When looking at care options, you can choose to enter into a nursing facility or an assisted living community, or you can choose to stay in your own home. More and more people are opting for in-home health care for a few reasons. First, it is usually more convenient for the client because they get to stay in their house, which is a familiar setting. For most seniors 65 and older, staying in their home as long as possible is a big need.
Second, in-home care tends to be a little less expensive than going into a nursing home. In Madison, private rooms in a nursing home cost an average of $260 per day in 2015, and semi-privates room cost $238 per day. In-home care can average around $162 per day depending on the agency you use and how often they come to your house.
What does in-home care look like? There are a few different services these health professionals provide and it can be one of many care options when it comes to senior care.
Of the home care agencies located in Madison, many of them are highly rated and provide a variety of different services. You can find a companion, someone who will spend time with you and help you with simple tasks like meal preparation and light housecleaning. There are also more skilled workers like certified nursing assistants that can help with more specific medical needs like changing bandages, reminding patients to take medication, and helping them bathe and get dressed. Under Wisconsin law, home care agencies have to be properly licensed by the state as well as follow state and federal rules and regulations.
Different people want different things from in-home care, so we took a look at SeniorAdvisor.com reviews of Madison agencies to see just what you want from your health care workers.
Care providers that perform a wide variety of tasks and help encourage their clients instead of doing everything for them: “The care has been wonderful, each person meets my mother’s needs for cleaning, meal prep, eyes for making sure her insulin pen is dialed to the correct amount, and companionship. They are considerate of her abilities and encourage or allow her to do the things she can do,” wrote a daughter of a Senior Helpers client.
Trained health workers that want to do a quality job and further their health education: One client of BrightStar in Madison said, “BrightStar caregivers are observant and helpful individuals all of whom are Certified Nursing Assistants. Some are engaged in further education and nursing degree programs.”
Care when there are no other options: “Thank you so much for the assistance you gave us. We were at the end of our rope and didn't know who to turn to. We knew Dad didn't want to go to a nursing home, but we couldn't stay with him 24/7 and carry on with our lives,” wrote the child of a client with Comfort Keepers.
Many other reviewers were pleased with the way that agencies kept all employees informed of the client’s needs, so if there was a switch in caregivers nothing would be missed.
This is a big plus when it comes to in-home health care because sometimes your schedule will change, or you have an emergency and you need someone to come right away. Many agencies have emergency workers that can come right when you need them. Home health care is also great if you have a full-time job or other responsibilities that will keep you away from your family member. Caregivers can make sure they are dressed, fed, and taken care of while you’re away, which can be a big peace of mind.
In-home care is just one type of senior care that you can take advantage of and it’s important to have a few different options so you or your loved one is never left stranded. Here are a few more resources that you can use when it comes to senior care.
Hiring Your Own Caregiver: Using an agency is only one way to find a caregiver for yourself or a family member, but you can certainly do it yourself. If you want to have total control over who comes into your home and hand pick the person who will provide your care, you can set out to hire your own. Keep in mind that you will be in charge of everything including interviews, payment, taxes, and insurance. This is a great choice if you have a family member providing care and you want to make sure they get paid for their services.
Use An Agency And Your Own Hire: You don’t have to just use one or the other and in fact, it’s smart to use both. This way you are never without care and you have options if your regular caregiver needs a rest, gets sick, or is away on vacation.
Local Concierge Services: These services are for when you have no time to run errands or do chores around your house. You can use websites like TaskRabbit to hire people out to pick up groceries or walk your dog and Amazon Prime Now is great for when you need something delivered to your house right away.
You want to make sure that you work with reputable businesses, especially when you have people coming into your home. Check with the Madison Better Business Bureau and get recommendations from friends and family as well.
Medicare is an option for some as long as the senior meets all of the requirements including being under the care of a doctor, are homebound, and in need of skilled nursing services like physical or speech therapy. If you’re a low-income family but don’t meet the Medicare requirements, you can apply for Medicaid through Wisconsin and also receive some services like nutritious meals through the city of Madison.
You can also use long-term life insurance if you purchased the policy before the time that you needed care. Talk with your agent to see what is covered, and make sure you set-up regular payments so coverage doesn’t lapse. If you have a house, a reverse mortgage could also be an option but you will be required to meet with an HUD-certified agent and go over all the risks before you pursue that option.
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