Seniors exploring care options later in life would prefer to stay in the comfort of their own home. There are a number of factors that influence that decision, and cost is a prime one. In 2015, Pittsburgh seniors paid a median of $132 per day for in-home care. Interestingly, this number was only slightly more than the daily median for assisted living at $101, and it was significantly less than the daily cost of private nursing home care at $304. As such, in-home care can be an affordable option for seniors who don’t want to live in a facility.
In this brief, we will examine details about in-home care such as the types of care available to Pittsburgh seniors, what seniors using the services have to say about them, and tips on how to find the right care combination for you.
Pittsburgh seniors have access to over two-dozen in-home care agencies that offer both home health care and personal care services to their clients. Agencies providing care meet the requirements of being certified by the state and having their business listed with the Department of Aging and Disability Services Home and Community Support Services Agencies program.
In order to better understand the experiences with care that Pittsburgh seniors have had, we reviewed the reviews posted to SeniorAdvisor.com and have included a few highlights below.
Care delivered by friendly professionals. “We're very pleased with this service. All the caregivers and staff we've worked with have been very friendly,” wrote the loved one of a client of Care America.
Able to accommodate last-minute requests. “These folks were very helpful at the last minute when I found out the Day Care was closed for election day,” wrote the loved one of a customer of 24/7 Brightstar.
Finding care on short notice can be important, and many agencies in the area have the staff on hand to help out in these situations.
Having a caregiver available at the right time is one of the most helpful aspects of in-home care. Agencies will help you to put together a schedule that meets your needs, whether it be respite care for caregivers who need time off, part-time care during the day to help with eating, bathing, and dressing, or full-time care in situations where the senior needs constant access to assistance.
It’s important to have a network of resources to have quick access to people who can help with your care needs. Here are some common types of care plans and resources you may find helpful.
If a loved one or family member will be providing care, or if you want more control over the caregiver, contracting directly is an option. Here, you can pay a family member the market rate if they are the primary caregiver. Note that you will also be their employer, and will be required to meet the requirements for taxes, insurance, and payroll. If you aren’t hiring a family member, know that it can be time-consuming to find the right candidate for the job.
Another popular option is to combine direct care with services provided by an agency in the area. In this scenario, you are still able to compensate a family member as a primary caregiver, and you’ll also have the option of contacting an agency for services should the primary caregiver need respite or time to take care of themselves.
Local concierge services and online shopping can be a valuable tool in your caregiving arsenal. By using these services for things like grocery delivery, pet care, or shopping for household items, you avoid the traffic and stress of running errands and create more free time to be with your loved one.
Online research and recommendations from trusted friends and family are great ways to ensure you choose reputable providers. You can also browse reviews on the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania for feedback.
Seniors on Medicare may be eligible for financial assistance with their in-home care if they meet all of the criteria. In order to qualify, they will need a doctor recommendation stating that they are homebound, need access to skilled nursing care or regular physical, speech, or occupational therapy. They will also need to choose a Medicare certified provider to administer care.
Other sources of private funding could be benefits from a long-term insurance policy or the funds received from taking out a reverse mortgage on a home that you own.
Low-income seniors should consider applying for assistance from Medicaid or the VA Aid & Attendance pension, if you or your late spouse served active duty during a wartime.
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