As a senior, you have the right to choose how and where you would like to grow older and for many seniors, home is the preferred place. Over the years, there has been a growth of services and programs to help seniors age in place and remain in the comfort of their own homes even if they have medical issues. So if you live in a high-rise in the heart of the city or a house in a quiet neighborhood, you can get help with things like your daily chores or errands through homemaker services and if you need help with personal grooming or other health needs you can use a home health aide.
It is possible that you won’t have to pay for these services totally out of pocket because there are programs and reimbursement opportunities for seniors that qualify. Your doctor needs to confirm that you need help to be able to safely remain in your home for several benefits to kick in. Medicaid can help pay for home health services for low-income families and if you have long-term care insurance you can check your policy to see if these services are covered. The New York Department of Aging also has the NORC Program (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) that aims to help qualifying seniors stay in their homes as long as possible.
The cost for getting home health services is going to vary from state to state as well as from city to city. The type of care you need and how much you need is also going to affect the cost. That being said, the national daily average for homemaker and home health aides is $125 and $127 respectively.
For the state of New York, the daily average for homemaker services is $138 and the daily average for home health aides is $144 but that can go up or down depending on your neighborhood. For the monthly cost, you could pay anywhere between $4,195 to $4,385 and while that seems high if you compare it to the cost of a semi-private room in a nursing facility ($10,988) it is a good deal.
As you start your search you should talk with people you trust like close friends, neighbors, family members, and others in the senior community to see if they have any services they would highly recommend. Another good place to start your search is online at the New York Better Business Bureau. You can read business reports, user reviews, and a report card for each business to get a better feel for the company.
Once you have a few places in mind, call and ask about their licensing and insurance and check to see if they are bonded. You will want to ask if they do background checks on their employees and see how their scheduling and payment options work out. If you’re pleased with all their answers and are ready to sign a contract go over all terms and agreements carefully so you fully understand the services you will receive.
In-home health care doesn’t always mean homemaker services or a full-time health aide, you can create the type of caregiver support you need when you need it. There are a lot of great internet-based service programs that can connect you with people and companies ready to help you stay in your home.
If you have pets you can check out Rover.com to find a dog-walker or pet-sitter, Handy can help you with housecleaning, and if you need home repairs or remodels to help your house better suit your needs you can look at Porch.com and Amazon Home Services. Another good site is TaskRabbit where you can find someone to help you with any chore or errand you might have just make sure you check all their credentials and feel comfortable with their services and employees.
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