Live-In Home Care Vs. Assisted Living

We have addressed a number of care levels available to seniors in our recent articles – independent living, assisted living, and private duty caregiving. However, to this point, we’ve not yet mentioned “Live-in Home Care.

Live-in home care is a unique care situation where an agency will provide a person to “live” with your loved one. Of course the appeal with any ‘in-home care’ is that the senior is able to remain in their own home, which is something that appeals to a vast majority of seniors. There are also many things to consider with regard to your loved one’s healthcare needs, and if remaining in their home, even with someone living with them, is the best option. Keep in mind, there are usually quite a few ‘rules’ with agencies who provide ‘live-in’ aides. Some of these include: the caregiver must be able to sleep for a minimum of 8 hours per day, they must be able to have a ‘day off’ every so many days, they must be provided a private area in your loved one’s home where they are able to sleep, dress, etc. There may be other rules involved, but this can vary from one home care provider to the next. You’ll also want to inquire as to how you will be billed for this service.

It is also important to ask key questions before bringing a private duty caregiver into your loved one’s home. Do they background check and drug test their aides? Are the aides bonded and insured by the agency? Are they trained in first aid? How long have they worked for the agency? Can they provide names/contact information of families that have used the service in the past? What is the plan if the aide that is living with your loved one becomes ill and can’t work? What happens if the aide gets injured while on your loved one’s property?  Not all states require home care agencies to obtain a license to go in to business, therefore it is important to do your research before hiring this type of service.

Comparing this level of care to assisted living, where you have access to multiple aides around the clock, many of these single-aide concerns go away. And assisted living guidelines require the aforementioned items such as: drug tests, background checks, worker’s compensation to be submitted/provided to all employees.

If you’re considering either one of these levels of care, we would encourage you to read the following article, with advice from our Maplewood Senior Living Medical Director, Dr. Susann Varano. Also weighing in on this subject is Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh, Chief Experience and Memory Care Officer at Inspīr, the newest Maplewood Senior Living project, which is underway in Manhattan.

Click here to read the article in US World and News Report by Elaine K. Howeley.

As mentioned, in the article in US News and World Report, Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh mentions there are a “large” number of home care agencies out there. More specifically, there are more than 13,000 home care agencies in the United States. Many come in the form of franchise offices that have multiple locations around the country.

Considering Private Duty Home Care?

If private duty home care is something your family is considering for a loved one, you may want to ask the following questions when interviewing these services:

  1. Is the agency a franchise?
  2. Does the agency require their employees to be drug tested and background checked as a requirement for hiring?
  3. Does the agency offer worker’s compensation for their employees (this protects you if an aide is injured on the job in your loved one’s home)?
  4. How do they cover aides if the ‘regular’ aide is unable to come to work (due to illness or otherwise)?
  5. How soon will they be able to begin providing service for your loved one?
  6. How often will you be billed for your service and is there a deposit required to begin service?
  7. Do they have references that you can speak to about their services?
  8. Will they allow you to meet caregivers ahead of time, or do they provide an introduction at the start of service?
  9. How do they monitor that your loved one’s care needs are being met? Do they employ a quality assurance nurse or some other means of follow up/oversight?
  10. How do they ensure that the aides are arriving to work on time/staying for the entire shift?
  11. How does their pricing schedule look – do they offer lower rates for more hours of service? Are live-in rates less than hourly rates?
  12. If you need to reach the agency due to an emergency situation – do they monitor their phones around the clock, or do they utilize an answering service?

Considering Assisted Living?

Maplewood Senior Living Community Relations Directors are available to answer your questions regarding capabilities of our assisted living communities. Send us a quick note by following this link, and our Community Relations Directors will be happy to follow up with you to talk over the phone, or schedule an appointment to discuss options at one of our communities.

If you’re just beginning your search, click to download our tip sheet Top 12 Questions to Ask When Shopping for Assisted Living.

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