Frequently Asked Questions

Paying for In-Home Care

Medicare and traditional health insurance only pay for “skilled care”, this means that the care must be ordered by a physician, must be medically necessary, and must be monitored by a health care professional. In the case of Medicare, the patient must also be home-bound and unable to run errands, or engage in activity outside of the home. Medicare and traditional health insurance pays for very limited amounts of care, for very brief periods of time. Companion care and non-medical home care are typically not paid for by Medicare or traditional health insurance.

We have several of our clients who utilize Long-Term Care Insurance policies to help cover the cost of our services.  We specialize in helping our clients understand their policies and support them in the claims process.  In most cases long-term care insurance will pay for non-medical home care. Look at the policy for the person needing care. Call the customer service telephone number or call the agent that sold the plan. There is usually (but not always) an elimination period that must be met before long-term care insurance picks up the bill. Claims must be processed per the terms of the policy.

Home Care costs in the state of Texas vary based on the region, the schedule as well as the specific type of home care that is needed.  Homemaker services and home health aide services are built on the cost of paying competitive wages, covering insurance and other expenses.  Reach out today if you have any questions and want to get an idea of what specific pricing would be for your specific needs. 

In-home care services can be paid for in a variety of ways such as- using private funds, using long-term care insurance, using the proceeds from a reverse mortgage, and with funds from the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. In order to use any of these programs (aside from private funds) there are certain qualifications that must be met.

Private duty home care agencies will pay the caregiver directly. They will take care of taxes and insurance. You and your family will not be responsible for these items. If you use a registry, match-maker service or hire a caregiver privately, you will be responsible for taxes, insurance and other requirements. Make sure you know the laws that apply in your state.

Deciding on Types of Care Services

Here are some of the signs that an aging loved one may need some help at home.

  • Lack of housekeeping- dishes piling up in the kitchen, dirty floors, or large piles of unwashed clothing, general change in housekeeping habits.

  • Poor hygiene or change in personal hygiene habits. Wearing the same clothing for several days.

  • Bills not being paid.

  • Personal finances being neglected, checks bouncing.

  • Inappropriate clothing choices (not wearing a coat in cold weather, not wearing shoes, wearing heavy clothing during hot weather)

  • Confusion in the kitchen- not remember to turn off burners, leaving the oven on, leaving items in the oven and forgetting about them. Food being left out, leaving the water running.

  • General odd behavior – Odd conversations, signs of paranoia, accidentally taking too much medication, phone calls at odd hours, unusual fears and nervousness, all of these things may be signs that your parent needs help.

Home Healthcare services are typically medically necessary.  They are paid for by Medicare or other health insurance, and have been ordered by a physician. Private duty home care services are typically companion type services like errand running, light housekeeping, light meal preparation, medication reminders, light laundry, grocery shopping, transportation to MD appointments, going for walks, getting the mail and other non-medical activities. Private duty home care services are typically paid for privately, or using long-term care insurance, reverse mortgage proceeds, or Veterans aid and attendance pension benefits, or some combination of any of these programs.

Look for an agency that has a great track record, references, and referrals. Make sure employees are bonded and insured. Make sure the home care agency does national and local background checks on employees. Make sure the agency does a great job of matching the caregiver to the care receiver and make sure they have a back-up plan in case a caregiver gets sick, or doesn’t show up for their shift.

In home care keeps seniors safe in their own homes by providing care either hourly or live-in services. Most seniors would commonly prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Assisted living facilities are for aging adults who cannot manage their care at home.  Sometimes home is not the right or safest environment for a senior.  It must be evaluated on a case by case basis.  Assisted living facilities or in home care can both be great options for people who become confused easily and may wander or may need regular medication administration.

In-home care keeps seniors safe in their own homes by providing care either hourly or via live-in services. Most seniors would commonly prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Adult day care services also allow a senior to stay in their own homes, however, the senior leaves their home for the day and is cared for at an adult day center. This provides the senior with socialization, medication administration, and activities. Some seniors thrive in these types of environments. Some seniors may prefer to be in familiar surroundings during the day, and prefer to stay at home.

Differences in Home Care Services

Home Health Aides usually have more training (some are called CNAs or Certified Nurses Aides) and can provide some medical services as well as non-medical services (like bathing, light wound care, or blood pressure monitoring). Personal companions provide non-medical care like light housekeeping, light laundry, errand running, transportation, and light meal preparation.

Live-in care means that the caregiver lives in the home most of the week, and may only leave on their days off. They may be replaced by another live-in caregiver on their days off. They have their own bedroom, and sleep at night when the care-receiver is sleeping. Our private duty home care agency can provide live-in services and hourly services. Hourly caregivers do not live in the home. Hourly services may be more appropriate for seniors who need the companion or home health aide to be awake at night.

Typically live-in care is cheaper than paying for 24 hour care at an hourly rate. The average daily live-in rate for a home health aide or homemaker/companion is lower than 24 hours of care because in a live-in arrangement the caregiver is required to have 8 hours where they are off the clock and able to sleep.

At Your Side Home Care is an agency that provides more specialized training for their caregivers with regard to Alzheimer’s Disease. If your aging loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, At Your Side will be sure to arrange a home caregiver who has experience working with clients with dementia.  Additionally, all caregivers receive training, initial and ongoing, related to dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s care.

Respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members. Respite might be for a day, a week, or just a few hours. Most family caregivers need a break from time to time to take care of themselves and enjoy life. At Your Side Home Care provides various forms of respite care.  At Your Side also has no weekly or daily hourly minimums that allow for flexible respite schedules.

Safety with In-Home Care Services

At Your Side Home Care does a criminal background check on their employees, both state and national background checks.  At Your Side also does additional background checks for history of elder abuse. We also check references and perform regular background checks during our caregiver’s employment.  Our background checks are in excess of what is required by our state home care license.

Businesses that are “bonded” – typically those that work at your home – do background checks on employees. But bonding provides other protections, including coverage if the job is not completed. If the homeowner has missing or broken items like jewelry or other expensive items, they can make a claim on the bond and be compensated. Insurance, on the other hand, covers liability issues that may arise in the course of someone’s work. If a caregiver is injured in a fall, the agency’s insurance would provide compensation, not you or your insurance carrier. When hiring a contractor or business to do work in your home, ask if they are bonded and insured and ask to see the documentation that verifies it.

At Your Side Home Care is licensed by the state of texas in oder to operate a non-medical home care business. For some states this is only for Medicaid providers, while in other states every provider is licensed. 

From time to time caregivers may call in sick, have a flat tire on the way to work, or a family emergency that requires them to take the day off. At Your Side Home Care has schedulers on-call 24 hours per day 7 days per week to ensure that all shifts are covered.  We have a plan for backups in these situations to ensure our clients receive the care that they need.  

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