Home care, home health and hospice allow for continued care at home
■ By Jared Harbin / Contributed
Aging and the health issues that come along with it are inevitable; however, it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge. Many options are available to make sure that in any medical situation, you can have the comfort of knowing that you or a loved one is taken care of.
One of the first steps in finding care is to understand the different levels of care that are involved in short and long term care assistance. Home care, home health, and hospice are three types of home-based care that allows independence to continue in a comfortable and familiar place.
Home care is one of the front lines of defense to maintaining a hygienic and safe environment for a struggling individual who does not need medical support. At the same time it provides seamless integration into working with home health and hospice, which both provide medically-trained staff.
Home care provides a professional caregiver to assist in the daily life of a patient. The services can range from light housekeeping, meal preparation and medication reminders, personal care up to and including bathing, dressing and incontinence care.
Some of the signs that more help is needed are simple things that could just be brushed off as a standard aging issue. They can be something small, such as not wanting to leave the home or bills starting to pile up, to something more pronounced such as not taking medications, depression, lack of personal hygiene or a fall. All of these can be seen as a bridge to talk about having extra help in the home when family is unable to do so.
Having home care is not about taking away independence but in actuality, allowing for independence in the home. When it comes to finding and hiring the proper caregiver there are some important things to know. There are three ways to hire professional caregivers:
Through companies that hire caregivers are employees.
Registry companies that hire caregivers as independent contractors.
Independent caregivers that you are able to find on your own such as through the newspaper, ads on the internet, family friends, etc.
Employee-based agencies have an office staff that hires, screens and trains the caregiver. The caregiver is bonded and insured, payroll taxes are covered and they have workers compensation insurance. If there are any performance issues, they are addressed and corrected by the office staff.
Registry agencies recruit and screen caregivers and refer them to potential clients. In most cases with independent contracting caregivers, whether from a registry or not, the client is seen as the employer of this caregiver. Client responsibilities can include managing the scheduling, dealing with performance issues, knowing the labor laws, on the job injuries, training, accounting for payroll taxes and more.
Independent contractors and registries are generally less expensive because they do not carry the burden to protect clients in many of the aforementioned areas.
Each type of care has its own benefits and disadvantages – all of which must be carefully weighed to determine which care is the right fit for your circumstance. You never know when the need will arise to have more support in the home but when you do, companies such as Home Instead Senior Care are there to help you decide which care is right for you.
Jared Harbin is the home care consultant for Home Instead Senior Care in the Hemet/ San Jacinto Valley area. His focus as a patient advocate is geared toward working with medical professionals to provide the necessary resources to help seniors receive the proper level of care needed. Home Instead Senior Care is located at 414 S Palm Ave. in Hemet and has been a trusted provider of care in the valley since 1999 and continues to support local healthcare systems and businesses through various programs. The office is available 24/7 for any questions or care needs at 951-929-1050.