When you need to find care for yourself or a loved one, there are plenty of different options and many people choose to go with in-home care for a variety of reasons. The cost of in-home care can often be less expensive than moving to a community or facility. In St. Louis, the average daily cost of in-home care in 2015 was about $120. Nursing home rates for a private room was $190 per day, and assisted living came out to about $125 per day.
A lot of seniors also like being able to stay in their homes while they get care. This keeps them in a comfortable environment that they are familiar with and can make life easier. You might want to know what in-home care is like and if it is the right option for you. This guide should give you all the information you need to know about St. Louis in-home care as well as all the senior care options you have and how you can pay for those services.
St. Louis is home to over a dozen home care agencies that offer a variety of services that are usually broken down into two different categories, homemaker or companionship services, and home health assistance. Many agencies provide both types of care and you can tailor your services to what you need such as help with groceries and preparing meals, or getting out of bed and getting dressed in the morning. Each of these agencies has to be licensed by the state and follow a standard of rules set-up by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
In order to get an idea of what people in St. Louis are looking for in their care and how they like the available agencies, we looked through some of Senioradvisor.com’s user reviews. Here is what people in St. Louis want from in-home health care:
Someone who will do the tough or dirty work that can sometimes happen with in-home care: A sister wrote about a caregiver from Synergy Homecare, “Taking care of my sister involved hard and sometimes dirty work. All of it was undertaken without complaint and completed efficiently. They usually anticipated what was needed, but if something had to be requested, the response was willing and prompt.”
Being able to have open and thorough communication between the agency and the client: “What they have done well is there is great communication between the care manager and us. We really love the person, who is coming out to help us with our Mom. Overall, there is a lot of care and teamwork,” said family members of a Home Care Assistance client.
An agency that can handle last-minute changes to the schedule and emergencies: “BrightStar is very professional. There have been some last minute changes and little emergencies and they've helped me out a lot with that. With being flexible, changing an hour here and an hour there,” wrote a daughter of a BrightStar Care St. Louis client.
Many agencies, in fact, can handle last-minute changes to the schedule and even send someone over on short notice if you have an emergency situation. Talk with your care manager to make sure that this service is offered and that all schedules can be coordinated.
Speaking of schedules, this is another reason that in-home care can be a great option. You’re able to get the care you need on your terms. If that means a few hours every day or only one day a week, that’s totally up to you. You can get respite care when you need a break or have a vacation. If you have a full-time job but still need to care for a loved one, a home health aide can help you while you’re gone.
You can consider in-home care just one of the many options you have when it comes to senior care. It doesn’t have to be your primary form of care, but it is a good idea to have on hand when a situation pops up that can’t be avoided. Here are a few other resources you can use to take care of a family member or loved one:
Hiring Your Own Caregiver: Some people want to be in total control of the people that come into their homes and provide care and that’s totally fine. You don’t have to use an agency and can do everything yourself by hiring your own caregiver. This is also a good choice if another family member is going to provide care because then they can get paid for their services. Just keep in mind that you will be in charge of everything, which includes interviews, background checks, hiring and firing, as well as payroll, taxes, and insurance.
Use An Agency And Your Own Hire: You don’t have to use just one or the other, but can use a blend of both an agency and an independent hire. This is great for families where one member is providing care and might need a break. Or, the caretaker has a vacation or emergency situation that will keep them from taking care of the loved one.
Local Concierge Services: You can also get help with other things around your house other than caregiving. If you’re a full-time care provider or have another job on top of your care duties, you might have very limited time to take care of all your other responsibilities. You can hire people to help you with daily errands like picking up groceries or dry cleaning, taking your dog for a walk, or even help prepare meals. Check out places like TaskRabbit for help with chores around the house or Amazon Prime Now, if you have something you need to be delivered right away.
Always be sure to check with friends and families for their recommendations on services, and visit the St. Louis Better Business Bureau to make sure you pick a quality business.
Low-income families have a few different options available. Medicare could cover some of your costs but you have to be under the care of a physician who will state that you are homebound while requiring skilled care such as physical or occupational therapy. There are other guidelines that you can find here. Medicaid might be able to cover a portion of care, if you can’t get the reimbursement from Medicare. You can use services offered through the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging such as meal programs and transportation services.
If you’re paying out-of-pocket, you can use things like long-term insurance. Just make sure you talk with your agent to see exactly what is covered. A reverse mortgage is also an option but you will be required to sit down with an HUD-certified agent to make sure you know all of the risks and outcomes before you go through with the loan.
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