The Ultimate Guide to Senior Homecare and Elder Care Services

Have you noticed subtle changes in your parent? Maybe they’re having a harder time getting around than they were a few months ago. Have they suffered an illness or injury that has impacted their health? It might be time to consider your options for senior care. Going through this season with your parent can be a challenge. That’s why it’s imperative that you provide the right care for their needs.

Finding the best care option for your loved one can feel overwhelming. You may not know where to start your search or what care services they need. Learning a little bit more about the care they require and the options available to your family will help you to feel more comfortable as you navigate this stage. Use this ultimate guide to walk you through everything you need to know about finding care for your senior parent or loved one.

Senior Homecare Services

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What Are Our Options for Senior Care?

Deciding that your parent or senior loved one can no longer care for himself or herself alone is a difficult realization. You want your parent to always be healthy, happy, and self-sufficient, but unfortunately a time will likely come when they need support to manage life’s daily tasks. Whether it’s due to illness, injury, or simply the natural aging process, you may already be in need of senior care for your parent.

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If this is the first time you’ve been in the position of looking for or organizing care for a senior loved one, you probably feel overwhelmed, which is understandable. Finding care is a big decision, and one that should not be made lightly. It’s important that you consider all your possibilities carefully, learn a little bit more about the benefits and drawbacks of different care options, and make a decision that is best for your parent.

Let’s look at a few different senior care options you may want to consider.

  • Assisted Living Community - Assisted living communities are an option designed for seniors who may need some support with daily tasks, but don’t require medical treatment and nursing around the clock. Assisted living communities typically offer seniors their own accommodations, like private or shared apartments. Meals and snacks are provided, and staff members coordinate activities and outings to keep seniors busy and engaged in the community. However, many families are deterred from assisted living communities due to the high costs associated with this option.

  • Nursing Home - Does your senior loved one need more advanced levels of care, or do they face serious mobility challenges? In both of these cases, a nursing home could be an option for your parent. Nursing homes provide 24/7 care for residents, and resemble a hospital environment more than a senior community. Nursing homes are options for both long-term stays and recovery after being released from the hospital following an injury or illness.

  • In-Home Care - Many seniors need care, but aren’t ready to leave their homes for assisted living or nursing homes. In these cases, caregivers come to the senior’s home (or wherever they live) to provide care. This can work for seniors who live alone or have moved in with family members. In-home elder care services allow seniors to be in a comfortable environment, while still feeling well cared for and safe. One of the biggest drawbacks of seniors staying in their own homes is that many homes aren’t handicap accessible. It can also be a challenge for seniors to maintain a home as they age. In-home care addresses these issues and allows seniors to live safely and comfortably in their homes.

As you can tell, there are benefits and drawbacks to each of these options, and many families struggle to find the best care, without breaking the bank. If you live far from your parent, you may have some specific concerns about choosing the best care for their needs. Talk to your parent about the care options for seniors with which they would be most comfortable. Because this is such a big decision for your entire family, not just your parent, it’s important that you consider each of these options carefully.

How Does Home Care Work?

Many families hit a similar crossroad: their senior loved one is no longer able to safely maintain an independent lifestyle. Maybe they have suffered a recent injury in their home, like a fall while getting out of bed. Perhaps your parent is struggling to keep the house clean or cook for themselves. There are a number of indicators to determine when a parent can’t effectively care for himself or herself anymore.

Though assisted living communities or nursing homes might be the right fit for some seniors, many seniors simply aren’t ready to leave their homes, their possessions, and their routines for an entirely new environment. In fact, it’s possible that your parent has lived in his or her home for decades. Asking them to leave for a senior living community or nursing home could lead to unhappiness and discomfort. Fortunately, home healthy care services is an option that doesn’t require seniors to leave everything behind; they can receive care in their own home.

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The structure of senior homecare is pretty simple – a caregiver visits your parent’s home to provide whatever level of support they need to maintain their health and safety throughout the day. There are numerous benefits to choosing homecare services for seniors, the biggest of which is that your parent can stay in their own home.

Many seniors’ homes, especially if they are older homes, don’t have the handicap-accessible amenities that seniors require, like hand rails in bathrooms or ramps into the front door. A potential for injury is why many seniors and their families choose a move into an assisted living community. However, when you have a senior home health care provider visiting each day, they can help with tasks like getting in and out of bed or bathing – two daily rituals that can often lead to injury if seniors are unaccompanied. With a caregiver there to support your parent when they need assistance, you don’t have to worry about a fall or injury.

