In-home care is a popular option for seniors who need help, and would prefer not to live in a facility. There are many factors that play into this choice, one of which is cost. Perhaps surprisingly, in 2015, the daily cost for in-home care was $118 which was very comparable to assisted living at $99 per day. Private nursing home care was significantly more, averaging $280 daily. In-home care is an opportunity to give seniors the care they need in the comfort of their own home.
Here we will review some of the important aspects of in-home care like the types of care offered in the Tampa Bay area, reviews from users on the providers, and best practices for selecting the right provider for your situation.
With over 60 agencies who offer in-home care in the Tampa Bay area, seniors have access to both personal and home health care services to meet their needs. All of the agencies are required to have a current certification and list their business with the Department of Aging and Disability Services Home and Community Support Services Agencies program.
During our research into the needs of Tampa Bay seniors, we reviewed the customer comments on SeniorAdvisor.com to better understand the top providers in the area. Here’s what they had to say:
Professional staff who made the transition easy. “The caregivers with this company are very nice, professional and efficient. The administrative staff helped us find someone that was suitable for what we needed. It was a smooth transition and I think they did a good job,” wrote a Home Helpers of Tampa Bay client.
Friendly staff who really care about their patients. “The two people Simone and Jennifer I’ve dealt with them – I’d give them a six [out of 5]! They keep in touch with me – even to ask how I was doing during a difficult time I had. They’re just very caring and helpful,” commented Elizabeth on Right at Home, Tampa.
Other provider reviews mentioned agencies who were able to provide care on the same day a call was made, allowing seniors to have a peace of mind that their needs would be met, even with short notice.
The needs of every senior are different, and agencies will work with you to develop a schedule that provides the right type of care at the right time. This could include respite care for caregivers, part-time care during the day to assist with meals, housekeeping, or personal care, or full-time care in the home with a live-in caregiver in situations where the family is out of the area or working full-time and unable to provide care.
When a loved one needs constant care, it’s important to create a plan that gives you a number of resources at your disposal when you need them. Here are a few pieces that could form your care plan.
Sometimes it makes sense to contract a caregiver directly rather than through an agency. Doing so allows you to be personally involved in hiring the caregiver, and if you chose, you can pay a family member the market rate for providing care. If you select this route, you will be responsible for the payroll, taxes, and insurance for the employee, and it can be time-consuming to interview, screen, and hire the perfect person.
Many times, combining care you’ve hired directly with agency services in your area is a good plan. This way you can still pay a family member to be a primary caregiver, but you’ll also have access to services that will allow that family member to take the time for themselves and attend to personal needs.
To assist with managing care, consider using online shopping or local concierge services. This can free up time during the day that you may normally be grocery shopping or caring for pets to provide care for a loved one.
When you’re selecting which providers or agencies to use, ask friends and family for recommendations, check online ratings, and be sure to visit the Better Business Bureau of West Florida to read customer reviews.
Assistance is available through Medicare to help pay for in-home care for seniors who meet very specific criteria. This includes choosing a Medicare certified facility and a doctor certifying that the senior is homebound and in need of regular therapy (physical, occupational or speech), or skilled nursing care.
Seniors with long-term insurance policies can use the benefits to pay for their in-home care, and seniors who own their home may be eligible for a reverse mortgage to give them access to funds to finance their care.
Medicaid is an option for low-income seniors, as is applying for the VA Aid & Attendance pension if you or your late spouse was a wartime veteran.
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