The in-home care industry has expanded over the years and that’s mostly due to the overwhelming amount of seniors who want to be able to stay in their own homes. 71% of adults age 50-64 want to stay at home, and 87% of those 65 and older want to be able to age in the comfort of their home. Fortunately, Philadelphia offers a wide range of services that can help those seniors get the care they need right in their home.
Pennsylvania has the 4th highest percentage of seniors 65 years and older as well as 85 years and older.
By 2030, 29% of the Pennsylvania population will be 60 and older.
There are over 51,000 home health employees in Pennsylvania and their total wages are over $1 billion.
The home health industry is expected to grow by 38%.
Not everyone is aware of homemaker services but they can be a big help to seniors that need some extra help around the house. These services tend to be one of the least expensive care options. In 2015, the daily rate for homemaker services in Philadelphia was around $183, which is based on a 44-hour work week. This cost ends up being around $48,048 per year, if you use them full-time.
So what does a homemaker do? Generally, they are there to help you with your daily chores and errands. This can include services such as:
Meal planning and preparation, including grocery shopping
Cleaning the house and doing the laundry
Socializing with the patient by playing games or reading to them
Taking care of pets or plants
If you are mostly healthy but have a difficult time getting around your house, homemaker services are a good option for you.
Since home health aides offer more specialized medical care, they tend to be a little more expensive. In Philadelphia, the daily rate in 2015 was about $193 with an annual cost of $50,336. While this might seem high, it is much less expensive than a private room at a nursing home, which is about $350 per day.
Health aides in Pennsylvania have to complete an approved training program in order to be certified and work as an in-home caregiver. This training teaches them how to check your pulse and blood pressure, move you from a wheelchair into a bed, take care of wounds and bandages, and handle emergency situations. Properly licensed agencies will also have to train their employees for things like infection control, senior nutrition, seniors’ rights, and proper communication.
There are a few different choices of in-home care and most agencies will help you create a plan that works best for your needs:
Respite: You can give your regular caregiver a break and still get care by using an agency for respite care. If you’re looking for a new caregiver or just starting your search, respite can be a good way to do a test run without a long-term commitment.
Part-Time: Whether you just need someone to help you clean the house once a week or would like a little companionship a few hours each day, part-time caregivers are a good choice. You can also use this as a compromise for seniors who don’t want to be constantly supervised, but have children who want to make sure their loved ones get proper care.
Full-Time: This option gives you care either all day or all night, and provides a full-time job for the caregiver.
Live-In: The highest level of in-home care will have a few different caregivers providing you with 24/7 supervision. Instead of going into a nursing home, you can get around-the-clock care in your own home with this option.
Many people decide to use an agency to find their caregiver because an agency will take care of the whole process from background checks to payment and then send a caregiver to your home. If you would prefer to handle all of that yourself, you can hire your own caregiver. Family members who are already providing care can get paid for their work if you choose this option.
No matter which route you choose, you want to find an agency and a caregiver that makes you feel comfortable and takes care of all your needs. Check the ratings on agencies at the Better Business Bureau and ask your friends or family for suggestions on good caregivers in the area.
Philadelphia has a few Medicare-certified agencies that you can use as long as you meet all of the Medicare requirements. Medicaid is another option especially for low-income seniors and you can apply and find out what is covered here. If you have bought a long-term care insurance policy previously, now is the time to use it and talk to your agent to see what is included in your coverage.
Veterans can check their benefits to see if they have coverage as well. If none of these options work for you, you could talk with an HUD-certified agent to see if a reverse mortgage would be a good way to free up some funds. Life insurance policies can be cashed-in as well, but that has long-term consequences, so make sure you understand those before you make any decisions.
Find assisted living in Philadelphia near you.