Another benefit of elder care services is that your family doesn’t have to go through the hassle of selling your parent’s home to pay for assisted living or a nursing home. Assisted living communities can be very expensive, which is why many families have to sell their senior loved one’s home to cover the costs. While there are some traditional senior homecare options that can be highly expensive, there are affordable alternatives that don’t require you to put in the work required to sell a home or other assets. (We’ll discuss the costs associated with home care in a later section.)

When it comes to home care, you have two options – traditional home care and on-demand home care. Let’s look at both options, and with a better understanding of how these two channels for senior homecare work, you’ll be able to choose an option that is best for your parent.

Traditional Home Care vs. On-Demand Care: What’s the Difference?

For many people, finding elder care services for their parent or senior loved one is uncharted territory. If this is your first time exploring senior home health care options, don’t worry. There are two routes you can take to find the best home care for your parent – the traditional home care option and the on-demand care option. What’s the difference between these two?

First, we’ll explore traditional home care. With traditional home care, a caregiver visits a senior client on a weekly schedule. Whether they come every day or one day a week, there is generally a four-hour minimum requirement for the visit. This means that even if your parent is in great shape, but simply needs someone to help them clean up or take out the trash for one hour, once a week, you will still have to pay for at least four hours worth of care. With traditional home care, you can either find a caregiver yourself or one is sent to you through a referral service or agency.

On-demand care has some advantages over the traditional model. With on-demand care, provided through smartphone applications like CaringOnDemand, your parent receives the care they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it. This model is less restrictive, as you or your parent can request care whenever they require it, instead of sticking to a rigid schedule. So, if your parent realizes they have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, but doesn’t have a ride or hasn’t scheduled care, they can request on-demand care and someone will be available to assist them.

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Whether your parent needs two hours of care or a full eight hours of care, on-demand elder care services can accommodate their needs. With companies like CaringOnDemand, there is no four-hour care minimum. Seniors can have access to care for a few as 15 minutes. This can significantly cut the cost of care for your family, as you only pay for the amount of care your loved one actually needs.

Finally, the on-demand care model doesn’t require your family to make a long-term, contract commitment to care. If your parent only needs care for the next few weeks as they recover from a broken foot, for example, you don’t want to sign up for ongoing care since their needs are temporary. Maybe your parent lives with you and you are their primary caregiver, but you have to go out of town next week for work. You can schedule care for just that week and return to your normal routine in the future. On-demand care allows you to schedule care only in the circumstances when your parent needs support. You can stop care at any time, or reinstate care as they need it.

Finding elder care services for your parent can already be a stressful process for everyone involved, including your parent. On-demand care comes with low risk, as you can stop anytime or move schedules around as needed. Plus, this option brings with it the benefit of affordability. Similar other convenience-based business models like grocery delivery services or even Uber, on-demand care is designed with convenience, cost, and flexibility in mind, making it the perfect option for any family.

What Types of Home Care Services are Provided?

Every senior has unique needs, so there’s no single answer to what services homecare providers offer. You can arrange for nearly any service or support your parent may need. The level of service is totally dependent on their own health and areas where they struggle.

Care services generally fall into one of two categories: companionship and house-making, or personal care services. Let’s take a closer look at each of these services and why it may be helpful to trust these tasks to your parent’s care provider.

