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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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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between home care and an assisted living facility?

There are several differences between home care and assisted living. Home care means hiring a trained professional to provide care right in your home, while assisted living involves moving to a community to receive similar care. The amount of assistance that home care provides depends on your senior's needs and can be tailored accordingly. Home care can range anywhere from weekly companionship and therapy to 24-hour skilled nursing care or even hospice. In contrast, assisted living provides seniors with an enriching community of their peers and medical attention as needed, making it a flexible option for many. 

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Due to our financial situation, I simply cannot afford to put my parents in a home, but having them live with me isn’t exactly ideal. Are there any other affordable options?

We realize that senior care communities can be costly, but there are a few things to be considered. Many healthcare providers will help offset the costs of moving to a senior care community. If that’s still not financially possible, look into having a home care aid come to your parents' house a few times a week. These home care aids can be hired through an agency or independently and can provide a variety of services to take care of senior loved ones. Don’t let money get in the way of providing the care your parents deserve.

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Finding the perfect senior care community is only part of making your loved one’s senior living transition smooth. At SeniorCaring, we know that it is also equally important to be aware of what other community services and resources are available to your family’s senior. Choose your location and find local resources for your senior.