Home Care

Home Care is a type of care for seniors who need assistance with tasks but would like to remain in their own home. The level of assistance can range from help with activities of daily living to skilled medical or memory care.

Home care is typically paid for by the hour and costs will vary depending on the level of care needed. You may have a home care worker in the home for just a couple hours a day, or even hire a live-in aide if you can afford it.

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Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

You have two options when choosing an in-home caregiver. You can hire from an agency or an independent provider.

In the United States, there are nearly 12,500 home health agencies. Full-service agencies cost much more than independent providers but have prescreened applicants and do background checks. Because the home health aide is employed by the agency, you will not need to worry about any extra taxes or billing issues. Typically, if your caregiver quits or calls in sick, the agency will have a replacement for you.

Independent providers are much cheaper but leave seniors or their primary care provider to do a lot of work. This would include the verification of potential caregivers for identity and background checks, and you would also need to have tax and social security knowledge because you would be hiring them as an employee. If your caregiver quits, you will be responsible for finding your own replacement, starting the process all over again.

Advantages of Home Care

In general, seniors want to stay in their home as long as they can. Home care allows seniors to “age in place” with their family or spouse and provides privacy while receiving care from a professional in comfortable, familiar surroundings.

A big advantage of home care is that it gives the senior or their families control in scheduling and daily routines. Seniors also get plenty of one-on-one time with their caregiver when compared to assisted living.

Disadvantages of Home Care

Home care is expensive and may cost you anywhere between about $3,300-$5,700 per month. Pay varies widely based on geographic location and type of care needed. That does not include adult day care services that your senior may or may not use during the weekdays.

Even though home care may give seniors privacy, it can be intrusive for other family members staying in the home.  Another disadvantage to home care is that you only have the support and assistance during the scheduled hours.

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