Moving On…

Megan PhotoWhen my husband and I started Capability Homecare back in 2008, I never imagined what an amazing and wonderful journey this would be. Throughout the years I have experienced firsthand the gratitude, joy and relief families have expressed as a result of our caregivers helping their loved ones. It’s been incredible seeing how even just a little bit of help can make all the difference in the world. I can’t tell you how many times we have heard the phrase ‘you guys are lifesavers’!

What a wonderful and rewarding career this has been!

But now it’s time for me to retire. Last March, Home Care Assistance acquired Capability Homecare- creating the largest home care provider on the Eastside. The Capability team (Director of Operations, HR Manager, Care Manager, Staffing Coordinators and Caregivers) all remain- and have joined with the Home Care Assistance team to change the way the world ages.

As for me, it is with heavy heart that I say goodbye. Fortunately, I’m leaving knowing that Capability Homecare (now Home Care Assistance) will continue to provide top notch service to seniors and their families in the Greater Seattle area.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my journey. I will miss you.

If you would like to learn more about Home Care Assistance, click here! And for even more info, check out their blog and a Facebook page!


People Are Talking…


People are talking about Capability Homecare– and we couldn’t be prouder! Here’s what they are saying…

“You matched my needs perfectly with choice of caregiver .”

“I was pleased with the quality of the caregiver. Most were able to step in and do anything that my husband needed. Some even helped with my tasks which I appreciated but did not expect. Caregivers were experienced and knew what to do when I didn’t. My husband was really struggling and this help was critical.”

“We were not expecting the excellent professionalism, energy and personality that our caregiver put out toward us. She contributed enormously to M’s dying in peace.”

“I appreciate the patience Mo and Laura had in finding the best person to care for my mom. I know it was challenging. I also appreciate the flexibility of care, it made it easier for me to be able to take mom to appointments.”

“Both caregivers were ever so gentle and efficient in caring for S. We highly recommend Capability Homecare and their caregivers to anyone in our situation.”

Capability Homecare was able to step in on short notice and the caregivers were fabulous with my aunt.”

“We mainly used one caregiver, K, who was always on time, cheerful, willing to help in any way she could, flexible and enjoyable.”

We love hearing from our clients- thank you for letting us know what we are doing right! If you need help keeping your loved one safe at home, give us a call 425 679  5770.


What is Live In Care?

What is Live in care?services_activities_image

Live in care is one of the most popular services we offer for those who need continuous help, but don’t want to live in a skilled nursing, assisted living or AFH. Live in care is a great solution for couples who want to remain together, or for anyone who wants to age in place. 

Why not just go to a nursing home? 

In a skilled nursing facility you have very little control over who the caregivers are, or what sort of schedule you are on. By receiving care at home- you are in control. You decide what to eat, when to sleep, when to bathe, what to watch on TV … it is all up to you- all in the comfort of your own home.

Most people do not want to live in an hospital like setting- they prefer the privacy, comfort and familiarity of their home. 


How much does live in care cost?

Live in care costs around $400 per day, depending on the level of care required- and with the stipulation that the caregiver gets 8 hours of sleep each night. 

What if the client needs to get up during the night? 
If the caregiver is called upon during the 8 hours of sleep time, then the client must pay an hourly rate for any amount of time the caregiver is working (for example, if they needed 10 minutes of help at 2am, the client would be billed for 15 minutes at $30/hour).  IF the caregiver is woken up many times and does not receive a minimum of 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, the client then must pay for all 8 hours of “sleep time” at the hourly rate of $30/hr for that portion of time.  This is in addition to the $400/day. This would mean if the client wakes up frequently, worse case scenario would be $400/day + 8 hours @ $30/hr = $590 per day.

The second option would be to do the live in as above, but also bring in an additional caregiver who would be awake throughout the night to assist the client as needed. This would be billed at 30/hour, but ensures the live in caregiver will get the required 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  $400/day + 6 hrs @ $30/hr.= $530 per day.

A third option would be if the client either does not have space for a caregiver to sleep, or they require around the clock care ( 2-12 hour shifts or 3-8 hour shifts daily).  Then all 24 hours of the day would be billed at an hourly rate ($30 – $34/hour depending on level of care required).  This option is certainly the most expensive for families running at a minimum of $720 to a maximum of $816 per day.

Wow, that sounds expensive! 

Yes, care can really add up, but keep in mind that care in a private room in a Skilled Nursing can be as much as $8000-15,000 a month*, and unfortunately Medicare does not pay for this- unless you have had a qualifying 3 night hospital stay** , and even then care is only covered at 100% for 20 days. 

Many clients have Long Term Care insurance that will help with costs. Capability Homecare can refer you to a trusted LTC agent if needed. 

Would it be the same caregiver all week?

Because of overtime laws,  there would be 3 caregivers who would share the duties. Each would work 3 consecutive days to maintain consistency. 

Where does the caregiver sleep?

The caregiver must have her own room for sleeping. 

What are some of the duties the caregiver would do? 

Caregivers assist clients in a variety of ways-

  • incontinence/ personal care 
  • bathing 
  • dressing 
  • ambulation/ fall prevention 
  • medication reminders
  • meal preparation, assistance with eating
  • housekeeping 
  • transportation
  • and more

Who are typical clients?

