More seniors are choosing to remain in their homes longer. Choosing in-home care, either part-time or full-time, can help you continue working outside the home while an aide cares for your loved one. Pittsburgh offers so many options for care, including dozens of in-home care agencies. You can choose to hire a homemaker or a home health aide to provide just the right amount of care.
The median pay for home health aides in 2015 was $21,920 per year.
More than 900,000 people across the country held home health aide positions.
Across the state, there are approximately 1.3 million informal caregivers trying to help their loved ones.
Across the country, 67 percent of these caregivers report they need help.
Long-term care, including in-home care, is available through the Pennsylvania Medicaid Program.
17 percent of Pennsylvania’s population is age 65 or older.
Most of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Program expenditures (72 percent) are from the state’s elderly or people with disabilities.
According to the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey for Pennsylvania, homemakers in the Pittsburgh area earn $21 per hour. You can hire a homemaker full-time to sit with your loved one and provide companionship, take care of chores around the house, and cook meals for $48,048 per year on average. Homemakers can be the first step in your in-home care plan. If your loved one requires more care, you may need a home health aide.
When your loved one requires more from a homemaker service, like medication administration, blood pressure checks, pulse checks, or assistance with activities for daily living (ADLs), a home health aide may be a better alternative. These aides are trained and certified. In Pittsburgh, the average rate for a home health aide is $22 per hour or $49,192 per year.
The types of in-home care available in Pittsburgh are dependent on your needs. Many agencies offer respite care for times when you or your regular caregiver need a break. This type of care can last from a few hours to a few days. Part-time care is available if you work only half days or need someone for a few hours or a few days a week while you run errands and take care of important business.
Many aides work full-time. This is typically an eight hour shift while you work. If you require around-the-clock care in your home and you have the room, you can hire a live-in caregiver. This type of caregiver should be able to do some medical tasks, like check blood pressure and blood sugar and care for wounds.
You can find legitimate in-home care agencies online through a senior directory or read reviews and ratings with the Better Business Bureau. Agencies hire screened aides that are trained, insured, and bonded before going on assignment.
Some families feel better about hiring a caregiver themselves. If this is you, screen each person carefully or hire a friend or family member for care. Some insurances and programs will cover family members taking on the role of full-time caregiver.
There are plenty of options available to pay for in-home care in Pennsylvania. Families tend to use funds from their checking and savings accounts, trust funds, IRAs, or other trust accounts. Seniors can use retirement benefits or a long-term care insurance policy to pay for care.
Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Program does cover in-home care for its low income seniors. Medicaid will cover homemaker, personal care, devices, medical equipment, and skilled nursing care. Contact your local Medicaid office to learn more about long-term care at home through the Home and Community Based Care Waiver.
Veterans and their spouses are eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit that covers in-home care. To qualify, the vet must have served active duty during war time. Contact the Veterans Administration office to see if your loved one qualifies.
As a last resort, seniors may cash in life insurance policies early to pay for care, resulting in only receiving a percentage of the total value of the policies. If your loved one owns their home, taking out a reverse mortgage may be a solution, however consult with a financial advisor or attorney before signing any loan paperwork. Make sure you understand the terms to avoid foreclosure. A senior planning advisor may be able to offer you more options to pay for in-home care.
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