At some point, you may find that you need home care services either for
yourself, a family member or a loved one.
While there are a lot of options, taking a few moments to do your research
will go a long way in gaining clarity and helping you and your family make
the best decision.
Each person has his or her requirements for the type of home care needed,
so it is essential that you gather information based on the following
1. Begin thinking about home care before your loved one needs it.
You don’t want to be put in a position where you’re reacting to sudden
problems. The talk is hard enough as it is sometimes, so the more priming
you can do before home care is needed, the less resistant your
loved one will be when the time comes.
You’ve been talking about it for a long time, so when the day does arrive,
there won’t be any surprises.
2. Consider your loved one’s specific needs.
While priming your loved one for the idea of home care, you should do
everything you can to ascertain what your loved one needs. Talk to him or
her about daily routines, if he or she experiences trouble in the mornings,
in the bathroom (either using the toilet or bathing) or in the kitchen.
Trust your eyes. How is Mom or Dad’s house looking? If it’s usually clean,
but the house now looks in bad shape, the laundry and dishes are piling up
and he or she is wearing the same things every day, that’s enough evidence
alone to know it’s time to consider home care services.
Don’t worry: A quality home care provider will complete a care assessment
and identify all your loved one’s needs. It’s helpful, though, to begin
thinking through this.
3. Identify reputable home care agencies
Look up ratings online because there are many resources available to attest
to the reputations of home care services.
is an excellent place to start, but don't let that be your only stop while
doing your due diligence.
Talk to friends, family. Word-of-mouth and personal experience are
valuable. Anecdotal evidence, in this case, is excellent if you have also
done your research online.
Selecting an agency for home care services must be an informed decision.
Contact local agencies and conduct interviews to learn more about each
agency and how they compare.
4. Financially planning for home care
The cost of home care services varies significantly by location. For
example, the average hourly cost of home care costs $16 per hour in
Montgomery, Alabama, but $23 per hour in Hartford, Connecticut, according
to the John Hancock 2016 Cost of Care Survey. So, know that where your
loved one lives will play a role in cost.
If you’re paying out of pocket, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance
can help, but they may still fall short.
Long-term care insurance
can address that gap.
If your loved one is a veteran, be sure to check in with the Department of
Veterans Affairs and explore any benefits that may help.
Finding the right home care service does not have to be a chore. With just
a little time and research, you will be able to identify an agency that
fits you and your loved one’s needs.
See our complete guide to paying for home care