In-home care is sometimes the first type of care a family will use. The caregiver can be a friend or family member, a private caregiver, or an aide from an in-home care agency. In Raleigh, the median rate for a home health aide is $21 per hour, which is about $168 for an eight hour shift, according to the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey for North Carolina.
The addition of in-home care can allow your loved one to remain at home for a longer period of time before transitioning to long-term care in an assisted living community or nursing home. There are over three dozen home care agencies in Raleigh that serve the residents. You can find reviews online for many of the agencies to get an idea of the type of service to expect.
Here are a few from SeniorAdvisor.com from family members receiving in-home care:
Regarding activities for daily living (ADLs): “The aide has been personable and friendly, and Dad seems very comfortable with her,” wrote the daughter of a Right at Home of Wake County client.
Regarding last minute changes: “Changes made during the week were accomplished effortlessly,” wrote a Right at Home of Wake County client.
Regarding accessibility of in-home care agency owners and managers: “The owner is accessible, had his cell number to call with any problems and he would solve them,” wrote a family of a client of Affordable Family Care Services, Inc. in Raleigh.
The scheduling flexibility of in-home care is one of its top perks. If you want to go on vacation or need time off, you can schedule an in-home aide to come to your home for respite care. If you are still trying to work outside the home while being a caregiver, an aide can help you on a full-time or part-time basis. Since aides also assist in light housekeeping and errands, you can save time by delegating these tasks to the aide.
Caregiving is only possible when you have alternatives at your disposal. In-home care is one option, however there are a few others you can consider or even combine them for full senior care.
Hire a friend or family member as the caregiver. Don’t feel compelled to hire through an agency for in-home care. If you or your loved one has a friend or family member willing to take on the responsibility, hire them for the going rate. Some programs will pay for family members to care for seniors.
Hire a caregiver and use an agency at times. An agency can provide respite care for those times your caregiver needs time off. Keeping an agency in Raleigh on your contact list is a good idea, especially if your caregiver needs a last minute sick day.
Consider using senior concierge services. Senior services, like Another Daughter, can make appointments, arrange respite care, deal with paperwork, and find assistive and medical devices when needed.
Before hiring an individual or agency, check with friends and family members for recommendations. You can find online reviews and ratings for many senior care companies.
There are several ways you can cover in-home care costs. Family members can use the funds in checking and savings accounts, retirement benefits, IRAs, and savings bonds. Long-term care policies can be cashed in to pay for care.
Reverse mortgages are a popular option for seniors that own their home. You can use the loan to pay for care. However, consult with an elder-law attorney to discuss the details and drawbacks before taking out the loan.
Veterans can use the VA Aid and Attendance Pension to pay for in-home care costs. Surviving spouses may also qualify. Contact the Veterans Administration for more information.
North Carolina’s Medicaid Program will cover in-home care if the doctor prescribes it. This care can include nursing, therapy, medical supplies, and medical equipment. Personal care services, for up to 80 hours per month, can be covered if the doctor can show your loved one requires help with activities for daily living (ADLs) and a waiver is completed. This program is only for low-income North Carolina seniors.
If your loved one is eligible for Medicare, they may qualify for in-home care. To qualify, your loved one needs to be homebound and under the care of a physician with a care plan in place. Their health condition must require skilled nursing care and/or occupational, physical, and speech therapy. The in-home care agency must accept Medicare in order to receive reimbursements.
Speak with a senior care planner or financial advisor about other ways to cover in-home care costs.
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