Agencies versus Independent Workers
Senior in-home care agencies are responsible for hiring and paying caregivers, including providing training, screening, and supervision of individual caregivers. By contrast, Independent in-home caregivers are not hired through an agency. If you choose to hire an in-home caregiver independently, you will be responsible for screening the worker, setting up a tax withholding system, and may want to consider providing insurance in case the caregiver suffers an injury or accident on the job.
In-Home Care Options
There are different types of in-home care to accommodate elderly adults with different needs. In-home caregivers, also known as personal care assistants, come to the home to help with activities daily living, such as light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, medication reminders, and grooming. Some provide help with personal care for toileting and bathing. In-home caregivers generally do not provide medical care.
For those who require a higher level of care (deemed necessary by a doctor), home healthcare is an in-home service in which nurses or trained health aides provide skilled medical care. These caregivers also help with activities of daily living such as housekeeping, eating and grooming, and/or physical therapy. A doctor can also help determine whether in-home care is the best route or whether your aging loved one needs to move to a skilled nursing facility.
Care companions, also called elder companions, provide company for older adults living alone, especially those who are homebound due to frailty or dementia. In addition to helping with daily activities, they help decrease isolation and improve quality of life.
Paying for In-Home Care
There are a number of different ways to pay for in-home care. Some of the most common ways to cover the costs associated with this senior in home care include private insurance, personal and family assets. Other ways to help pay include long-term care insurance, annuities, or life insurance. For those who qualify, veteran’s benefits, Medicare and Medicaid may also help cover the costs of in-home care.
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