Paying for Home Care
Medicare & Medi-Cal
Medi-Cal Insurance Does Not Help.
In our society, what is referred to as “private duty home care” is considered non-medical, as opposed to “home health,” which includes skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. That means that private duty home care is not covered by Medicare or other forms of medical insurance. Long-term care insurance and workers’ compensation insurance may cover part or all of your home care needs.
In many cases, home care is as vital to the well-being of our clients as a visit from a nurse, because the activities of daily living (ADLs) which we support are necessary if a person is to successfully live at home. We can provide assistance with eating, dressing, toileting, transfers from bed to chair, as well as assist with many other needs.
Home care that is not covered by either long-term care insurance or workers' compensation insurance must be paid for by the individual, his or her family or other party. Your billing options of payment by invoice, ACH or credit card will be discussed during the in-home care assessment.
Long-Term Care Insurance
In most cases, private duty home care translates to private pay home care with families looking to their own resources to pay the cost. Fortunately, an increasing number of our clients have obtained long-term care insurance policies which provide a great deal of support toward the cost of in-home care, as well as, if needed at some point in the future, assisted living facilities. There are many good sources of information on the internet concerning long-term care insurance. One consistently good source is AARP. You can start with their basic page on long-term care.
Veterans' Aid and Attendance Benefits
A second important source of financial support for in-home care for some of our clients is Veterans' Affairs Aid and Attendance Benefits. The Aid and Attendance Benefits program reimburses clients who qualify a significant portion of home care costs. The process for applying for the benefits is a bit complicated and lengthy but it can be well worth it.
For help with the process, every county in California has an officer in charge. You can find your contact through the website of the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers.
There are obviously other sources of income for seniors who want to “age in place” in their homes, including reverse mortgages, and so forth, but long-term care insurance and Aid and Attendance are the two every senior and every family should look at – whether it is for a senior today or planning for home care in the future.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Care Agency
Are the Agency’s Caregivers Bonded and Insured?
The company you choose to work with your family should have professional and general liability, bonding and worker’s compensation coverage. Many home care agencies have only minimal coverage and some none at all. Ask the agency you wish to work with to provide a Certificate of Insurance showing their insurance coverages.
How Extensive Are the Agency’s Criminal and Background Checks?
You want only the most ethical, skilled and compassionate caregivers in your home. It is important that the agency run a complex multi-state check on all the places the caregivers have lived, their driving records and reference checks from previous employers. Live Well at Home conducts the background checks listed as well as completing a pre-hire physical and drug and TB screens.
Is the Agency Licensed by the State?
Yes! California recently required that ALL home care organizations be licensed. To learn more about California Home Care Consumer Services Protection Act AB1217 click here.
How Qualified Are the Agency’s Caregivers?
We hire only professional caregivers that you can count on and that we trust enough to care for our own parents. All Care Pros are employees of the Honor Care Network, thoroughly screened, background checked, licensed by the Home Care Services Bureau, trained, and managed by Honor, our care partner. And we always treat our Care Pros with respect—and give them the support and tools needed to be successful: because we believe happier caregivers provide better care.
Will the Same Caregiver Come to the Client’s Home on a Regular Basis?
It is difficult to receive good care if different caregivers show up every week. A good home care provider will always strive for continuity of care and carefully match each client with the proper caregiver. In cases where we provide extensive hours of care we will usually suggest two caregivers so that our caregivers can work as a team and we can manage the continuity of care. We will work with the client and family to find the right Care Pro for the services requested.
How Does the Agency Select Caregivers and What Kind of Initial Training and Ongoing Training Do They Provide?
An agency should have an extensive and detailed plan regarding their hiring process. It should include pre-screening, interviews, reference checks, and an independent background check. The agency should also have an initial comprehensive training program that is required and a training manual to support this education. Because advances are being made every day, agencies must have required annual training to ensure all caregivers are compliant with new information. Additional training should be offered in Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease care for their caregivers.
