What is Homecare? Homecare is the opportunity to have a caregiver come to the loved one’s place of residence to assist with various needs. By allowing caregivers to assist with basic needs, one is able to retain as much independence as possible for as long as possible. Homecare presents the opportunity to stay in one’s home as long as one desires.

What are the qualifications of a caregiver? Caregivers are available in basically three skill levels:

1. Companions – These individuals have life experiences that allow them to relate well to mature adults. They help with running errands, preparing meals, shopping, writing letters, reading, light housekeeping, companionship, and medication reminders.
2. Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) – Undergoes training and is licensed by the state. Must complete ongoing education each year and keep credentials current. These individuals provide assistance walking, take fall precautions, and assist with bathing and dressing, as well as all the companion duties (see above).
3. Skilled Nurse (LPN or RN) – Undergoes extensive training and is licensed by the state. Is required to keep credentials current. These individuals assist with wound care, give injections, take lab draws, start and maintain IVs, provide catheter care, as well as certain other skilled tasks. Of course, skilled nurses also provide nursing assistant and companionship duties in the home setting.

It may seem confusing to determine what level of care is needed. However, most homecare companies will provide a nurse’s assessment to help you determine the best level of care. With the various levels of care available, nearly anyone can remain at home for as long as they wish.

How much does Homecare cost? The cost varies by company. Generally, companion/CNA care is anywhere from $16-22/hour. Skilled Nursing care ranges from $40-80+/hour. Homecare companies charge a variety of ways; some charge two fees, one for the caregiver and one charge for the company. Make sure you understand the total cost involved and what it includes.

Does Medicare cover Homecare? No. Homecare is usually either paid for by private funds or by Long Term Care Insurance.

Is it best to remain at home or move to a facility? This is an entirely personal question that each individual must answer. In many cases, the decision is not made by the mature adult, but rather by the family. Homecare is the solution that assists families, with however much or little help is needed, in allowing the mature adult to remain in their home surrounded by things dear to them.

Should I use a Homecare Company or hire a caregiver privately? Again, this is a personal decision. Using a Homecare Company brings value in several ways:

1. Each caregiver goes thorough an extensive screening process.
2. Caregivers have more accountability when working through a Homecare Company.
3. Homecare Companies have a large number of caregivers to select from, ensuring a good fit of personality and experience.
4. Homecare Companies can provide a replacement caregiver if a primary caregiver is not able to work for whatever reason.
5. Homecare Companies take away much of the work of scheduling, interviewing, and selecting caregivers.

How do I begin using Homecare? It is actually very simple! When speaking with the Homecare Company you have selected, you will provide a description of your circumstances. The company will send an RN to your home and gather the necessary information. Then, you can either interview potential caregivers or simply set up the time you would like to have the caregiver come to your home. The Homecare Company will provide support and make any changes as requested in the future.