Companionship and House-making

  • Meal Preparation (1.5 hours) - Many seniors struggle with planning and preparing their own meals. This activity can take a lot of energy out of your parent, and often, it is easier to just eat something unhealthy or nothing at all, which would have a serious impact on your parent’s health. Instead of trying to manage mealtime themselves, a care provider can help prepare healthy meal options, even making some in advance. And, if your parent has a diagnosis that comes with dietary restrictions, like diabetes for example, you can trust a home care provider to help prepare meals that keep their diet under control.
  • Errands (1 hour) - Simple errands like going to the bank, post office, or grocery store can be a huge challenge for seniors. Getting in and out of the car or dealing with crowds can be exhausting and can occasionally lead to injury. Senior homecare providers can take on these errands for your parent or accompany your parent as they run these errands together.
  • Transportation (1 hour) - Has your parent given up driving? Even if they don’t drive anymore, they still have plenty of places to go, and a family member may not always be available to drive them. Homecare providers can drive your parent to a doctor’s appointment or even just outings with friends. They can also ensure your parent gets in and out of the car safely, and avoids falls while they’re out and about.
  • Housekeeping (2 hours) - Maintaining a spotless home is a challenge for anyone! But, seniors face some particular challenges has they may no longer be able to scrub sinks, floors, bathtubs, and more. In fact, many seniors’ homes fall into disarray simply because they’re no longer physically able to keep their houses clean. It’s a lot safer and easier to trust these tasks to a homecare provider. This can also include responsibilities like laundry, so seniors don’t have to struggle to carry heavy loads of clothes or put them away once they’re clean.
  • Companionship (2 hours) - So many seniors struggle with loneliness. Health problems or limited mobility can make it hard for your parent to get out and socialize with their friends. Sometimes, a senior’s homecare needs are as simple as companionship – someone to talk to, watch television with, share a meal, or play a game.
  • Medication Reminders (15 minutes) - As your parent gets older, they’re probably taking multiple medications, maybe at different times in the day. It can be hard to keep track of how much medication they should take, what time they should take medication, should they take it with a meal, etc. Medication management is an enormously helpful service that caregivers provide. They can remind your parent which medications to take at what time, and organize their medications for the upcoming week.
  • Pet Services (1 hour) - Having a pet can do wonders for your parent’s mood. Sharing their home with a dog or cat is a great hobby and provides much needed companionship. However, getting out and walking their dog or stooping to clean up after their cat might be too physically demanding. A homecare provider can help them take care of their pet, from accompanying them on walks to visiting the vet. Your parent can still benefit from having a furry friend, without being overwhelmed by pet care.
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Personal Care Services

  • Getting In and Out of Bed (10 minutes) - Falls can often happen when seniors are trying to get in and out of bed on their own. And, your parent shouldn’t be tied to your availability to provide help if they want to start their day or go to bed. A homecare provider, especially an on-demand caregiver, can come to your parent’s home whenever they’re ready to get in or out of bed to provide help.
  • Bathing (40 minutes) - Along with getting in and out of bed, bathing is a common cause of injury for seniors in their homes. If your parent doesn’t have access to a handicap bathroom in their home, the potential for a fall increases. Having a homecare provider to help them bathe ensures that they’re safely getting in and out of the shower each day.
  • Grooming (30 minutes) - Some seniors may struggle to reach up to brush their hair or reach down to tie their shoes. That’s where an extra set of caregiver hands can be helpful. Your parent will look and feel his or her best if someone is there to help them with grooming tasks for the day.
  • Hygiene (35 minutes) - One common sign of depression in seniors is neglecting personal hygiene. They may be unable to or simply don’t feel like taking care of themselves. A homecare provider can help with important tasks like clipping your parent’s fingernails and toenails or helping them brush their teeth each day.
  • Toileting (15 minutes) - Going to the bathroom can be difficult for your parent, especially if they don’t have a handicap-accessible restroom or restroom accessories. A caregiver can help them go to the bathroom safety, preventing potential injury.
  • Incontinence (15 minutes) - Incontinence is a problem many seniors struggle with. A homecare provider can help them maintain dignity and cleanliness with incontinence services.
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While these are some of the most common homecare services you can schedule for your parent, there are countless other tasks with which caregivers can provide support. Maybe your parent loves to garden, but has a hard time pulling weeds alone. A caregiver can help with many daily activities that simply give your parent joy.

One of the greatest benefits of on-demand care is that you have control over the services your parent receives. While they may need help bathing after a shoulder injury, they may not need help after the injury has healed. You’re not tied to any single set of services, so you’re able to choose options, even as your parent’s needs change.

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How Do I Know if My Loved One Needs Home Care?

If you’re waiting for your parent or senior loved one to let you know that they need help, there’s a chance you may be waiting a long time. Many seniors are reluctant to admit they need help or are no longer able to care for himself or herself properly. However, you may have been noticing signs that could point to your parent’s need for regular care.

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To ensure your parent receives the care they need, there are a few signs you should watch out for. If you notice any of these signs in your parent’s daily life, they may be in need of homecare services.

