There are over 65 million family caregivers in the United States caring for a chronically ill, senior or disabled loved one. On average, these selfless individuals spend over 20 hours each week providing care that ranges from hygiene assistance to preparing meals and running to medical appointments.
However, there often comes a point when family caregivers need a helping hand. Home care is provided by in-home care agencies that provide non-medical care to elderly individuals. Often, home care may also be referred to as “companion care” or “private duty care.” Although, no matter what you call it, home care typically means relief for caregivers.
How to Find Homecare
Homecare agencies are booming throughout the United States, giving caregivers lots of options, and plenty of opportunity to become confused. First and foremost, the home care agency that you choose to use should be properly licensed to provide care in the State where you live. However, there are a myriad of additional requirements to consider. Does the agency use a care management software like ClearCare? Do they conduct background checks on each and every caregiver? How do they communicate with client families? For a comprehensive list of tips on how to choose a home care agency, visit our blog post,"10 Questions Before You Hire a Home Care Provider."
The Cost of Home Care
Most home care agencies charge on a per-hour, or 24-hour shift basis. While the exact cost of care varies widely by geographic region, the national average is near $20/hour. Most notably, this cost if far less than that of an assisted living or nursing home facility, especially for seniors who require only part-time care.
Paying for Home Care:
Although the cost of non-medical home care is not typically covered by MediCare, many long-term care insurance policies will cover the cost. Some local government programs, such as in-home support services, may provide limited care or vouchers for care when financing is an issue. When paying out-of-pocket, families will often compare the cost of home care to that of lost wages by family caregivers and find that there is definite value in contracting part-time, outside help.
When home care becomes a necessity, take the time to evaluate your local providers and select an agency with whom you feel comfortable. Ask that your home care provider utilize the power of ClearCare homecare software for real-time transparency; and peace of mind when you’re leaving a loved one in the care of others.