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The Growth and Need for Good Home Care



Aging at home is the preference for most seniors as it enables them to stay in a familiar home environment as they grow older. The main advantage to aging at home is that it allows one to keep some continuity that is both comforting and a strong part of our personal identity. The home we’ve lived in may carry years of happy memories as well as the household and personal items that are linked to our life’s journey.


Regardless of how independent and capable we have been in life, there comes a time when some extra assistance is needed in terms of personal care and long-term care, as chores and daily living activities may become burdensome or challenging. Certainly, we don’t wish to sacrifice our health and well-being as we age, but rather keep the standard of living that gives us the basic needs and lifestyle to keep us happy and content.


Getting some extra help from friends and family is important but for many seniors, they need a dedicated caregiver that can provide in-home health care. Whether it’s a few hours a day or even permanent in-home care, there are professional caregivers available and ready to help.


Finding the proper caregiver to provide in-home assistance can be daunting, but there are certain steps you can take to finding the right in-home care you need. Finding an in-home caregiver can be done one of two ways: hiring someone privately or going through a home care agency. Hiring an in-home caregiver through an agency is usually more expensive; however, most seniors prefer to use an in-home care agency as they do almost all the required legal paperwork (including payroll taxes and background checks) involved in employing a home health caregiver.


In this article, we’ll share 4 important steps to finding the in-home care agency that is right for you:


  • Talk to Your Doctor, Family, and Friends

  • Assess Your In-Home Care Needs

  • Know Your Budget

  • Finding In-Home Care Agencies


Talk to Your Doctor, Family, and Friends




A first step to finding the right help is to speak openly and honestly with those who know and care for you. It’s important to get honest feedback about what type of personal care and long-term care you need, from the people you trust so that you can get the right kind of help and assistance. Your doctor will confirm the type of medical-related assistance you should have and can give you exact directions you will be able to give to the caregiver. Also, they will likely have some interaction with the caregiver in the future so it’s best to involve your doctor right from the beginning of the process.


You may already be getting some caregiver assistance from family or friends so it’s important to understand whether they will continue to provide the same amount of assistance or if a new caregiver will be taking over some tasks. Coordination may be necessary at the beginning as a new caregiver gets involved so again, family, and friends will be helpful during this process.


As well, family and friends may give you some insight into areas you might not have thought of or noticed in terms of getting help. The overall upkeep of certain housekeeping tasks, personal hygiene, errand running, etc. might have been lacking but we might not have noticed how much. Again, this is where feedback and advice from loved ones can help give us a realistic idea of the kind of help we may need.


Assess Your In-Home Care Needs





Once you’ve spoken to the people you trust and know, it’s time to write down exactly what kind of help you will need, as well as how often you will need assistance with those tasks.


Going through the activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) will help pinpoint and define where you need assistance from a caregiver.


Basic ADLs are self-care tasks that include:



  • Personal hygiene and grooming

  • Bathing and showering

  • Getting dressed

  • Toilet hygiene (using the toilet)

  • Mobility (getting around the home for everyday activity)

  • Eating (self-feeding)


IADL activities let you live independently in a community. They are the tasks involved with completing the following types of activities:


  • Shopping (groceries, drug store, personal items)

  • Light housekeeping (laundry, dishes, vacuuming/dusting)

  • Accounting (banking, paying bills)

  • Food preparation (cooking meals)

  • Medications (administering and organizing/managing medications)

  • Telephone (communication via phone effectively)

  • Transportation (getting to your appointments, obligations)

Know Your Budget



Knowing how much you can afford to pay for caregiving assistance is important to know before you approach an in-home care agency. Explore what sources of money are available to you so you have an idea of how much you can spend on caregiving services. With a tight budget, there may be ways to get some additional funds. If you have certain medical requirements you may be eligible to get coverage from Medicare, Medicaid, other health insurance, or long-term disability insurance if you have any. Your doctor will be able to confirm this with you when you speak with them. Talk to your family and see if they are able or willing to contribute towards caregiving service costs. They may not have the time or ability to assist directly but can help out financially. Another potential source of funds you may be able to consider is from selling/downsizing your home or getting a reverse mortgage. In some cases, you may have some savings or be able to cash in a life insurance policy, annuity, or other financial plan.


Finding In-Home Care Agencies



Finding an in-home care agency doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can get a point in the right direction from the following resources:




Referrals From Your Doctor, Friends, or Family Members

(word of mouth from someone you trust and know)


In-Home Care Directory

(many directories exist and can be accessed online with contact information on how to get in-touch with local agencies)


The Area Agency on Aging

(can tell you about the local senior agencies that specialize in in-home care assistance)



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