  • Loss of a Spouse - Losing a spouse is devastating for anyone, especially seniors who may struggle to come to terms with the loss or if the spouse who passed was the primary caregiver. Losing a spouse requires a senior to establish an entirely new routine, which can be a challenge for those who live alone.
  • Persistent Health Problems - Have you noticed your parent’s health deteriorating? If so, now may be the right time for in-home care. With so many health problems comes new responsibilities, like specific diets or new medication. When your parent suffers from persistent health problems, senior homecare may be the best option.
  • A New Diagnosis - When your parent or senior loved one is diagnosed with a major illness, it can impact your entire family. Dealing with a diagnosis like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be difficult for you and your parent. To help your family adjust to this new diagnosis, your parent may require homecare services, and if it is a serious, long-term diagnosis, they may need ongoing care.
  • Recent Falls or Injury - When your parent experiences a fall or other injury in their home, it could be time to bring in homecare services. This is a sure sign of increased need for care, and you don’t want to worry every day that your parent will suffer a fall when no one is around to help them.
  • Signs of an Accident - Has your parent forgotten to turn the stove off, leaving signs like a singed towel or burned pan? As seniors age, they may be more prone to accidents, especially if they struggle with memory or have a memory-related diagnosis. Check their cars too for dents or dings that could indicate a small accident.
  • Sudden Weight Loss or Gain - Because it can be difficult for seniors to prepare their own meals, especially as they age or their health deteriorates, it’s common to notice weight gain or loss. Any changes in weight could indicate that your parent or senior loved one is no longer able to prepare healthy meals for themselves, or they are not eating regularly. Since meal preparation is a common service provided by in-home caregivers, finding a care option is an easy solution to help them maintain health.
  • Change in Appearance - Is your parent wearing dirty or mismatched clothes? Do they look disheveled? Seniors may not be able to keep up with the demands of personal grooming. A shoulder injury could leave them unable to hang up clothes or brush their hair. Any noticeable change in appearance could mean that your parent is facing challenges with grooming.
  • A Messy Home - Keeping a tidy home can be physically demanding for seniors. Maybe the bathroom isn’t as clean as it normally is or dishes are stacked up in the sink for multiple days. Is the lawn overgrown, when your parent used to invest time into keeping it neat? If you’ve noticed a build up of mail or trash or any other signs that your parent can’t take care of their home, it may be time to call homecare providers.
  • Increased Confusion or Forgetfulness - Have you noticed your parent repeating the same story over and over? Do they get confused doing tasks that were once easy? Signs of forgetfulness or confusion are common with aging, but they could be indicators of more serious needs on the part of your parent. If they’re regularly forgetting things like meals or appointments, a caregiver can help your parent stay on track.
  • Difficulty Managing Medicine - Closely tied to forgetfulness and confusion is a failure for your parent to accurately manage their medications. Managing medication can be complicated, but there could be serious health consequences if your parent takes the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of the right medication. A homecare provider can easily manage and administer medication for your parent, taking an important task off their shoulders.
  • Missed Bill Payments - Whether it’s due to forgetfulness or losing a bill in clutter, missing payments on bills is a sure indicator that it’s time to find homecare services for your parent. You don’t want your parent to be left without electricity because they’re no longer able to keep up with their mail.
  • You Don’t Have Around-the-Clock Availability - Ultimately, the biggest sign that your parent is in need of homecare services is that neither you nor another family member are available to assist your parent. Even if your parent lives with you, there’s a good chance that you, like many people, work or go to school during the day. Your parent may simply need help while you’re gone or unavailable. You always want them to have the care they need when they need it, so if you’re not home, a professional caregiver is an ideal option.

Have you noticed any of these indicators during your interactions with your parent? If so, elder care services can lend support both to your parent and your family as a whole. Watch for these signs carefully, as they may also indicate that you need to increase the level of care your parent is receiving if you’re already working with a caregiver.

It’s also important to have some frank conversations with your parent about the level of care they think they need. There can be many challenges throughout the day that you aren’t present to witness, like difficulty getting out of bed. To ensure your parent is comfortable with the decisions being made about their care, you need to ensure you’re transparent with them and include them in conversations every step of the way.

It can be scary and stressful for families of seniors who live at home alone. When you have a homecare provider you trust coming to check on them regularly or have the availability to help whenever your parent requires it, you can rest easy knowing they’re in great hands.

How Do I Find a Homecare Provider Near My Loved One?

Once you’ve determined that your parent or senior loved one does require care to maintain their health and safety, it’s time to start your search. You need to find caregivers that live in close proximity to your parent, and even if you live far away, you can still oversee the selection process.

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While there are a few channels you can use to find care for your parent, the following four options are the most common:

Word-of-Mouth Referral

Do you know someone who has a parent who receives care? Maybe one of your parent’s friends has a homecare provider who comes to visit each day. A word-of-mouth referral is a common way that families find a homecare provider. A first-hand account of someone’s qualifications as a caregiver can put your mind at ease about hiring them, especially if the referral comes from someone you trust.

