Above and Beyond


Sheila winning a door prize at the Alzheimer’s conference last year.

It’s important to highlight what makes Capability Caregivers so special. When you’re choosing someone to care for your elderly parents, it helps to know this person will go above and beyond what’s expected.


Take for instance our amazing caregiver Sheila.

Sheila has been caring for the same couple for over a year and a half. She provides live in care– meaning she spends 4 full days living in their home- helping them with day to day tasks (ADL’s) such as making meals, helping with bathing and dressing, personal care (assisting with toileting and catheter care) providing companionship and keeping them safe in their home.

She also takes them for walks, drives to doctor’s appointments, runs errands, takes out the trash, gets the newspaper each day, takes care of light housekeeping, keeps the kitchen stocked and more… all the tasks that we take for granted, but have to be done to keep our homes running smoothly.

Sheila has been a caregiver for 8 years- she is a trained CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and on her own time takes extra CEU classes to further her education and skill set. Last year I remember running into her at the Alzheimer’s conference- she had attended on her own so that she could learn more about caring for her clients.

Sheila says she loves working with Mr and Mrs S because she learns so much from them- they are interesting to talk to- and more importantly, they are still so in love with one another. Their love for one another brings a smile to Sheila’s face because she knows that she is helping them stay together in their home to live out their old age.

The hardest part of Sheila’s work day is recognizing that Mr and Mrs S both have dementia- and they are slowly slipping away from their former selves which makes Sheila sad.

Sheila’s passion is cooking- as was evident the day I went over to visit and interview her for this article. The house smelled delicious! She had prepared an omelet with green peppers, fresh cottage cheese with berries, sausage links, toast, coffee and juice (keep in mind she had no idea I was coming by, she cooks like that every day!).

What I noticed more than the amazing food- was that on the table were decorations for St Patty’s day. She had 4 leaf clovers scattered around, confetti strewn on the table, pictures of leprechaun and other little nick knacks on display. On a white board next to the table was written the day of the week, the schedule for the day and a little note reminding them that St. Patty’s day was coming up.

I asked Sheila about this- and she replied that she does this each month as a reminder to Mr and Mrs S about whatever holiday is coming up. It helps them stay in touch with the outside world and brings them a little joy. It also adds a festive element to their home- making it seem like a party every day!

I was so touched by this- because to me- it goes above and beyond what would be expected. She truly cares about Mr and Mrs S and treats them as if they were her own parents.  Her devotion to them is so evident in the loving way she cares for them. I know Mr and Mrs S (and their adult children) are grateful for all that Sheila does to help them live comfortably at home.

Sheila exemplifies the core values that we live by at Capability Homecare- honesty, integrity, empathy and compassion.


How Much Does Senior Care Really Cost?

As far as senior care goes, when it comes down to it- one thing people really care about is how much does it cost?
So today I want to share what senior care actually costs. All figures are averages– and depending on circumstances (level of acuity), cost can increase significantly. Rates were based on Genworth’s Annual Care Costs report.*

Homecare– (this is what Capability Homecare  provides)

  • Caregivers are assigned to a specific client and assist with medication, mobility, personal care (assist with toilet, catheter & ostomy care), bathing, meals & nutritiion, housekeeping, transportation, skin care, and ADL’s.
  • For 8 hours a day of service- it can cost around $240 a day (average cost is around $30 per hour, most agencies have a 4 hour per week minimum). Care can be short term or long term. Care is usually paid for privately or with LTC Insurance.

Assisted Living

  • Facilities that provide supervision or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs); coordination of services by outside health care providers; and monitoring of resident activities to help to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Meals, housekeeping and care are provided. Caregivers assist residents, but are not assigned one on one.
  • Depending on how much care is needed- costs can range from $6000 a month to upwards of $7000+. Memory care is often more expensive. AL is paid for privately or with LTC Insurance.

Adult Family Home

  • Homes that have been configured to provide housing, meals and care for between 2- 6 senior residents. They are often for people with dementia, but each home is very different and specialize in their own specific care.
  • Because there are so many homes in the Greater Seattle area, we recommend using a Placement Specialist to find the best fit for your specific needs.
  • Most homes have a home doctor/ or nurse practioner who regulary visit the residents (billing Medicare)
  • Cost can be around $6000- $7000 a month.

