What Is Home Care?
Deciding on home care for a loved one or relative is an important decision. Before making a choice, it is always best to be educated and well informed. So, what exactly is home care?
“Home care” is an umbrella term used to reference caregiver-to-patient/family care that is brought right into the home. In most cases, home care services are used to help seniors age-in-place safely and independently while prioritizing dignity and quality of life.
In-home care is also designed to support the client and primary caregiver(s) by providing services such as errand running, grocery shopping, or respite care that allows spouse or family caregivers well-deserved time off. Families can also schedule homecare services overnight or on a live-in basis.
The services provided in the home care services menu are scheduled in a minimum of four-hour shifts. This ensures we provide quality care as well as manageable schedules for our big-hearted, hard-working caregivers. Of importance, it also supports the bond between our caregivers and clients.
Home Care Is Personal
All of the services offered by Affordable Senior Home Care are personally customized to support the needs of the client/family in the immediate moment while simultaneously keeping an eye on the future to adjust to new needs as they arise. Services can be mixed and matched, and clients should always feel comfortable asking about any services they don’t see listed below.
Some of the most common services we offer to clients include:
Once seniors give up their keys or become homebound, social engagement becomes a priority. Study after study confirms that socially engaged seniors are healthier, live longer, report better quality of life, and even experience a slower progression of dementia and other conditions that lead to memory loss.
Pairing seniors with sociable, like-minded caregivers that come weekly, bi-weekly, or even daily is a perfect way to ensure senior loved ones have someone to talk to, share stories with, or simply keep them company. Companion services also help adult children who live far away and/or work full-time to keep a closer eye on their aging parent’s well-being from day to day.
Transportation, errand running, and grocery shopping
Giving up the keys to the car can be devastating for independent seniors and can feel like “the beginning of the end of life as they know it.” In addition to losing their freedom, not being able to drive makes it harder for able-bodied seniors to run errands, do the shopping, or get to their regular social groups, spiritual services, or essential medical and personal appointments. Those tasks are impossible for those who live alone and require mobility aids.
Our caregivers provide transportation services to and from virtually any event, including the client’s regularly scheduled social engagements, religious/spiritual services, outings with friends, or to get out and about around town. We can run errands of all kinds, including grocery shopping, which becomes increasingly challenging with age or loss of mobility and stamina.
Personal care and light housekeeping
Depending on the senior’s physical health or memory decline, daily tasks around the home become more challenging as well. Personal care and light housekeeping services ensure your loved one is:
- Up and out of bed each morning
- Dressed in clean clothes
- Safely bathed/showered
- Coiffed and accessorized so s/he feels like “him/herself”
We also provide both toileting and incontinence care, as well as medication reminders. While in the home, caregivers can perform light housekeeping so clothing and linens are laundered regularly and the house is kept clean and tidy.
During the initial assessment, we may provide suggestions about simple organizational changes that make the home safer and more accessible, and our caregivers can help with facilitating those tasks as well.
Overnight, Live-In, and Long-Term Home Care Options
If clients need continuous support, we establish a team of home care aides that rotate shifts throughout the day and week. By keeping a consistent rotation, clients develop a bond with each member of the team, all of whom become familiar over time. These long-term home care services are available for:
- Full-time daily shifts
- Overnight shifts
- 24/7 live-in care
Our caregivers can provide any of the services listed above to assist the client with daily tasks and to ensure they are safe, secure, and taken care of during the night. These services also roll into the category of “respite care,” so spouse or family caregivers can take weekends or whole weeks off for self-care, attend family functions, or go on vacation.
Home Health vs. Personal Home Care Services
It is important to note that there are two different types of home care. The first is mainly medical and is referred to as home health care. This is the type of healthcare that requires medically trained professionals and may include services such as wound care, medication administration (rather than medication reminders), IV care, health assessments/diagnosis, parenteral nutrition, etc.
Personal home care services are non-medical and our caregivers are not legally allowed to perform services that move into that medical realm. The good news is that clients who require home health care often benefit from a personal home care services agency so they enjoy the best of both worlds.
Paying for Home Care
According to Genworth, the average cost for personal home care services in New Jersey is just around $4900 per month. Full-time home care services in Florida cost around $4200 per month. Those figures are comparable to national averages, based on 44 hours of professional care per week.
Most clients pay for home care using a combination of funds from a variety of sources, including:
- Personal/retirement savings
- Investment savings
- Monthly payments from other immediate family members
- Long-term care insurance
- Financial support from the Veteran’s Administration
- Social Security/Disability funds (spouse/family caregivers may qualify to be paid for some portion of their caregiving hours)
- Reverse mortgages
- Health insurance
Meeting with a fee-based financial planner who has experience with senior home care costs and funding is the best way to learn more about the options available to you depending on your specific situation.
Choose Your Home Care Agency Wisely
The quality of care your loved one receives is directly related to the integrity of the agency you select. Always interview at least three or four different agencies to get a feel for their approach and style. You must choose a home care agency that you trust, feel comfortable with, and that has a solid industry reputation.
Agencies should always:
- Be licensed with the state of New Jersey (Click Here), Florida (Click Here), or the state where home care services are provided for the client
- Hire qualified caregivers with a clear criminal background and DMV checks
- Provide recent and current client references
Affordable Senior Home Care is founded on the premise that high-quality, compassionate home care shouldn’t break the bank. We look forward to matching our services with your needs.