Caregiver Corner: Finding In-Home Care
In-home care includes a wide range of services provided in the home, rather than in a hospital or care facility. It can allow a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia to stay in his or her own home. It also can be of great assistance to caregivers.
Not all in-home services are the same. Some in-home services provide non-medical help, such as assistance with daily living. Other in-home services involve medical care given by a licensed health professional, such as a nurse or physical therapist. Common types of in-home services include:
- Companion services: Help with supervision, recreational activities or visiting.
- Personal care services: Help with bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, exercising or other personal care.
- Homemaker services: Help with housekeeping, shopping or meal preparation.
Skilled care: Help with wound care, injections, physical therapy and other medical needs by a licensed health professional. Often times, a home health care agency coordinates these types of skilled care services once they have been ordered by a physician.
Determining who will provide home care is an important decision. For some, using a home health agency is the best choice. And for others, an individual care provider is a better fit.
The following steps can be helpful when trying to find the right care:
- Create a list of care needs and your expectations for how they will be met.
- Call home care providers and find out what help they offer and if it meets your needs.
- Meet with a prospective provider in your home for an interview; prepare questions beforehand.
- Check references; some agencies may conduct criminal background checks. Ask if these have been conducted.
Questions to Ask Potential In-Home Providers:
- Are you trained in first aid and CPR?
- Do you have experience working with someone with dementia?
- Are you trained in dementia care?
- Are you with an agency? (If important to you)
- Are you bonded (protects clients from potential losses caused by the employee)?
- Are you able to provide references?
- Are you available at the times needed?
- Are you able to provide back-up, if sick?
- Are you able to manage our specific health and behavioral care needs?
Costs for home care services vary depending on many factors, including what services are being provided, where you live, and whether the expenses qualify for Medicare or private insurance coverage.
For more help, guidance and referrals, visit www.alz.org/care or call your local Alzheimer’s Association at 800.272.3900.