One of the most common calls we get at our senior home care agency is “will my insurance pay for this?” The answer is, “it depends.”
It’s your choice to hire the right Hospice company for your loved one. But do you have enough family to help with the care when the hospice company isn’t there? Who is going comfort them, feed them, bring them water, bathe and groom them, change the linens and do the laundry…? Nobody prepares for this and the burden can be overwhelming.
Allison’s mom needed help, everyone could see that. When the family talked to her about getting one of the professional home care agencies to come in she refused. She insisted on hiring a young man whom she had befriended at her church. At first it seemed to be an ideal match. But the lack of a proper background checks soon came back to haunt them. Late one night the police knocked on the door to inform the family that the young caregiver had been in a serious accident with multiple injuries and arrested for felony drunk driving.
Have you ever been to a hospital, perhaps as a patient or a family member, and felt overwhelmed, or lost in the vast complexities of the healthcare system? Anyone who first visits a hospital feels this way. Where is my doctor, nurse, or case manager? What are they doing? What’s going to happen? When are we getting out of here? Who’s in charge? Are they ignoring us? Do they even know we’re here?
As of January 1, 2016, California is now requiring all Senior Home Care Agencies to have a home care license, and all Senior Home Care Aides to be registered, fingerprinted, and TB tested. I know right? You mean it wasn’t before? Holy cow, anybody who simply called themselves caregivers, aides, or home care agencies were presenting themselves to this extremely vulnerable segment of our society as senior care professionals. The abuse and misconduct has been so widespread and rampant that the California legislature finally passed AB 1217 to address this issue and require licensure.
There is no way to sugar coat it: Senior in home care is expensive. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to afford it paying privately out of pocket; others may have long term care insurance or Veteran’s benefits. But for most of us it’s a struggle to be able to afford to bring in the kind of licensed, qualified care that is need to properly care for an aging adult. However, with a little help from your accountant and family physician, you may be able to take deductions from your taxes for the expenses for home care you're spending on your loved one.
It was close to midnight when the phone rang. It was the ER at the local hospital calling to let her know that her mom was alright, but that she had taken a nasty fall. Mon had been living at home for a few years now after dad died, and none of the children were perpared to deal with senior home safety Apparently she got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and tripped over her favorite throw rug: a bear pelt that she and her husband had gotten on one of their vacations to the Yukon. Marilyn had always suspected that it was dangerous, and had read a little about senior safety at home, but mom wouldn't hear of getting rid of it, the memories were too precious to her.
Ralph stops by to visit his dad on a pretty regular basis, about twice a month or so. He’s concerned since mom past away a couple of years ago, that his dad might need more help at home. He noticed the house isn’t quite as neat as it used to be, but he dismissed it as just a bachelor’s tendency to let things go a little without a woman in the house. But yet, dad seemed to be getting a little more lethargic as of late; sleeping in more, complaining about just not feeling to well. He even had a bad fall or two, but when Ralph tried to inquire more about it his dad dismissed it as “nothing”.
You stopped by to visit mom recently and suspected that something wasn't right. She’s been living alone for a while now. Dad died a few years ago but she seemed to bounce back from that pretty well. You stop in to visit from time to time, just to help out when, but she seems pretty independent most of the time. But lately something is different. You just can't get mom to eat right. You've noticed that breakfast is still on the table and it’s 4 in the afternoon. Her water glass is still full, and she’s still in her robe. She’s crabby, and complaining about things in a random way, not really making a lot of sense. These are all common signs of a loss of thirst and appetite that is common among many seniors.