Though this is a common option, there are a few drawbacks that come from using a personal referral. If this is a private caregiver not employed by an agency, the relationship you have with them will be that of an employer and an employee. You may need to secure additional insurance for your parent in the event the caregiver is injured on the job. Otherwise, your family could be responsible for the cost of their medical care.

You’re also responsible for properly vetting the candidate. That could include running a background check and contacting previous employers for references. The responsibility of ensuring a candidate is credible falls entirely on your shoulders.

Referral Agency

A referral agency is an organization that can send you a list of potential caregivers. However, the agency doesn’t employ the caregivers; they simply refer them. Some referral agencies vet their candidates, while others do not. So, there’s a chance you could still run into some of the same problems that come with word-of-mouth referrals, like the need to run your own background checks or invest in insurance. Also, you’re regularly required to pay a service fee to referral agencies on top of the cost of care if you hire one of their candidates. However, you will benefit from the convenience of having a list of numerous candidates provided for you.

Traditional Care Agency

Traditional care agencies are a good option for finding homecare services, as these agencies actually employ caregivers. These agencies are licensed and bonded by your state, meaning they are credible organizations and responsible for any lost or damaged property during your parent’s care visits. They also usually have insurance to cover any events that could occur while a caregiver is on the job.

Traditional care agencies thoroughly vet their caregivers, so you don’t have to. They also typically have training programs to ensure all the caregivers they employ can be trusted to provide quality care for seniors.

One issue with these traditional care agencies that is important to note is the hourly minimum service requirement. These agencies usually require you to pay for a minimum of four hours of care per visit. So, even if you parent only requires 30 minutes of care or support, you’ll still pay for the four hour minimum.

Care Agency Network

This final option has all the benefits of working with a traditional care agency, with lower costs and greater flexibility. Agency networks bring agencies together to help connect seniors with caregivers in their area. If you choose an agency network like CaringOnDemand, you can be confident that the available caregivers have had their backgrounds and qualifications screened to ensure they’re trustworthy options for your parent. CaringOnDemand only partners with agencies that are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, so you can rest easy knowing your parents are in trustworthy hands.

Using an agency network means you have all the benefits of working with an agency, without the high costs of minimum hourly payments. You only pay for the care your parent receives, whether that’s 30 minutes or six hours. You also have the wide range of options to choose from, as the network is partnered with numerous agencies. There are more caregivers to choose from and fewer financial obstacles standing in your way.

Ultimately, in your search for a homecare provider for your parent or senior loved one, an agency network is the best option. They can help you find caregivers near to your loved one, regardless of where you live, who are highly qualified. You won’t have to invest in extra costs like insurance or four-hour care minimums. Seniors receive the care they need, when they need it, with the highest levels of flexibility.

 

Explore the map below to see if a Certified CaringOnDemand Agency is in your area.

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Babylon, NY
631-771-6992 Hours of Operation
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631-771-6992 Hours of Operation
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Westchester/Bronx, NY
914-276-5205 Hours of Operation
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New York City, NY
631-771-6992 Hours of Operation
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Queens, NY
631-771-6992 Hours of Operation
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Brooklyn, NY
631-771-6992 Hours of Operation
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Norwalk, CT
800-652-7075 Hours of Operation
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Clifton, NJ
201-347-2292 Hours of Operation
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Toms River, NJ
732-204-6172 Hours of Operation
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Jupiter, FL
561-266-9888 Hours of Operation
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West Palm Beach, FL
561-266-9888 Hours of Operation
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Pompano Beach, FL
954-378-5393 Hours of Operation
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Delray Beach, FL
954-378-5393 Hours of Operation
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Dallas, TX
(214) 420-1212 Hours of Operation
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Greater Los Angeles
909-303-9377 Hours of Operation
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Largo, MD
866-850-8787 Hours of Operation
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Washington D.C.
(202) 558-2448 Hours of Operation
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Huntington Beach, CA
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How Do I Select the Right Homecare Provider?

Choosing a homecare provider for your parent is a big decision, since this agency or network will be placing someone in your parent’s home with them every day. It’s vital that you select an agency who can provide someone your parent is comfortable with and someone who you trust. However, if this is your first time looking for care for a senior, you may have no idea where to start or which questions to ask throughout the process.

