For many seniors, home is where they want to be and stay. In 2014, AARP conducted a survey on the attitudes of seniors and reported 71 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 don’t want to leave their current home. In the next age category of 65 and older, 87 percent wanted to remain in their present home versus other senior living choices. Norfolk has several options and resources available for you to stay home safely. You can find assistance with both household chores and medical aid. Staying at home could save you thousands versus nursing home care.
Virginia’s Department of Health manages and regulates the licensing for the health care agencies.
There is an alphabetical listing of all licensed home health agencies on Virginia’s Department of Health’s website.
Low-income seniors and those at risk of being sent to a nursing home may qualify for home health care through state programs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 814,000 health aides employed in the United States in 2016, with approximately 11,340 in Virginia.
The average annual income for Virginia home health aides was $22,640 in 2016.
In 2016, the median cost of homemaker services in Norfolk area was about $119 a day. This average equals $3,623 monthly and $43,472 annually.
Homemaking services help seniors live at home by handling some of the household chores such as cleaning, laundry, cooking, and shopping. Other homemaking services include:
Getting dressed and personal hygiene assistance
Engaging the mind with conversation and activities such as games
Reminding seniors to take prescription medications
Caring for both pets and plants
Minimizing hazards during safety checks
Contacting family regularly to give updates on the senior’s condition
Homemaking services are an optimal solution for individuals that need little health assistance but could use help around the house to live comfortably. This service also provides regular companionship to seniors who may not have regular visitors.
If you need someone to monitor you or your loved one’s health condition, you may want to consider a home health aide. The services for a home health aide are less than homemaker services in the Norfolk area, averaging $116 a day.
You could save a significant amount if you consider the average cost for a semi-private nursing home room was $215 a day, and a private room averaged $254 a day. Using these figures, you could save $35,000 - $50,000 a year, depending on the type of care you would select.
Home health aides complete the same services as homemaking services but can also watch medical conditions. Health aides perform tasks such as checking blood pressure, taking temperatures, listening to pulse, changing wound dressings, and offering assistance with walking and mobility tools.
State home care agencies typically employ home health aides, who are mandated to complete training requirements. Aides must complete both classroom and clinical experience under the direction of a registered nurse. During this training, health aides also learn about infection, senior nutrition, safe techniques to transfer patients, and emergency procedures.
There are different types of care to match any situation. Home Health Care Agencies can help you create a plan and schedule that will get you the services you need to live at home safely. You can also update this plan and care as needed. Here are the different levels of care:
Respite care is temporary care 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, this is a good time to try out other agencies or caregivers to see if you would potentially hire them in the future.
Part-time care is regularly scheduled care. You can choose to have the care come daily for a few hours or visit just a few days during the week. With this care, you can get assistance with light cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and errands. This type of care is the best option for seniors who don’t require medical care, but the help around the house would allow them to live at home more comfortably. These visits are a great source of 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 at work. You can hire this care for night time hours to assist with medication or bathroom breaks to limit falls.
Live-in care is similar to nursing home care but at the senior’s home. This care is continuous and provides constant monitoring. Typically, multiple caregivers divide the hours.
First, you will need to decide if you want to hire your aide or work with an agency. One benefit of hiring an agency is that they will manage taxes, paychecks, insurance, and all licensing requirements, which could be time-consuming. Plus, an agency has several aides to provide backup, so it is easier to get a replacement for schedule conflicts and emergencies.
If you want to hire directly, you pick the aide you feel is the best fit, which could even be a family member. Remember, you will need to handle taxes, payroll, and insurance with a direct hire since you are the employer.
It’s always a good idea to start your search by asking around for good and bad experiences. You should also check for online reviews. Go to the Better Business Bureau’s website to see what the agency’s score is and if there are any complaints.
If you have a long-term care policy, it should cover your expenses but may require a doctor’s script saying these services are needed for your medical condition. Low-income seniors with minimal assets may also be eligible to receive home health services by applying for Virginia’s Medicaid program.
If you are a wartime veteran or a widow of a wartime veteran, you may qualify for a VA Aid & Attendance pension, which can be used to pay for your health care expenses.
Do you own your home? You may be able to take out a reverse mortgage, which gives you the equity in your home without having to sell it. You can cash out a life insurance policy early to receive the benefit money. Both of these options have fees and implications for taxes and inheritance, so we recommend you research and discuss these choices in detail with your financial planner, attorney, or accountant.
Find assisted living in Norfolk near you.