In Home Care

Staying At Home – The In-Home Care Alternative

Choosing to bring someone into a senior’s home to provide support, companionship and care is a very viable option today. Saying good-bye to familiar surroundings and the comforts of home is not always necessary.

In-Home care today can take many different forms. Perhaps it is simply the home-delivered meals from a local Meals-on-Wheels program. A privately hired housekeeper to help with house cleaning and shopping may be all that is needed by some. Others may require a non-medical companion who provides not only companionship, but also cooking assistance and some valuable reminders. Or, a home health agency may be a good choice to help provide hands-on-assistance with daily living tasks (ADL’s) such as bathing, wound care, dressing, or standby assistance for walking.

Consider carefully the following checklist when you interview individuals or companies providing this valuable In-Home care option:

Background Checks – A caregiver’s background is especially important. They will likely have access to your home and personal property. Simple references alone are not always sufficient – the background check is critical. If the person is working for an established company, ask the company to explain and describe how they complete this process.

Proper Insurance – Is the caregiver insured and bonded  Anyone can claim to be insured. Check out the claims. There is peace of mind knowing that the coverage is in effect for the situation that concerns you.

Caregiver Taxes – If you hire an independent caregiver, you are legally responsible for paying all of the payroll taxes such as social security, and local, state and federal taxes. If the caregiver is an employee of a company, the company should cover those expenses. Clarify this important tax issue with whom-ever you hire.

Caregiver Training – What training has the caregiver received? Does the person take advantage of ongoing professional training?

Availability – When is the caregiver available?  Are they available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays?

Daily Log – Will the caregiver maintain a daily log of activities?  This log serves as an ongoing diary for family members and other caregivers that may come into the home.

Transportation – Although it is important to remember that caregiving is not a transportation service, there will be times when transportation may be needed for such things as a ride to the dentist, to church, or to a hair salon. Inquire if this service available.

Rates & Services – Clearly understand the rates prior to the start of any service. Normally, your senior’s specific needs will determine the rates you are quoted. It is important not only that you understand how they have assessed the needs but also what effect the assessment has on the rates they quote. Clear & honest communication is essential throughout this process.

Medicare/Long-Term Care Insurance – If there is a long-term care policy, check with your insurance company about the services that will be covered. In many situations Long-Term Care Insurance will cover this option. Medicare often may not cover non-medical situations. The person you interview may have some valuable information which can be of help, as you determine the coverage.

Compatibility – If you are interviewing a company, are they gathering information about your/or our senior’s needs and requirements and using this information to determine a compatible match  For example, if you/your senior enjoy doing crafts, you will probably be happy with a caregiver who has the same interest.

In Oregon In-Home Care companies are required by the State to be licensed.