Here are a few questions to ask of the elder homecare service provider to ensure the caregivers available to your parent are a good fit for their needs.

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How Do I Know the Caregiver is Credible?

First and foremost, you want to ensure that the caregiver that will be visiting your parent is credible and qualified. The best way to ensure that the candidates you’re working with are credible is to ensure the agency or network you’re partnering with is credible.

Research the agencies you’re considering carefully. Look for online reviews that can give you insight into other families’ experiences with this agency or ask the agency for a list of families you can contact yourself.

Remember: if you have a question, ask it. It’s better to ask too many questions and glean too much information than to be left wondering about who is caring for your parent.

How Are the Caregivers on Staff Chosen or Hired?

Once you’ve established that the agency you’re working with is a credible one, you need to find out how they verify the skills and qualifications of their candidates. Here are some common forms of vetting that agencies should do.

  • Competency Exam and Skill Testing - It’s imperative that caregivers have the technical skills to provide proper care for clients like your parent. This means they generally must pass an exam covering the basics of care and prove they can take on tasks like safety lifting seniors out of chairs or helping them get into bed.
  • In-person Interview - As with any job, caregivers go through an in-person interview process. This ensures that caregivers are personable, so your senior loved one will be comfortable with this caregiver coming into their home.
  • State-Required Certification - The caregiver certification requirements vary per state, but agencies generally only refer caregivers who are licensed in the state in which your parent lives (even if they live close to a state line). It’s important to research the certification requirements for your parent’s state of residence, so you know what qualifications local caregivers must meet.
  • Background Check - Background checks ensure that potential caregivers are who they say they are and there is nothing troubling about their past. Agencies and agency networks are dedicated to ensuring that your parent will not only be healthy, but also safe in the hands of the caregivers they recommend.
  • Client References - One of the best ways to determine whether or not a caregiver is qualified is to hear first-hand from past clients or families of clients. Client references give you insight into how caregivers interact with clients, and positive references can make you feel more comfortable about welcoming the caregiver into your parent’s home.
  • In-Service Training - Finally, caregivers must go through on-the-job training to ensure someone from the agency can see their skills in action. They are also trained on particular processes the agency follows, ensuring care is generally uniform throughout the agency.

As you can see, the employee verification process for caregivers is thorough. Each of these steps plays a role in ensuring your parent is cared for by dependable, trustworthy professional caregivers.

It’s important to note that CaringOnDemand chooses to only work with agencies that thoroughly vet their candidates. This means that you will only be shown candidates who have gone through the above vetting process.

How Do I Know a Caregiver Will Care for My Parent As Well as I Would?

It’s never easy to trust someone you love to someone else for care. You may always worry that no one can care for your parent as well as you. However, caregivers generally go into this line of work because they have a passion or feel a calling to care for others. In fact, caregivers have the technical skills to provide your parent with the highest quality of care. So, while you still may struggle with handing care over to a professional, you should feel more comfortable knowing that these caregivers are thoroughly vetted and reliable.

Am I Able to Check in with the Caregiver or Communicate with Them About My Parent’s Care?

This is a great question to ask the agencies you’re considering, and if they’re a high quality agency, they will encourage you to regularly communicate with your parent’s caregiver. It’s important to have the entire care team in the loop on a senior’s care and progress. This ensures all members of the care team – from the homecare provider, to the family, to the medical professionals – are on the same page in terms of your parent’s care.

Using an app like CaringOnDemand makes communication and transparency easy. Family members can leave notes for caregivers with specific instructions for their senior loved one’s care. Caregivers can also leave notes for family members, tracking how their loved one is progressing. This provides a continuous log of your parent’s care history, and allows you and the caregiver to identify any changes that should be addressed with a physician.

Selecting the right homecare provider is an important decision, as the agency you choose has a large amount of influence over the care your parent receives. Whether you work with an agency directly or you choose to go through an agency network like CaringOnDemand, it’s important to ask these questions. When you know that the caregivers are professionals who provide excellent care, you will feel confident entrusting your loved one to them.

How Much Does Homecare for Seniors Cost?

Deciding that it is time to find homecare for your parent is a big milestone. The cost of homecare for your parent could be a determining factor for what agency or agency network you choose to partner with. As mentioned earlier, agencies generally charge for a four-hour minimum per visit. This means you could vastly over pay for care if you choose the traditional care agency option.

Choosing private, in-home care for your parent might be a cause for concern in terms of affordability. However, in-home care is far more affordable than you may think – if you choose the right option. Working with a pay-by-the-minute agency network, like CaringOnDemand, you can pay for the exact amount of care your parent receives.

