Home is where many people are most comfortable and for seniors 65 and older, it is the place where many of them would like to receive care, if that’s possible. New York has many different options when it comes to in-home care and depending on your needs, you can find agencies and services who will provide you with a custom plan.
New York City has 17 home care agencies with 5 other agencies located throughout Brooklyn.
In the 2010 census, there were 993,158 people 65 and older living in New York and that number is projected to reach well over 1 million by 2020.
There were 913,500 home health aide jobs in 2014.
New York State Department of Health provides certified home health agencies that have the proper state licensing and regulations.
Homemaking services tend to be a more affordable option for in-home care. New York homemaker services cost about $187 per day or around $22 per hour. This cost is based on The Genworth Cost of Care Survey’s 44-hour work week. You can get a lot of different services with a homemaker program that can include:
Transportation to medical appointments or other errands
House cleaning and laundry
Grocery pick-up and meal preparation
Help with bathing and getting dressed
Typically, homemaker services will not include skilled nursing, so if you need something along those lines this might not be the best option. Homemaker services are ideal for seniors who are still relatively healthy but need a helping hand here or there.
Home health aides are going to have the ability and training to take care of more specialized tasks and because of that, they tend to cost a little more. The daily average in 2015 for a home health aide was about $205 and while that might seem high, it is much more affordable than the $374 per day for a private room in a nursing home.
New York requires all home health aides to complete an approved training program through either the department of health or state education department. This program helps train aides to be able to do things like move people from a wheelchair into a bed, check pulse and blood pressure, tend to wounds and bandages, and give medication reminders. Home health agencies also need to be licensed and trained so they can handle anything from seniors’ rights to infection control.
Many agencies will allow you to customize your care package so that you only get the services you need. Here are a few of the choices you might find:
Respite Care: You can have a caregiver come over while your primary caregiver is away so you aren’t without care. This is great for caregivers that need a break from their duties but their patients still want to stay in their home while they are away. It’s also a good audition for new caregivers, if you need to switch agencies or caregivers.
Part-Time Care: This is good for seniors that don’t want to be under constant supervision but might still need help from time-to-time. Someone can come over for a little bit each day or only once a week to do the big jobs that you can’t do on your own.
Full-Time Care: This type of care can be used during the day or overnight to make sure there are no falls or toileting incidents. It’s also a good option for a family member that has a full-time job on top of caregiving duties. This way their loved one gets care while they are at work.
Live-In Care: Seniors that have just had surgery, a long illness, or have a debilitating chronic disease can use live-in care so that someone is with them 24/7. The care will be split between two or three people who will rotate in shifts to make sure the patient is never alone.
An agency is one of the more popular and easier ways to find a caregiver that meets your needs. They take care of all the busy work like interviews and payment and will just send a caregiver that can handle the job. However, you don’t have to use an agency and can choose to hire your own caregiver.
Hiring your own caregiver gives you total control but it also means that you have to take care of everything yourself which could be a big undertaking. If you have a relative that wants to provide you care and you want to make sure they get paid, this is a good choice.
If you do use an agency, do a lot of research to make sure they are a reputable company and have quality service. You can look at user reviews on sites like SeniorAdvisor.com and check their ratings on the Better Business Bureau. Friends and family can also help by giving suggestions of places they have used and liked.
You have a few choices when it comes to payment options. Veterans can go to their local VA office or check their benefits to see if they have in-home care coverage. New York does have Medicare-certified agencies and if you meet the requirements, you can use their coverage. Medicaid does also provide help for low-income seniors if you qualify.
A long-term care insurance policy is a great way to cover these kinds of costs, just make sure to talk to your agent to see what is covered. Cashing out life insurance policies and getting a reverse mortgage can also be options, but both of those choices have long-term ramifications so make sure you fully understand those before continuing.
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