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Home Care FAQs

Home Care FAQs

FAQs on Home Care and Staffing

Home Care is fast becoming the option of care for most people who suffer either from disease, illness, disability, injury, or old age. It is a preferred method of care compared to hospitals, since hospital admissions can come with astronomical costs and fees. Home care, on the other hand, as the name states, is when care is provided to you in the comfort of your own home, close to your family and friends.

TLC Nursing Associates, Inc. & TLC HomeCare services, Inc. has come up with a list of frequently asked questions with regard to Home Health Care in Vermont and New Hampshire, which is our primary service. Please read through the FAQs below to learn more about this care option.

What is home care?

In its truest meaning, home care refers to any type of care (medical or non-medical) that is provided to the patient in their home. In recent years, however, there has been a slight shift in using the terminology to emphasize non-medical care such as companionship/homemaking services or personal care services.

How does home care differ from home healthcare?

While home care can be used to describe both medical and non-medical care, typically home care refers to non-medical care such as companionship/homemaking services or personal care services, while home healthcare refers to the provision of skilled nursing care and other care such as speech, physical or occupational therapy.

Why should I choose home care?

Home care is delivered in the home and keeps families together.

When we are not feeling well, most of us ask to be home. We enjoy the comfort of our residences and the joy of being with our loved ones. When our loved ones are ill, we try to get them home as soon as possible. Home care is particularly important in times of illness when families desire to be near one another for support.

Home care is a comforting alternative to premature admission to a long-term care facility.

Since most people would prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible, home care can provide a level of service that is customizable to the client’s needs.

Homecare is safe and promotes healing.

Many risks, such as infection, are eliminated or minimized when care is provided in the home. There is scientific evidence that many patients heal faster at home.

Home care allows for the maximum amount of freedom for the individual and promotes continuity.

Patients at home can remain active in their customary daily routines while receiving one-on-one care and attention. The patient’s care is monitored by their own physician.

Home care is less expensive than other forms of care and is the preferred form of care.

If skilled care in not needed around the clock, home care can allow you to create a customized care plan that meets your needs and your budget. National studies have shown that 95 percent of those age 75 and older prefer to stay in their current residence for as long as possible.

Senior Living Options

There are now many options available when it comes to elder care and senior care. Options available for elder care or senior care include:

Home Care

In its truest meaning, home care refers to any type of care (medical or non-medical) that is provided to the patient in their home. In recent years, however, there has been a slight shift in using the terminology to emphasize non-medical care such as companionship/homemaking services or personal care services. Home health care typically refers to the provision of skilled nursing care and speech, physical or occupational therapy in the home environment.

Living Facilities

When a senior moves away from home for care, there are several options available today. Independent living facilities, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities offer living solutions for seniors who wish to move from their current living environment.

Multi-unit senior housing developments that may provide supportive services such as meals, housekeeping, social activities, and group transportation are considered independent living facilities. Also known as congregate housing, supportive housing and retirement communities, independent living facilities typically provide meals in a central dining area at a set time. The term may also be used to describe housing with few or no services, such as a senior apartment. Many seniors may make use of home care options while living in these facilities.

Assisted living facilities are a housing option for older adults who need some assistance with the activities of daily living, but do not require the kind of 24-hour nursing and medical care provided by a skilled nursing facility. Two-thirds of assisted living facility residents pay out-of-pocket for their expenses. In 2003, the national average base rate for assisted living facilities was $2,379 per month. Many facilities charge a base rate for facilities and offer services on an a-la-carte basis.

Skilled nursing facilities are an out-of-the-home care option for elderly persons who require continuous skilled nursing care. Often referred to as a nursing home, skilled nursing facilities can provide extensive care services such as intravenous feedings, blood pressure monitoring, medication administration, injections and care for patients on ventilators. In 2010, the national average cost of a private room in a nursing home was $229 per day – approximately $83,585 per year.

What is the average cost for a semi private nursing home room?

Nursing home and assisted living rates rose significantly from 2009 to 2010, according to the 2010 MetLife Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs. Private room nursing home rates rose 4.6 percent to $83,585 a year or $229 a day, while assisted living facility costs climbed 5.2 percent on average to $39,516 a year or $3,293 a month.

The average cost of home health care aides and adult day care were unchanged, after having jumped about 5 percent the year before. Home care aides still average $21 per hour and adult day care services remain at an average $67 per day.

The survey also reports on the cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home, which increased 3.5 percent to $205 a day, or $74,825 a year. The cost of a semi-private room in an Alzheimer’s wing actually dropped, from an average of $75,920 to an average of $75,190 annually.

Once again, the highest rates for a private nursing home room in 2010 were found in Alaska, where the cost is now $687 a day on average. The lowest rates were found in Louisiana (with the exception of Baton Rouge and the Shreveport area), at $138 a day.

The cost of assisted living was the highest in the Washington, D.C., area, at $5,231 a month and the lowest in Arkansas (except for Little Rock) at $2,073 a month. Average home health care aide services ranged from a high of $30 an hour in Rochester, Minnesota, to $14 an hour in the Shreveport area of Louisiana. Adult day care services were highest in Vermont at an average of $140 a day and lowest in the Montgomery, Alabama, area, at $31 a day.

Here in Rochester, NY, we see nursing home costs mostly between $350/day to $400/day, depending on the type of skilled care needed. What is clear, is that the cost of care continues to climb and, more and more, exceeds one’s ability to pay.

For the full 2010 report, including listings of average long-term care costs in selected cities, click here. (The report is available in PDF format. If you do not have the free PDF reader installed on your computer, download it here.)

What are ADLs and IADLs?

Activities of Daily Living or ADLs include the basic tasks essential for day-to-day functioning, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, mobility and toileting. Many seniors who require help with such activities are largely independent, but may require help with one or two ADLs. In some cases, intermittent help from a family member or friend may be all that is needed. However, in many cases, particularly when family or friends or unavailable and the importance of scheduling these activities is critical, informal care arrangements may not be adequate.

What ADLs and IADLs seniors require?

Many seniors require assistance with IADLs rather than with ADLs. Some seniors merely want someone to escort them when they are shopping and help them avoid any situations that might cause them to fall. Other seniors may welcome assistance with their bill paying and medical appointments.

TLC Nursing offers an array of companionship and homemaking services to assist our clients with the IADLs. Please contact TLC for your loved one today.

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