Seniors today get the luxury of choosing the type of long-term care they would like. Many opt to stay in their homes if possible and use in-home care services. Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to in-home care, so you can get what you need. In-home services also tend to be less expensive in the Seattle area. Homemakers and home health aides cost an average of $163 to $169 per day, but a room in a nursing home can be anywhere between $314 and $346 daily.
However, what are the options when it comes to in-home care? This guide will give you a look at your choices here in Seattle as well as consider what other seniors expect from in-home care and how you can cover the costs.
The homecare landscape in Seattle is starting to boom, and you can find numerous companies that offer different types of service. These types of care are broken down into two separate categories: personal care and health or medical care. Homemakers can help you with things around your house like chores, errands, and even transportation needs but home health aides can take care of more medical type needs like monitoring health conditions, checking vital signs, and caring for wounds.
Many of the agencies located in Seattle offer both types of care so no matter what you need they can assist you. So, you can get a feel for what other seniors in the area expect from their home care and what you should look for, we looked at a few reviews on SeniorAdvisor.com. Here are just a few qualities that users value in care providers:
Caregivers that meet the unique needs of each client. In many cases, it’s helpful if the provider takes the time to find the perfect caregiver for each like at Senior Services of Washington. One client wrote, “They try to find caregivers that match the person they give care to. They’re very caring. It’s important to them to find good matches between the caregiver and the patient.”
Allowing seniors the chance to get out of their home while still being supervised. One family member wrote of Home Instead Senior Care, “They would go with our loved one to lunch and things like that so he could get out of the house. We do not live near our loved one, but it was very comforting knowing he was well cared for.”
It’s also important that the caregivers show up on time and make sure they keep to a schedule, so no client is ever without care. A wife of a Synergy Home Care of Edmund client said, “I have been really pleased with this home care agency. They have been caring for my husband very well. The ladies that come and help are very kind and helpful.”
Many clients also appreciate that many agencies have an emergency plan and can accommodate last minute schedule changes. If for some reason, you find yourself without a caregiver your provider can send someone over as soon as possible. Never hesitate to ask if you find yourself in this predicament.
Most agencies can do more than just meet your last-minute requests. You can work with managers to create a care plan that suits your needs and lifestyle. Not all seniors are ready for full-time care but could use an extra hand while doing chores once a week. If your regular caregiver is on vacation or has an appointment, you can use an agency for a few hours. Also if you need care 24/7, you can hire a caregiver that will be with you always to make sure you eat healthy meals, take your medication, and get to important appointments.
Family caregivers can also take advantage of in-home care to take a break from their duties. It’s always a good idea to rest and recharge which can be difficult if you care for your family member. In-home care agencies offer you an opportunity to do that without worrying about your loved one.
You wouldn’t be able to expect to fix your house with only one tool, and the same goes for long-term care. One type of assistance often won’t cover all your needs, so it’s a good idea to have a few “tricks” up your sleeve when it comes to in-home care. Here are a few options when it comes to in-home care:
Finding your own caregiver is always an option. You don’t have to use an agency and often, this is a good way to pay family members for the care they provide. This option also gives you the most control, and you can take over the whole process. However, keep in mind, it could be more work than using an agency because you must look for, interview, and hire your caregiver as well as handle their payments, insurance, and any tax information.
You can use your own caregiver and an agency caregiver as well. Use someone of your own choosing part-time and when they need a break, use an agency caregiver. This choice helps cut down on caregiver burnout while still giving you the assistance you need throughout the day. Using a blend can also benefit you if you need last minute care or your regular caregiver is away, and you need help.
Concierge services and online shopping help a lot of seniors stay in their home longer and takes some of the burdens of daily chores and errands. Numerous online platforms will help you find someone to mow your lawn, pick up your groceries, or even assemble new furniture and TaskRabbit is an excellent example of a concierge service that locates people in your area to help you out. Rover is another site that allows you to hire residents to walk your dog or pet sit while you’re away and Amazon Prime Now will bring you items you need on the same day you order them.
Research is the one thing that will make these tools better. Make sure you do your homework and consider each person, service, or company you choose. The Northwest BBB is a great site to start with and shows you businesses in your area along with client reviews and comments. Your family members and friends are also good sources of information and can help you locate services.
If you meet the restrictions of Medicare, you can use that to cover your in-home care. Keep in mind that a doctor must state you are homebound AND need therapy services or skilled nursing care. If you do use Medicare, you must choose agencies that are Medicare approved.
Long-term insurance policies are also an option, just check your coverage to make sure in-home care is included. A reverse mortgage might be an option for some seniors but meet with an HUD-certified counselor first. They will inform you of the risks that could accompany this choice.
Medicaid is the best option for low-income seniors, and VA benefits should help veterans and widows of veterans. There are also plenty of local resources like Meals on Wheels, shuttle services, and grocery delivery available to Seattle seniors for little or no charge.
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