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Home care in Washington is designed to provide seniors with a range of care options from the comfort of their own homes. Generally speaking, nurses, physician’s assistants, physical and occupational therapists among others are able to administer medical attention and services. Health aides, personal care attendants, homemakers, or companions provide more general caregiving services like hygiene assistance, general shopping, medication management, and transportation. Currently, there are about 347 home health care agencies in Washington and the average monthly cost is around $4,576.
When seeking a home health care aide or homemaker for you or your loved one, it’s important to understand one’s individual needs for care. Most of the time, licensed medical professionals work under the direction of a physician, with non-medical paraprofessionals working alongside other professionals.
Home care in Washington can provide services such as housekeeping, general shopping, and medication management, to full-on nursing care and medical attention. Depending on what will be required on the job, the cost of this care will vary from each city to the next.
There are a number of cities throughout WA that have senior home care agencies but for the major cities, the median monthly cost ranges from:
City Homemaker Services Monthly Costs Home Health Aide Monthly Costs Bellingham $4,242 $3,718 Bremerton n/a $4,767 Kennewick $4,528 $4,528 Mount Vernon $5,339 $5,339 Olympia $4,385 $4,385 Seattle $4,954 $5,148 Walla Walla $4,607 $4,607 Yakima $4,607 $4,607 Rest of State $4,767 $4,767
There is an almost endless supply of activities available for seniors in Washington. There are senior centers throughout the state that provide senior-oriented activities such as senior sports, games, dancing, and technology help. Specialized senior trips are also available, near or far, to places such as the Chihuly Garden of Glass, Manito Park, or Benaroya Hall.
Washington’s climate varies between the regions east and west of the Cascades. West of the Cascades has mild, humid summer days and mild winters with clouds, rainfall, and fog. The east has warm summers and cool winters with large amounts of snow and little rain. On average across the whole state, the summer high temperature is 79 degrees and the winter low is 29 degrees. Over 135 days of measurable precipitation, 37 inches of rain and 17 inches of snow can be expected annually. Those numbers can be drastically different depending on the region of the state. In terms of humidity, WA can be uncomfortable at times. Light to medium weight clothing should be worn during the summer and warm, heavy clothing for the winter. Raingear is needed quite often during different parts of the year.
Washington’s culture is influenced by the diverse cultures of the people that live there. There are large numbers of Asians, Scandinavians, Native Americans, and Hispanics. The state is also important because it is a major port for Pacific Ocean trade. Many of the towns in Washington State exist because they revolve around the agriculture, fishing, or timber industries. The outdoors play a major role in many of the resident’s lives either in a recreational or work-related manner. The nature in the state is beautiful and it is important to the people that live there. Residents are known to be rather stubborn, but also easy going and progressive. The state is known for being a social policy trendsetter especially with the case of marriage equality and the legalization of cannabis.
Washington has a higher than average rate of property crimes, however, its violent crime rate is less than elsewhere in the U.S. Finding home care in Washington can be an easier process once you learn which areas are considered safer than others. Additionally, a safe environment will provide caregivers, their patients, and family members peace of mind. Here are some of the safest places in Washington:
Location Violent Crimes Per 1,000 Residents Property Crimes Per 1,000 Residents Dupont 0.52 5.03 Moxee 0.26 6.86 Mattaw 0.89 6.69 Sammamish 0.16 7.57
As determined by federal legislation (42 CFR 484.36), each Medicare-certified home health agency may only employ home care professionals who meet the state-approved training program requirements.
These regulations ensure that each medical professional or non-medical paraprofessional in the state of Washington has received a federal minimum of 85 hours of training, including 16 hours of supervised practical training and an additional 12 hours of training every following year.
Paying for home care in Washington can be achieved in several ways, each based on what can work the best for your unique situation.
Firstly, Medicare only covers medically-necessary home health care, excluding non-medical home care and other forms of assistance. Most people use Medicare to help with their copayments and deductibles.
In many cases, seniors will choose to pay privately using their own savings, assets, or pensions. It's also possible to pay using a reverse mortgage, opening a home equity line of credit, or by converting a life insurance policy into cash.
If you are a U.S. veteran you may be eligible to receive full coverage for home care, and other means of assistance by using the Improved Pension or Homebound and Aid & Attendance Pension. Contact your local Veteran's Association or you local Area Agency on Aging for more details.
Finally, Medicaid is an insurance program for low-income seniors and their families that can be used to pay for non-medical home care, home health care, and other home support programs. Medicaid rules are state-specific so your eligibility and benefits will change based on location. Keep in mind that care received outside of a nursing home is generally referred to as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS).
While receiving home care in Washington you must be made aware of the rights you retain as a patient. Your caretaker must respect your personal privacy and property at all times as well. Notably, you are entitled to choose our own home health care agency and which services are to be provided.
Remember, you retain your Constitutional rights and those afforded to you by the Bill of Rights. If there comes a point where you are unable to make decisions regarding your own care, you may entrust this responsibility to a family member or a legal representative. Don't hesitate to contact a lawyer if you believe a violation has been made.
While receiving home care or any other medical service in Tennessee, your rights to obtain written or digital copies of your medical records is possible via written request. It is a common misconception that this information cannot be released to you due to privacy laws.
Additionally, healthcare providers must provide you with your information under 30 days, or issue a statement as to why the delay/denial of your request has occurred. To make any corrections or amendments to these records, contact your health care provider.