The pay-by-the-minute model means you pay for the care visit to the minute. You can even choose as few as 15 minutes, if that’s all your parent needs. In fact, CaringOnDemand has built-in accountability for the caregiver. Through the CaringOnDemand app, the caregiver starts a timer the minute they arrive at your parent’s home, and they stop the timer the minute the visit is over. This tracks time down to the minute, so you’re never paying extra.

It’s also important to note the high cost of moving your parent to an assisted living community. In 2018, the monthly cost for an assisted living community was $4,000 per month, while the monthly cost of living in a nursing home ranged from $7,441 for a semi-private room to $8,365 for a private room. Those are high costs that many families simply cannot afford. Thus, many families who choose assisted living or nursing homes for their senior loved one usually sell their parent’s home or property to cover the costs.

There’s a good chance your parent does not want to leave his or her home. In fact, according to AARP, 90% of seniors over the age of 65 plan to stay in their own homes as they age. Thus, affordable in-home care is generally a good option for families.

To get a better idea about the difference in cost of care, take a look at this cost of care comparison chart for the ten biggest metropolitan areas in the country.

Area

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day

Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day

Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour

National Average

$139

$132

$29

New York City, NY

$157

$194

$41

Los Angeles, CA

$157

$148

$34

Chicago, IL

$150

$158

$29

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

$133

$144

$25

Washington, D.C.

$149

$164

$27

Houston, TX

$135

$127

$21

San Francisco, CA

$185

$181

$38

Philadelphia, PA

$150

$175

$25

Boston, MA

$176

$191

$32

Atlanta, GA

$125

$111

$23

National Average

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$139
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$132
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$29

New York City, NY

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$157
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$194
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$41

Los Angeles, CA

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$157
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$148
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$34

Chicago, IL

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$150
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$158
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$29

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$133
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$144
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$25

Washington, D.C.

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$149
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$164
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$27

Houston, TX

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$135
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$127
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$21

San Francisco, CA

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$185
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$181
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$38

Philadelphia, PA

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$150
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$175
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$25

Boston, MA

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$176
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$191
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$32

Atlanta, GA

Average Cost for Traditional Care per Day
$125
Average Cost of Assisted Living per Day
$111
Average Cost for By-the-Minute Care per Hour
$23

* Data was used from the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey. In all states that CoD is in, the average is around $25 per hour with a 4-hour visit minimum ($100 per visit).

What Are My Payment Options?

Because you set the visit times and schedules, your family has complete control over the cost of in-home care. However, you may have some concerns about the added expense of caring for seniors. Even if you choose on-demand care, it’s still an expense that your parent may not be able to cover or didn’t expect to need this soon.

Also, it’s important to remember that the average cost you pay for in care each year is far less expensive than if your parent were to be injured and accumulate medical bills. Here are a few routes families can take to cover the cost of homecare for their senior loved ones.

  • Insurance - Options like long-term care insurance can be used to cover the cost of your parent’s care if they have taken out a policy. Your parent’s current insurance may or may not cover homecare services depending on their policy and whether or not the in-home care is mandated by a doctor.
  • Medicare - Medicare generally does not cover the cost of homecare for seniors. However, if your parent has Medicare Advantage, there’s a chance that care could be partially covered.
  • Medicaid - Medicaid varies from state to state, so it’s crucial that you look up your own state’s Medicaid coverage.
  • Veterans’ Programs - There are numerous programs through the Department of Veterans Affairs that could help your parent afford homecare if he or she is a veteran. Assistance comes in the form of funds to cover the cost of care and VA-provided care.
  • Family Support - Because the cost of on-demand home care can be pretty affordable, you could discuss the possibility of multiple members of your family contributing a little each month to cover the cost of care for your senior loved one. If the average cost of care is $25 an hour, maybe different members of your family could contribute a few hundred dollars a month to ease the burden on a single family member or even your parent.
  • Parent’s Income - Does your parent have a pension or 401k they could use to cover the cost of home care? Maybe they have assets, like an extra car or piece of property, they can sell to partial cover the cost of homecare.

Unfortunately, many people fail to plan for care when they get older. But, with affordable care options like CaringOnDemand, your family can find the level of care that both works for your senior loved one and eases the financial weight on your family. Talk to your parent about their financial standing and discuss the possibility of support with your other family members. When you all come together, you’re sure to find a pricing structure that works for everyone.

