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.  

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.

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.

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!

Client Profile, John & Ann

John and Ann* have been clients of Capability Homecare for over 2 years. They are a sweet couple who never had any children of their own. As they have grown older, and Ann has had some health problems, they decided to hire Capability Homecare to provide Live In Caregivers to help them Age in Place.

They decided that rather than move to an ‘old folk’s home’, they would rather stay in the home they lovingly built 40 years ago. It’s a serene place, on a quiet road and backs up the a river. Sitting on their deck, listening to the sound of the water while watching the wildlife is a large part of their lives- and giving that up is inconceivable.

So is moving away from their neighbors.  They love the comfort and security of knowing everyone around them. It’s a safe and familiar place. Yet they are unsafe all alone. It is essential that they have help.

Ann uses a lift to help her transition from chair to bed- (and vice versa) and a caregiver trained in using lifts is essential- John is 80 years old, it would be impossible for him to help his wife every time she wanted to move.

Furthermore, they can no longer cook their own meals, clean their house, or take care of personal needs. Having a live in caregiver allows them the luxury of having every need met- within the comfort of their home.

Their caregiver feels like part of the family, she truly loves them- and would do anything for them- including staying at their home during the snowstorm and power outage.

Although it was difficult to actually get to their remote house, the owner of Capability Homecare was able to drive the caregiver to work, as well as bring a load of camping supplies to help keep them comfortable.

He brought a camping stove, heater, lanterns, food and other provisions. The entire journey took well over 2 hours. But, unlike some companies who actually charge their clients for this extra time and effort- it was (of course) free to our clients. To us, charging for that extra service is unthinkable- we were simply doing the right thing- taking care of our client in need.

That is what Capability Homecare is built on- the core belief that you simply do the right thing- no matter what.

Please call Capability Homecare today if you or your loved needs care in the home. 425 679-5770, or check out our website.

*Client’s names have been changed