We assist seniors who have Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, Parkinsons, Cancer, COPD, heart failure,   MS and more.

We also help those who have just been discharged from the hospital or SNF.

There really is no such thing as a typical client, which is why we create a customized care plan for each client. 

This sounds great- how do I get started? 

Call our office today to get started- 425 679 5770. Our friendly staff will gather as much information as possible, then we will schedule a home visit to do a formal assessment. Once we fully understand your needs we will write up a detailed plan of care and schedule your personal caregivers. 



5 Ways to Prepare for Homecare

Once you’ve made the choice to provide in-home care for an elderly member there will be many things you need to take care of. At first, your decision may overwhelm you and create a lot of stress. But with a little knowledge and planning, some of this stress can be relieved. Here are some tips that will help you provide better and hopefully make the transition a pleasant experience for everyone involved:

Accept the Change

The very first step is to accept that there will be a change. Depending on the level of care there may be dramatic changes to your lifestyle, or negligible ones. Whatever the case may be, it is necessary that you accept and embrace the change that will soon be coming your way.

Keep Your Family Involved

Your decision to provide in-home care needs to be discussed with your family. The effects of ageing in an in-home care situation are very prominent, and will affect your family members in different ways. Take into account everyone’s opinions on the matter, so that you can prepare for any potential challenges. Make sure responsibility is divided equally so that no one person is stretched beyond their limits.

Eliminate Clutter

A messy environment in general makes it hard to get things done. This will become more of a hassle in an in-home care situation. Obstructed pathways and all round clutter pose challenges and risk the safety of your loved ones. Thus, a good way to prepare for in-home caregiving is to minimize clutter, and organize your surroundings. Having a neat space will make caregiving much easier for you, and will also be greatly appreciated by your elder family members.

Modify the Home

Sometimes, your home may need certain adjustments to make living more comfortable for your elder loved ones. Consider what modifications you may need, from installing a walk in-tub to investing in grab bars to promote stair safety.

Remember Yourself

Caregiving can take a toll on anyone. In the process of giving care, make sure not to neglect yourself. Caregiving is very demanding, even if you are helping your own family members. Neglecting oneself often happens subconsciously, but can have negative repercussions. As a care provider, it’s important to look after yourself so you are in the best condition to provide care for others. Remember to eat and sleep well, stay healthy, and take a break every now and then, giving yourself the attention and care you rightly deserve.

Keeping these things in mind will lessen the anxiety and stress that often accompanied in-home care giving in its initial stages. Ultimately, you will find that in-home care giving is a wonderfully fulfilling process – not only for your dearly loved elders, but also for you.

Written by Akshata Mehta, who has also written for Not Now Mom’s Busy, The Small FootPrint Family, Family Groove

Caregiver of the Month

imageWe are so proud of one of our amazing caregiver, Treicy, who won Evergreen Washelli’s caregiver of the month award. She was presented with a personalized plaque as well as a $100 Visa gift card!

Treicy said she has always wanted to help people and it makes her feel good to know she’s making a difference.

 She was selected because of her loving dedication to our clients. She serves as a live in caregiver, which means she actually lives in the client’s home and is available for them at any time. Not only is Treicy friendly and professional, but she goes out of her way to make sure that the client’s daily needs are met, including helping with bathing, personal care, medication reminders, preparing healthy meals as well as housekeeping.

Treicy takes her job very seriously. Her professionalism and amazing work ethic are some of her best qualities. She helps make Capability Homecare caregivers the best in the industry.

It has always been a dream of hers to become a nurse, and working as a caregiver and a CNA is the first step in her path to this amazing career. She serves all of our clients with a smile and a positive attitude, no matter the circumstances. She is eager to learn- and in addition to her professional training, she also enjoys doing research and further developing her skills and training as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Thank you Evegreen Washelli for this generous award and recognition!

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.

All You Need is Love

I was out to lunch with my children the other day- and as I sat and looked at them across the table my heart was literally filled with love.

Like bursting at the seams love.

I honestly didn’t know it was possible to love someone so wholly.

I looked at my kids and thought:

I love you more than anyone else in the world will ever love you-

I know you better than anyone else in the world will ever know you-

and I will always feel this way, no matter what.

It’s a pretty powerful love a mother has for a child. It’s also a reciprocal relationship. Despite my flaws, my children love me completely as well. In their eyes I am beautiful, smart, funny and kind.

I’m not sure why I’m writing about this love for my kids- except that in working with seniors and their families- we see this sort of love all the time. We see how even when children are adults and have families of their own- that love between a parent and child never fades.

We have a client who lives on Mercer Island. His daughter loves him so much- during our initial assessment, she ( a 50 year old woman) kept exclaiming ‘My dad deserves the best caregiver because he is the BEST dad in the whole world’. Her love for her father was bursting at the seams. She is so proud of him- and wanted to make sure we recognized what an incredible man he is.  Because of her unconditional love, she wanted the very best for him.

That is what separates Capability Homecare from the others.

We understand that love- and we take the time to get to know our clients. We treat them as if they are our parents- and we offer them the very BEST caregivers. Our standards are higher because we truly understand the importance of having the very best care for the one you love.  Nothing else will do.

If you have a family member who is in need of in home care, please call Capability Homecare today 425 679-5770.