get assistance with light cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and errands. This is the best option for seniors who don’t require medical care but just need some help around the house or want some companionship.
Full-time care is similar to part-time care but is 40 hours a week. This is a great option for care while family members are away at work. You can hire this care for nighttime hours to assist with bathroom breaks to limit falls.
Live-in care is best for seniors who need continuous care but don’t want to live in a nursing home. More than one caregiver typically splits the day and night hours.
First, you will need to decide if you want to hire your aide directly or work with an agency. One benefit of hiring an agency is that they will manage taxes, paychecks, insurance, and all licensing requirements. Plus, an agency has several aides, so it is easier to get a replacement for emergencies.
If you want to hire directly, you can hand-select the aide you want. You can even choose to hire a family member. Remember, you will need to handle taxes, payroll, and insurance with a direct hire.
It’s always a good idea get a referral from family and friends. You should also check for online reviews and see if there are any complaints. The Better Business Bureau is another great source as you can review grades and complaints.
Your long-term care insurance policy should cover some or most home health care expenses if your doctor verifies these services a health necessity. Low-income seniors with minimal assets may also be eligible to receive home health services through New Jersey’s Medicaid program. If you were a wartime veteran or a widow of a wartime veteran, you might be eligible for a VA Aid & Attendance pension to pay for your health care.
If you don’t have insurance or qualify for benefits but own your home, you may be able to take out a reverse mortgage, which utilizes the equity in your home. You can cash out a life insurance policy early. Since both of these options have several implications for taxes and inheritance, we recommend you discuss these choices in detail with your financial planner, attorney, or accountant.
Find assisted living in Jersey City near you.