What to Expect When You’re Expecting

what-to-expect

I would bet that most moms have read this book.  Back when I was pregnant it seemed like this was the ‘go to’ book to prepare for what was yet to come.  Personally, I remember reading and highlighting the pages, trying to ready myself for this enormous change that was about to happen to my life. I loved that book because it prepared me for the unknown. By the time my baby arrived I was armed with information- I was ready (or so I thought!).

On the complete opposite end of the life spectrum it seems like we are less and less prepared for growing old. It’s almost as if aging sneaks up on us. Maybe it’s denial that it’s happening, or maybe it’s because we are so busy thinking about everything else- but it seems like we could use a “What to Expect When You Grow Old” book?

If I were to write such book, I’d include a chapter on what to expect when hiring homecare. Hiring help in the home can be a wonderful way to ‘age in place’. People can receive care similar to what they would get in an Assisted Living, but in the comfort of their own home. And as with any new thing, it’s helpful to know what to expect.

Below are my top 10 tips on – “what to expect when hiring homecare”.

  • 1.Expect a to have an assessment the homecare agent will spend a couple of hours asking questions and gathering information on what exactly the client is looking for. They need all of this info so that they can then write up a plan of care tailored to the particular client.  This is also a great opportunity for the client to get to know the homecare agency. They can ask questions and learn more about who they will be working with.

 

  • 2.Expect several days between the assessment and when care actually starts. Many people assume that caregivers are available at a moment’s notice, but this is unrealistic. In some emergency cases agencies will be able to provide a caregiver with little notice, but for most clients finding the right caregiver, who has the appropriate skill set and availability, may take time. We’ve had clients expect care immediately- and when we aren’t able to provide that they move on to another homecare agency- only to have the exact same situation. Be patient… we want to make the best possible match and that might take time- but it will be worth the wait.

   

  • 3.Expect communication– the homecare company should communicate with you on who will be caring for you or your loved one. They should also communicate to you any changes in scheduling or concerns the caregiver has about the client’s health or status. They should be available 24/7 to answer emergency calls.

 

  • 4.Expect trained caregivers who are certified nursing assistants. If you are receiving 24 hour, overnight or live in care- expect that there will be more than one caregiver caring for you. It is impossible for one person to work that many hours!

   

  • 5.Expect the agency to do all they can to provide consistency. Expect that sometimes the same caregiver might not be available (people do get sick or have emergencies), but expect the agency to have a back up caregiver to provide service.
  • 6.Expect that homecare is paid for privately- or with long term care insurance.  Unfortunately, it is not covered by Medicare.

 

  • 7.Expect that the caregiver might not look busy 100% of the time. Many people hire caregivers to assist them with their daily needs and help with light housekeeping or transportation- but there will be some down time when the housework is done and the client is asleep or comfortable. The caregiver may be reading a book or watching TV. They are there and ready to assist as needed- but know that they may not look busy all of the time.

   

  • 8.Expect to be able to make changes to the schedule– you decide how much care you want, when you want it. Most agencies have a 4 hour minimum- but otherwise it is up to you to decide how much care is necessary.  As a courtesy, if you are cancelling care- you should call at least 24 hours in advance avoid being charged.

 

  • 9.Expect that English may not be the first language of the caregiver. In our 9 years of providing care we have found that some of the best caregivers were born in different countries. However, it is always our goal to hire people who can communicate clearly.

 

  • 10.Most of all, expect compassion, professionalism and respect. Expect a relationship you can trust. 

Knowing what to expect when hiring homecare can help alleviate any concerns. Having a realistic view of what to expect makes the whole process much smoother. 

Please let us know how we can assist you or your loved one. Capability Homecare strives to be an industry leader in providing safe, compassionate care in the home.

Call us today 425 679 5770.  

People Are Talking…

whisper

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. 

sources:
*http://www.skillednursingfacilities.org/resources/nursing-home-costs/

**https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/skilled-nursing-facility-care.html

Above and Beyond

Sheila

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.

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

Top 10 Did You Know?

Homecare services can be confusing sometimes, so today I want to share with you 10 things that you may not know about Capability Homecare.

  1. Did you know that if you have an elderly parent that you take care of- and you need to go out of town- Capability Homecare can provide caregivers to stay with them to ensure they are safe and well cared for in your absence?
  2. Did you know that almost 1/3 of our clients are on hospice care? Capability Homecare can be with the patient 24/7 to help support the hospice team and provide care during those critical times?
  3. Did you know that if your elderly parent is recovering from a surgery or procedure (hip replacement, knee replacement, mastectomy, back surgery…) and need help for those first few weeks, Capability Homecare provides caregivers to assist through the recovery process?
  4. Did you know Capability Homecare provides live in caregivers? Caregivers stay overnight in your loved one’s home and are there 24/7 to assist with whatever they need. This is a great alternative to moving into an Assisted Living and perfect for couples who want to stay together.
  5. Did you know that Capability Homecare offers Nurse Delegation? This is a much more affordable way to have skilled services!
  6. Did you know that Capability Homecare provides help for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s? If couple wants to stay together (instead of one moving to memory care) we have experienced caregivers who can assist with the day to day needs.
  7. Did you know Capability Homecare offers FREE online training for families who are caring for a loved one? It’s so easy- just log in and learn.
  8. Did you know that Capability Homecare helps with tasks such as light housekeeping and grocery shopping? We even can make meals to last all week!
  9. Did you know we pride ourselves on having a diverse office staff that can truly relate to our clients? Our internal staff have over 60 years of combined experience! We aim to always provide exceptional caregivers that enrich the lives of our clients.
  10. Did you know Capability Homecare is locally owned and operated- and not part of a franchise? We’ve been in business for over 8 years and are proud of the excellent reputation we have built!

Call us today to find out how we can help you! 425 679 5770