Do I Have to Use Technology to Get Homecare Services? Does My Parent?

When you realized that CaringOnDemand was an app for scheduling on-demand care, you might have been apprehensive. While you might be comfortable using technology, there’s a good chance your parent is not. With CaringOnDemand, there are a few ways you or your parent could schedule a visit.

COD-Daughter-Pillar-Chapter10

  • CaringOnDemand App - The CaringOnDemand app was designed to provide a simple way to schedule care. If your parent doesn’t want to use an app to schedule their in-home care appointments, don’t worry. You can schedule appointments on their behalf, wherever you are via the app with ease.
  • Online Portal - You or your parent can go to the CaringOnDemand website to schedule care visits, as well. This is a method that is just as simple as using the app, but any seniors who don’t often use technology or don’t have access to a smartphone can consider this option.
  • Call CaringOnDemand Directly - For those who simply don’t want to mess with technology or don’t have access to it, they can call CaringOnDemand directly to schedule an appointment. This might be the scheduling method that’s most comfortable for your parent. If that’s the case, don’t worry. CaringOnDemand’s care experts are ready and waiting to answer your parent’s call.

How Does the CaringOnDemand App Work?

Whether you live across the country or just across the street, you can schedule care visits for your parent using the CaringOnDemand app. Here’s the step-by-step process for using the app schedule care.

See How It Works

Step 1

Download the CaringOnDemand app and book your free wellness visit/consultation with one of our local certified home care agencies. During this visit, we will access your loved one's needs and help set up your account.

Step 2

Request care anytime you’d like, either on a schedule or on-demand.

Step 3

Not only can you set a start time for the visit, but you can select any visit length you’d like. You’ll be charged for only the amount of time your caregiver is in the home, whether it’s 10 minutes or a few hours.

Step 4

Certified caregivers will be notified as soon as you book a visit, and you’ll be notified of your caregiver once they accept. Select favorites and select preferences for your loved one.

Step 5

After every visit, you’ll be able to view a detailed care report for your loved one, including cost, activity, and time details.

Senior Homecare FAQs: The Answers to Some Commonly Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about securing senior homecare for your parent? Explore this questions we commonly receive at CaringOnDemand.

If my parent likes a caregiver, can we request for them to come again?

It’s great if your parent forms a bond with a specific caregiver! The best way to ensure this caregiver is the one who visits your parent each time is to set up a recurring visit. This means the caregiver your parent has selected will always be available to come at the predetermined time. However, if you don’t set up a recurring visit, there’s a chance that a particular caregiver won’t be available when you or your parent request a visit.

Can we meet the senior homecare provider before our first care visit?

Many agencies recommend a preliminary meeting before your parent’s first in-home care visit. However, your family could be charged up to $200 for this initial consultation. At CaringOnDemand, we want both you and your parent to feel comfortable with these in-home care visits, so your initial consultation is free. This visit will give the homecare provider a chance to assess your parent’s health, create a care plan, and bring paperwork for you or your parent to sign.

Can we request visits on major holidays?

Regardless of the day, your parent may still need support from a senior homecare provider. Caregivers are available for visits on major holidays. However, you could be charged a higher rate for the visit. If you want a particular caregiver to visit your parent, be sure to schedule a recurring visit prior to the holiday and discuss their holiday availability beforehand.

What if more than one senior lives in a single household?

If both of your parents are still living, you are welcome to schedule care visits for both of them. Keep in mind that this will mean more work for the caregiver, so anticipate an increase in visit time and cost.

Should I or my parent request a homecare visit if there is an emergency?

If there is an emergency, you or your parent should call 911. Although many of the homecare providers do have medical training, it’s best to call for emergency medical professionals and an ambulance in the event of an emergency.

When are caregivers available for visits?

Generally, caregivers are available to visit your parent seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The best way to find out if caregivers are available is to check the app, where their availability will be displayed. If you want a particular caregiver to visit your parent, it’s best to schedule a recurring visit in advance, so you know they will be available.

Can we request services not listed on the CaringOnDemand app?

We know that some needs are unique to your parent or their property. That’s why we offer a “Custom Service” option that you can select. Be sure to leave a note in the app describing the nature of the service. If the service is too physically demanding, the caregiver may decline the visit request.

Redeem Your Free Visit to Get Started

Are you ready to schedule in-home care for your parent or senior loved one? Find a CaringOnDemand home care agency in your area, and redeem a free visit.