Common Questions About Home Care?

Elderly woman on wheelchair in nursing home with her care assistant

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Most families reach a point when they realized they may need help for an elderly loved one. The problem is that sometimes, the family doesn’t know where to begin the process or even what questions to ask. Here then, are some common questions families have about home care:

When is it time to bring in a home care agency? Knowing when to arrange help for a loved one depends on the elder’s preferences, habits, and general health condition. Those elders with complex health issues that are under the care of a doctor are easily identified. But what about lesser conditions, such as needing assistance getting out of bed and into the shower – or perhaps need help getting dressed? When these simple activities of daily living start to be a challenge and the family can’t be available at all times, families may want to seek help from a homecare agency.

Why should I use an agency and not a private person? Homecare agencies in Indiana are licensed by the State, which provides oversight of the agency’s operations and business practices. Agencies screen, train and conduct background checks on the employees they send to the home. In addition, homecare agencies have liability and workers comp insurance to cover the employed caregiver. This protects the senior client and their family from financial risk.

Can I trust the person coming in? This is related to the above question. Few families have the ability or knowledge to screen a caregiver’s background. The homecare agency will check state and county records for any criminal background, check driving records, and check the state home health aide registry where needed.

What types of services can a home care agency provide my parent/grandparent/loved one? Homecare agencies provide assistance with the activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, meals, moving safely about the home, or toileting. They can also help with laundry, light housekeeping or even errands and managing mail or bills.

How much does it cost to have someone in our home? Prices for homecare vary, but a good rule of thumb is to budget $20 per hour for help with the activities mentioned previously. The homecare agency can also provide personal emergency response devices and other services for additional cost. Many elders may qualify for assistance from Medicaid, or Medicaid Waiver programs.