What Is Home Care?
Home care refers to assistance with activities of daily living and household chores and providing compassionate companionship to older adults. Home care services can be provided at home, in a nursing home, or assisted living facility.
What Are My Options?

1. Private Hire
This option may cost lower than home care, initially. However, there will be a lot of responsibilities to take on, such as adhering to local employment laws, which involves paying unemployment wages to dismissed caregivers. Other than that, private hire caregivers are typically not insured and bonded, adding to liability.

Private hire caregivers may be unavailable for any reason, potentially causing seniors to be home alone. Seniors who are under private hire are at risk as these caregivers do not have the same professional training or standards as those from agencies.
2. Home Care Agency
Home care agencies typically have well-defined scheduling and backup procedures to ensure constant monitoring and management of the care provided.

Caregivers from agencies are also insured, licensed, bonded, and screened so you can rest assured that the quality of care you can receive is of high-quality.

Home care agencies will take over the taxes, insurance, liabilities, etc. of the caregivers. But, home care agencies may require higher out-of-pocket costs as some agencies may not accept insurance.
3. Family Caregiver
Of course, having a caregiver from your family is comforting, knowing that you know them well, and you can rely on them without a doubt. However, family caregivers may find it challenging to manage their time, personal affairs, and other responsibilities.

Family caregivers may also lack formal training and know-how to perform tasks appropriately; as a result, you may not receive the highest quality of care possible that you need.

How Does Home Care Compare to Assisted Living Facilities?
Home care is a cost-effective alternative to an assisted living facility.

Seniors may be charged thousands of dollars for their living unit depending on the facility plus additional fees.

Home care agencies also provide a much more customized care plan compared to assisted living facilities. They tailor the care plan according to the status, condition, preferences, hobbies, and lifestyle of the individual.

Most importantly, the level of care and assistance provided is
flexible and can be modified when deemed necessary.

What Are the Benefits of Home Care?
There are many Home Care Benefits.
Is Home Care Covered by Medicare or Insurance?
Unfortunately, non-medical home care needs are not covered by Medicare; it only covers home health care from a certified home health agency. To be approved, an individual must be homebound and have a demonstrable medical need.

Those individuals who do qualify for Medicare home health will receive coverage that is very limited in scope, typically 2-4 hours per week for a short duration.

For companionship, lifestyle, or other needs, home health agencies refer seniors to home care, especially if the individual requires full-time care. 

How Do I Hire a Home Care Service?
Before hiring a home care service, ask the following questions:

  1. How does your agency screen, hire, and train caregivers or applicants?
  2. What are your scheduling and caregiver staffing procedures? 
  3. How can you ensure reliable staffing for every client?
  4. What happens when the designated caregiver is sick or unavailable?
  5. Are your caregivers screened, insured, bonded, and trained?
  6. How can we be sure that we are covered from any form of theft and abuse?
  7. What are the legal responsibilities you cover?
  8. What client services, caregiver services, and confidentiality forms are used, and can you describe the main points of each?
  9. Why should I choose this agency? What is unique about your agency compared to others?
  10. What modes of payment do you accept?
  11. What are your billing procedures?
  12. Are the care coordinators available 24/7? Do they conduct quality assurance visits or evaluations and assessments regularly?