How Would a Complaint or Question About Service Be Handled?
A reputable agency will provide you with a detailed process for dealing with complaints or service questions. All clients should be given the agency contact person and phone number to resolve any concerns that may arise. If you have any issue with services at Live Well at Home, please contact us as soon as possible so we can resolve the situation.
What Procedure Is in Place to Handle Emergencies?
Emergencies can happen and a quality agency will have policies, procedures and plans in place to deal with emergencies if they do occur. The agency employees will be thoroughly trained in how to respond to any serious situation. You may want to test an agency you are considering to find out how they handle after hours calls. Live Well at Home by Eskaton and Honor, our care partner, both answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are always available in case of an emergency.
Can the Agency Provide Printed Materials Describing Service Rates and Fees?
An agency that provides detailed, carefully considered materials for your review has gone the extra mile in other aspects of its business. The information should include rates, minimum hourly requirements, billing cycles and any required deposits.
Is the Client’s Course of Care Documented in a Custom Care Plan?
A reputable agency will create an individualized plan of care for each new client. The plan of care should be carefully and professionally developed with the client and family members. The care plan should be written and a copy left with the client. The plan should list specific duties, work hours/days, and the name and phone number of the supervisor in charge. The care plan should be evaluated, updated and revised as the client’s needs change.
The Advantages of Hiring Live Well at Home vs. a Private Caregiver or Registry
Once you have made the decision to provide your loved one with in-home care, the next step is to decide between hiring a private caregiver, using a “registry” to find a private caregiver or a professional caregiver employed by a home care agency like Live Well at Home. For many, knowing that an agency, Live Well at Home, is handling the financial, legal and regulatory issues provides complete peace of mind. There are several reasons why using a registry or hiring private home care can end up costing you more.
Proper hiring and management of an in-home caregiver involves a tremendous investment of time and responsibility. Live Well at Home and Honor both have the experience and expertise required to handle every issue associated with at-home care. For a complete discussion on the topic, download our data sheet.
Caregiver and Client Matching – Finding the Right Solution
Live Well at Home knows that the key to success in selecting an in-home care company is trusting that the agency will find the “right” caregiver to come into your home and care for your loved one.
With Live Well at Home, you can rest assured that we do everything possible to ensure that your loved one’s care is a pleasant experience. The system of matching clients to caregivers takes numerous factors into consideration: services and skills needed for your loved one’s care needs and the personalities of both your loved one and the caregiver.
Many factors are considered in matching the ‘right’ caregiver to your loved one:
Providing Consistently High Quality In-Home Care
To ensure your loved one always receives the highest level of care possible, Live Well at Home makes regular unannounced visits to your loved one’s home. To provide you with additional peace of mind, our private in-home caregivers keep extensive notes about the care they provide which are available to all family members immediately after each shift on the Family Portal.
What Is a Custom Care Plan?
Caregiving for a loved one can take its toll and change the dynamics of a family. Perhaps you are considering getting assistance to help your loved one with everyday tasks, but you are concerned that an in-home care company might not offer the care your loved one needs. Our Custom Care Plans provide the right mix of services to enhance the quality of life of your loved one as well as helping to maintain your loved one’s independence.
Developing Your Custom Care Plan
From the moment you contact Live Well at Home, we begin considering you and your loved one’s particular needs. During your first call with our office, we will ask questions to help us begin forming the needs assessment.
Following the initial call, we will set up an in-home visit with you and the rest of your family – including the family member for whom you are seeking care. This in-person visit by one of our Care Team members allows us to learn more about your loved one’s needs, answer questions you may have and assist you in understanding how Live Well at Home can help.
Following our initial in-person meeting, we develop a Custom Care Plan. This plan is tailored to your loved one’s specific needs. With Live Well at Home, you will always know what services are being provided to your loved one.
