For many of our loved ones, the decision to get home care can be a tough one to come to terms with. They may be in denial, and feel as though they can still manage on their own independently, or think that getting home care means the end of the road is coming soon. This can make it hard to figure out what kind of care is best for them.
In any case, it’s beneficial to help our loved ones understand what home care really is to help give them peace of mind and a greater understanding behind this important decision. Read along as we debunk the common misconceptions surrounding home care, and explain why Renaissance is a great choice for a loved one in need of care and assistance.
Home care is only for sick people
Home care can be especially beneficial for those who have a life-limiting illness, but these services are not only for them. In fact, there are both medical and non-medical home care services available that can benefit many people regardless of whether they’re facing a life-limiting condition. One might have an elderly relative who is not sick but still needs non-medical help, therefore an in-home care service may fit their needs.
Home care can provide a variety of services meant to help older adults live comfortably and safely at home, and is typically available for as little as a few hours a week, to as much as 24 hours per day.
Older adults can benefit from home care whether they need assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), need help with housekeeping or meal preparation, or could simply use a thoughtful and caring companion to play games, swap stories, or share meals with. If you or your loved one fall into this category, you may never have considered home care before. That being said, companionship-based home care is becoming ever more popular and common as even more people elect to age in place.
Home Care is expensive
Many people believe that hiring an in-home caregiver will be far too expensive, but fortunately they’re usually wrong! Studies have shown that home care is often substantially less expensive than facility-based care options, such as assisted living and nursing home facilities. On top of their significant base rates, staying at these facilities tends to come with many unexpected fees, including food and transportation surcharges, medical bills, and more.
With home care, older adults are able to age in place for longer, avoiding the expenses and time associated with hiring movers, selling their current property, and so on. Many older adults only need a few hours a week of assistance, and there is only a charge for the care they receive. For loved ones that only need occasional care, they may be surprised at the affordability of caregivers. Though long-term care proves to be on the more expensive side, Pennsylvania Medicaid offers a waiver program for long-term care services outside of institutional settings called the Elderly, Blind and Disabled waiver. Renaissance Home Care is happy to accept this waiver and guide clients on how to apply for it. Visit our website for a step by step process!
Caregivers don’t actually care
Any reputable in-home care service provider will do its absolute best to match older adults to caregivers who display similar interests and personalities. Additionally, most caregivers are required to pass measures like background and competency tests before interacting with clients. This helps ensure that the older adult is matched with a quality caregiver that can meet the older adult’s needs while also being trustworthy and reliable.While it’s important to hire a reputable in-home caregiver from a reputable home care agency, most caregivers enter the business specifically because they care about clients and want to do everything in their power to serve them.
When the match between a caregiver and a client is good, caregivers and clients often become friends. Caregivers only work with one client at a time, so your loved ones can form real relationships with their caregivers. This bond helps caregivers feel good about what they’re doing, which in turn helps older adults feel good, too. Our staff and providers are chosen for their strength of character and warm communication skills to deliver our signature in-home care experience. We strive to provide our clients with individualized care to pursue their physical, emotional and cultural wellness.
Home care isn’t necessary if there’s already a family caregiver
Some elderly individuals have relatives who act as their family caregiver. This is a great situation because there is already a familiarity and comfort between the two parties. Adult children and other relatives might help out their elderly loved one by helping with personal care and hygiene tasks, cooking them meals, cleaning their homes, and providing rides to appointments and events.
While having help from a family member is great, it is important for the informal caregivers to take time for themselves. They may have their own job and other family responsibilities, which limits the amount of time and care they can devote to their elderly loved one. Renaissance offers respite care, wherein a professional caregiver can provide assistance when the family caregiver is unavailable and follow the care plan already in place. Respite care can be arranged for just a few hours or for several days or weeks.
Older adults lose their independence with Home Care
Perhaps the most common misconception of all, loved ones often worry they’ll lose all their independence when they get a caregiver. While they might lose their independence to some degree in a nursing home, aging at home is different. Caregivers only do as much as their clients want, so they can retain as much independence as possible.The purpose of home care is to preserve client’s independence and keep them safe at home. Caregivers will often give their clients tips and tools and check in to see how they’re doing. They don’t do this to take away independence, but rather so the client can continue safely managing daily tasks on their own, even after the home care services end.
If the client only needs a few hours a week of assistance, they’ll be independent the rest of the time. Even if the caregiver is present during much of the week, clients can still enjoy independence. Renaissance focuses on individually customized care plans so we won’t take over tasks the client is able to handle on their own.
When preparing to interview care agencies, take a look at the agency’s website to learn basic information about the types of care provided, specific services available, and payment options. Keep these tips in mind during the research process:
- Get recommendations. Talk to healthcare professionals in the field or any friends or family members who have worked with a home care agency previously. Ask them which agencies they have had the best experience with and find out what they think about each provider you plan to contact. Look online for reviews and ratings. Do they have a lot of reviews? Look for independent review sites that have verified reviews and look for agencies that have awards. See if they are accredited through the BBB and if they have an A+ rating.
- Check references. The agency should supply a list of references such as health agencies, rehabilitation facilities, social workers and other providers they have worked with. Call these references and ask them whether they regularly refer patients to the agency and what sort of feedback they have heard from clients.
- Consider the agency’s technological prowess. Does the agency have an online portal to view care plans and communicate with caregivers? Do they respond to communication quickly? Is the information about a loved one accessible via mobile device? These are all useful ways to stay informed about a loved one’s care without having to constantly contact the agency or caregiver.
- Understand their process. Can the client interview the caregivers? What happens if the caregiver isn’t a good fit? Will the same caregiver serve the client at each visit? How does the agency provide accountability for quality of service?
These are all very important questions to consider when choosing the right agency and caregiver and also weeding out the misconceptions that come about with home care. Aimto expand on these topics with additional questions during a consultation with the agency.
Summing it up:
It’s normal for our loved one’s to be skeptical, and we just want to make them feel as safe as possible as they age. Many of the misconceptions that surround home care are fueled by the fear of aging and false information that circulates the media
Renaissance is a full-service, dual-licensed agency providing skilled and unskilled care to Pennsylvanians in the greater Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas. Our dedicated staff work tirelessly to ensure that our clients have access to the care they need 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are happy to assist with any questions you may have and help make the onboarding process as comfortable as possible.
Speak with one of our Renaissance representatives by using the “Make an Inquiry” feature on our website. We’ll help you understand home care, and why every moment we spend with clients means the world to us.
DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.