Skilled Nursing Facility

  • This is more of a hospital type setting. Often seniors will share a room with another person. There is a MD on staff as well as nurses, caregivers, social workers and rehab staff.
  • If there has been a hospital stay (with 3 midnights) Medicare will pay for services- for a limited time. Sometimes, after Medicare stops paying, people chose to continue on at a SNF and live in the Long Term Care wing. The average daily cost for private pay in a SNF is $320 (semi private) and $420 (private) a day.

Adult Day Care

  • Drop off daycare where seniors can socialize with other seniors, enjoy a meal and participate in an activity or outing. Seniors enjoy the companionship of other seniors and have access to staff.
  • Average cost of Adult Day Care is around $100 a day.

Home Health

  • Services include Wound Care, PT, OT, Speech therapy, Social Work and sometimes a bath visit. Clinician comes to the client’s home to provide services on a short term basis.
  • This is generally covered by Medicare- and must be received under doctor’s orders and meet certain requirements (patient must be considered homebound). Different than Homecare- but the two services complement one another and often get confused.


  • Must be determined by MD and meet certain criteria. Nurses and caregivers provide comfort care for terminally ill patients.
  • Medicare benefit.

Long Term Care Insurance

  • Often a great way to pay for many of these services. It does require advance planning (usually around 10 years), but can be a lifesaver if needed. Be sure to buy from a trusted agent and do your homework!

Elder Care Attorney

  • Speak to an Elder Care attorney who can help protect your assets and do long term planning for your estate.
For more information about any of these options, please call Capability Homecare. We have many trusted partners that we would be happy to refer you to. 

Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease

0039486-R1-018-7AThe Seattle Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Sept 20th. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness and help fundraise for this terrible disease. Capability Homecare will have a team there this year and we are looking for your support. Please consider joining our team- or donating! If you are interested, click here.

Many of you know that my grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s. Over a short period of time, the disease  took over her body and changed her into a stranger.

My family watched as this incredibly friendly, outgoing, social butterfly turned into a shy, frightened and sometimes angry old woman.

Her easy laugh was replaced by tears and her friendly smile was replaced by a look of confusion. She knew something wasn’t right in her brain- but became defensive and angry when she recognized that she couldn’t figure things out.

It was heartbreaking for our family to witness. We tried to be patient, tried to not get frustrated that she asked the same question over and over again, and we tried to calm her fears by keeping things familiar for her.

Eventually, her disease progressed to the point that it was more than we could manage and we needed to find help.

In home care is a great option for someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s.  Being surrounded by things that are familiar and comfortable can help reduce the stress and anxiety caused by memory loss. Capability Homecare offers live in or hourly care to help families keep their loved ones safe at home.

We can help with:

  • personal care
  • housekeeping/ homemaker services
  • transportation
  • meal preparation
  • life enrichment
  • personal safety
  • managing behavior
  • ambulation and mobility
  • companion care
  • To find out more about how we can help you or your loved one, call one of our care advisors today-

    425 679 5770.

Questions About Homecare

Q. Who uses homecare services?

A. Our clients are seniors who chose to live at home (age in place) but need assistance with activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, helping with getting in and out of bed, meals, housekeeping, transportation). We assist clients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia- or any other debilitating illness. We help people who are recovering from a major surgery. We work with hospice providing end of life care. Some clients are in a skilled nursing facility (or assisted living) but need extra care and will use our services.

We provide:

Q. How much do you charge?

A. It all depends on what services you need. Typically, prices range from $26-$28 per hour, depending on your level of need and if Nurse Delegation is required.

Q. I’ve heard other agencies don’t assign caregivers, what does this mean?

A. At Capability Homecare, we are experts in recruiting and staffing and we take great pride in matching caregivers to our clients so that a trusting relationships will be formed.

Some agencies simply send out whatever caregiver is available that day- so the client never knows who will be showing up and a trusting relationship is never formed.

Q. Couldn’t I just hire someone privately? Wouldn’t this be less expensive?

A. Hiring privately is always an option. However,  Capability Homecare performs extensive background checks (both national and local), reference checks and interviews- screening out anyone who might take advantage or abuse a senior.