Understanding the Different Types of Home Healthcare
While many people use the term home care or home health care, many times there is confusion as to exactly what the differences are. Home health care is prescribed by a doctor and usually paid for by Medicare. It is conducted by a nurse or home health aide and is usually a “visit” to your home. Home care is not prescribed by a doctor and is usually paid for by the client, their family or a long term care insurance policy. Home care caregivers provide support such as occasional transportation to medical appointments or assistance during the night or on weekends. Perhaps you are concerned about safety, companionship and emotional support. Maybe your family members need respite from caregiving duties or care while they are out-of-town. In any case, Live Well at Home can assist you with all your home care needs.
Family Learning Center
Our Family Learning Center was designed specifically to educate and ease the burden for family caregivers. It contains over 40 hours of interactive online training and covers just about every situation you might face.
Here is a sampling of courses you can find in our Family Learning Center:
Human Needs and Development
Handling Difficult Situations and Behaviors, Part 1
Handling Difficult Situations and Behaviors, Part 2
Emergency First Aid: Burns and Poisons
Emergency First Aid: Heart Attack and Shock
Emergency First Aid: Choking and Falls
Emergency First Aid: Stroke and Wounds
Elimination and Toileting
Providing Skin Care
End of Life Care
Assessments and Care Planning
Signs and Symptoms
In their Shoes: A Person’s Perspective
What Families Should Know
Daily Care Skills
Practicing Good Hygiene
Environment is Important
Creating a Calming, Restful Environment
Preventing Weight Loss
Improving Diet & Nutrition
Challenging Behaviors: Prevention
Challenging Behaviors: After an Event
Managing Pain & Non-verbal Cues
More Resources for You and Your Family
There is no such thing as too much information when caring for a loved one. Live Well at Home believes these links can provide even more information to assist you and your family in caring for the needs of your loved one:
CAHSAH is dedicated to being the preeminent source of advocacy, education and information reflecting the full diversity of the home care industry.
National Aging in Place Council
The National Aging in Place Council® is a senior support network. NAIPC® was founded on the belief that an overwhelming majority of older Americans want to remain in their homes for as long as possible, but lack awareness of home and community-based services that make independent living possible.
Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research
ARTZ – Artists for Alzheimer’s
Focusing on art allows people with Alzheimer’s to experience something beautiful and meaningful, without testing areas of the brain that have been affected. ARTZ mission is to enrich the cultural life of people living with dementia.
Parkinson Association of Northern California
1024 Iron Point Rd. Ste.1036
Folsom, CA 95630
Area 4 Agency on Aging
For 40 years, Area 4 Agency on Aging has helped older adults live as independently as they can, with safety and dignity.
We are a leader on aging issues, an advocate for all seniors in our area, and a major funding source for local organizations that provide services to seniors and their family caregivers.
Area 4 Agency on Aging serves the seven counties of Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba. We encourage you to explore our site, whether you are a senior, a family caregiver, or an interested professional.
Mesothelioma Veterans Outreach
Our Mission – No one gets left behind. To that end, we strive to provide veterans diagnosed with any asbestos illness the best information, advice and assistance we possibly can. From filing for VA Disability Compensation, to helping veterans find the best medical treatment, we never stop fighting.
Bereavement Network Resources of Sacramento, Inc
PO Box 660365, Sacramento, CA 95866-0365
Purpose: To promote effective healing from loss through education, information, referral and support.
Bereavement Outreach Programs
Purpose: To offer an opportunity to deal with loss from death through education, sharing, and peer support. Classes/programs are facilitated by program volunteers of Bereavement Network Resources (BNRS) and may be assisted by other volunteers from Bereavement Outreach Program.
- AARP Caregiving http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/
- Geriatric Mental Health Foundation http://www.gmhfonline.org/gmhf/
- Administration on Aging http://www.aoa.gov/
- American Association for Respiratory Care https://www.aarc.org/
- American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
- American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/
- American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/
- American Hospice Foundation http://americanhospice.org/
- American Lung Association http://www.lung.org/
- American Society on Aging http://www.asaging.org/
- American Stroke Association http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/