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Choosing Senior Home Care

Mar 28

Senior home care Boston can help seniors live comfortably at home for longer, and can be an appealing alternative to other living arrangements such as retirement communities or assisted living facilities. It is also a good choice for older adults who may need assistance with their daily activities or to manage a serious health condition, but do not require the level of care provided by skilled nurses or therapy professionals.

Those looking for in-home care should start by getting referrals from family members, friends, and community organizations that provide services for the elderly. Often, a pastor or rabbi at a local religious community can offer recommendations, as can a social worker from an Area Agency on Aging. Some private insurance policies also cover home care services, so check with your insurer for details.

There are several different types of home care, ranging from personal companionship to private duty nursing. Non-medical agencies, also called home companion agencies, provide friendly caregivers who can assist with meals, household chores, and running errands. These services are not regulated or insured and usually are not covered by Medicare. In contrast, a home health agency provides a licensed nurse or other healthcare professional who visits the senior to help with tasks such as giving medication and wound dressings, as well as helping with bathing and grooming. This type of home health care is regulated and generally must be prescribed by a doctor.

When interviewing potential caregivers, be sure to ask about their experience and credentials. You should also find out if the agency conducts background checks on its employees and what kind of training it provides. Ideally, the agency should provide a full orientation and ongoing training for its caregivers, including how to handle emergencies like falls or fires.

A benefit of choosing a home care agency is that it can help you find caregivers who are familiar with your loved one's habits and needs. This can build a stronger bond and make it easier to accommodate special needs, such as memory loss. In addition, a provider that offers 24-hour home care can ensure that a caregiver is available at all times of the day and night, providing your loved one with continuous access to care.

Another advantage of using a home care agency is that it can be more affordable than other options, such as an assisted living facility or nursing home. In some cases, you can even deduct the cost of home care from your taxes if it is medically necessary and aligns with a doctor's plan of care. However, you must pay attention to the specifics of your state's rules and regulations, as they can vary significantly. The most important thing is to do your research and compare costs before making a decision.