Furthermore, if you hire privately, you would  be considered the employer and responsible for paying taxes and insurance. You would also be required to handle all scheduling- and in a crisis or emergency, you might be left without care. At Capability Homecare, if a caregiver has an emergency, or is ill, we are able to replace them and make sure you have the help you need.

Q. What if I only need care 1 day a week?

A. We will provide care for a minimum of 4 hours. Sometimes all you need is someone to come in to your home, clean your house, grocery shop and prepare meals and that’s it. We will cater our scheduling to match your specific wishes. Each person’s care plan is designed for their needs, and all plans are constantly reviewed and revised by our director- who is a Certified Senior Advisor.

Q. What qualities do you look for in a caregiver?

A. Our company is based on core values of honesty, trust and hard work. We look for those values as well as experience, empathy, and people who truly love seniors. We look for people who speak English clearly and communicate well. We have extremely high standards and only hire approx 10% of applicants.  We take great pride in offering the best caregivers in the industry.

Q. How are caregivers trained?

A. Our caregivers are Certified Nursing Assistants or have their Fundamentals in Caregiving certification. Many have additional certifications in specific areas such as dementia training. We require that they have hands on experience working with seniors.

Q. What sort of background checks do you do?

A. We do the following checks to ensure our clients are safe:

Washington State Patrol search
National Background checks that include State Courts, Dept of Corrections, Sex Offender Registries, Traffic Courts and County Criminal Courts
Motor Vehicle Reports
Washington State Dept. of Health credential verification
Employment verification and reference checks
Social Security number and work authorization verification

Q. Who pays for Homecare?

A. Homecare services are traditionally paid for privately. Because Homecare is considered non-medical is it private pay.  Some LTC policies cover it as well. For the most part, homecare is largely uncovered by Medicare.

Q. What sort of supervision/ oversight do you have for caregivers?

A. Communication is essential in building a relationship you can trust! Our caregivers are supervised by a Certified Senior Advisor- who regularly assesses and communicates with both the caregiver and the person receiving care (and/ or their family).  Once assigned a new client the caregiver undergoes orientation to learn about their specific needs and the care plan is carefully discussed. In addition, a notebook is placed in every client’s home that includes the care plan as well as a place to leave Care Notes after each shift. These notes are monitored by both the family as well as Capability staff. Furthermore, we have a telephonic system where the caregiver (or family) can leave messages with concerns or questions about the client. These messages are monitored and addressed daily. Our Director of Operations does unplanned home visits to check to make sure things are going smoothly- and to visit with our clients.

Q. What is Nurse Delegation?

A. Essentially, Nurse Delegation is when a RN delegates her skills (trains a caregiver to perform a designated task) to a caregiver (CNA) so that the caregiver can provide the services needed- for a much lower cost. See click here to learn more.

It is a cost effective option because instead of paying an RN’s hourly rate, the client can pay the caregiver rate and receive the same services. It is often used for administering medication, checking insulin levels, giving eye or ear drops, applying ointments, tube feeding, simple wound care or colostomy care as ordered by a physician.

In order to comply with State regulations, anyone needing Nurse Delegation does have to pay for an assessment by the RN before services can begin.

Q. What about Alzheimer’s Care?

A. Capability Homecare is passionate about working with clients with Alzheimer’s. Both our owner and our Director of Operations have personal experience with Alzheimer’s. Our caregivers are experienced and trained to work with clients who are suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Our goal is to keep seniors safe and in their homes as long as possible.

Q. What about Live In? What does this mean?

A. Many clients find that hiring a caregiver to actually live in their home is a better option than hourly care. Traditionally, 2 caregivers will work for the client- one will work 3 days on and the other will work 4 days. The client is able to stay home and age in place and someone is in their home at all times- providing care and companionship as needed. If someone is a fall risk, this is often the best way to ensure they are safe.

Q. I’m going on vacation and just want someone to stay with my mom for 1 week, is this possible?

A. Absolutely! That is what we are here for. Just call us in advance to give us time to find the best person to match your mom’s personality and needs.

Call us today at 425 679-5770, or check out our website for more information.