When your senior loved one seems like they can no longer manage on their own, decisions need to be made. Do we call in help so that mom or dad is not alone? What kind of help? What is home healthcare services? What is a home health aide? Should you move forward with licensed in homecare services with a certified home health aide, hire a companion, either on your own or through as agency, or have a family members provide care?
It is not always clear which might be right in your particular case. As such, it may be best to look at the differences between each as well as the pros and cons.
If there’s a specific plan of care in place from a physician, therapist, or nurse, you probably need skilled care. Often these kinds of services encompass nursing care, therapies of any type including physical and respiratory as well as hospice care. Licensed professionals perform these services.
These are often covered by both private medical insurance and Medicare. It really depends on exactly what is required and what has been ordered by a doctor. This skilled care is the most expensive kind. In some cases, clients may only require these services a few hours per week. If your loved one is in need of more, albeit less intense care, what are your options?
Certified Home Health Aide
When a patient needs non-medical care, you usually need a certified home health aide who has training and certification and works for a licensed agency. Patients may need help with personal care such as grooming, dressing, and bathing. These are generally known as the activities of daily living (ADLs). For that, a certified home health aide is indicated. These may very well be covered by long term care insurance, if you have any. They may also be covered by Medicare if there is a medical need for this. A doctor would have to sign off on that.
Home health aides also help with meal preparation, helping the patient move around, or getting to and from doctor’s appointments as well as reminding their clients to take their medication. This type of care is not typically covered by medical insurance, though there are exceptions. Care such as this varies from a few hours per day to 24 hour care depending on the patient’s degree of independence.
Home Health Aides are paraprofessionals and the cost of their services reflect the level of skill they provide. They are not as expensive as skilled medical professionals, but not as economically priced as lower skilled companions.
When you only need help with non-medical care, a companion may be the ideal choice. Similar to the non-medical services performed by certified home health aides, they help with a myriad of things including:
- grocery shopping,
- meal preparation,
- escorting clients to medical appointments, leisure, and social activities,
- light housekeeping,
- running errands,
- reading to seniors, and
- helping them with their hobbies.
As the title implies, they are there to make sure the senior is not alone and provide companionship and help when necessary. They do not do personal care. Since no formal training, certification or licensing is required, this level of home care provider is the most reasonably priced.
This can be absolutely wonderful for all concerned, but it is the toughest of all the options. The physical and emotional demands are not for everyone. You want to be there for your loved one. You do not want a stranger caring for them. However, do you have the time? Are you working? Do you have other family responsibilities? Are you feeling stretched and sandwiched between younger family members and the older generation? While many wonderful family caregivers provide the highest quality and best care, others may not have the time or be suited to such intensive hands on care.
Many people start out sincerely committed to caring for their older parent or loved one, but feel compelled to hand it off to someone else. In that instance, there is no need to feel guilt or failure. There are many resources out there to help you cope. You may actually be able to set up a hybrid situation of family and outside care where your loved one is blessed with the best of both worlds.
In terms of cost, a family member is not a paid service provider, but opportunity costs can come into play. In considering whether a family member should care for a senior loved one, you need to consider how much the family caregiver will be giving up in salary if they would be working in a paid position. Also, will there be any support services the family caregiver will require that have costs attached to them? For example, there may be childcare or housekeeping duties that need coverage because they are not in their home full time. In some instances, in some states, family members can draw a salary, but that would need to be researched in your area. In New York, it is called the CDPAP program.
Home Healthcare Agencies Can Help
David York Home Healthcare Agency offers varying levels of care to help meet client needs. Whether it’s personal care activities like grooming and bathing or simple household tasks, David York Agency has caring and compassionate individuals on staff who can work with the patient or the involved physicians to make certain excellent care is provided in every situation. Most important, we work extremely closely with the family to make sure the client receives superior care and that the client’s and their family’s wishes are carried out.
David York Agency Home Healthcare Can Help Seniors in Pelham Parkway
At David York Agency, we understand the many challenges and risks faced by the aging and elderly and are dedicated to providing care to support them through all of those ups and down. At David York Home Healthcare Agency, extraordinary service is what sets us apart from other companies in Pelham Parkway that provide in home healthcare services.
DYA we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. Whatever your care needs, we are there for you, always striving to exceed your expectations. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (718) 376-7755. A free phone consultation can help you determine what services would meet your needs. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.