Professional elderly caregiving is growing throughout the country and has been a mainstay in the western world for many decades. But what is it really? On a family level, it’s simply a family member taking care of an older family member. It’s helping with feeding, dressing, getting around the house, going to doctor’s appointments, being a listener, providing companionship, making sure they take their meds, but basically what we term “Activities of Daily Living (ADL).”
Caregivers, whether from the family or professionally trained outsiders, aren’t nurses, and they certainly aren’t doctors. They are people who provide care, particularly for people who can no longer be alone. If you cannot handle your senior family member, your ill spouse, an aunty or others, here are a few things to consider when hiring a professional caregiver.
- What do their patients and clients say about their service? Do they offer testimonials from patients or is it all just sales hype on websites and magazines?
- Do they have a solid history and track record in-home care or is it mainly glossy ads in websites and magazines?
- Are they attached to any credible health care organization or just a standalone team of caregivers?
Quality of Service
- Can they give you a documented care plan committing to achievable care objectives that you can track to know if your loved one is progressing or regressing in happiness, independent living or health?
- Do they have active training and certification programs for their caregivers? Any international certification program affiliations?
- Do they actively solicit feedback from their clients and patients as part of their quality standards? Do they make the feedback available to you?
- Do they commit to a primary/backup caregiver for your care or is it a new nurse each week creating much stress for you and your loved one under care?
Cost of Care
- Are they transparent about the costs involved or does it look deceptively cheap upfront in comparison with looming hidden costs appearing once care gets underway and you are committed?
- Does the price look too good to be true? Cheap and best in class care do not go hand in hand. Shortcuts will be made to save costs and resulting care may suffer in quality or substandard materials that may be used on a patient.
Safety and Security
- Does their organization have in place control processes needed to ensure caregivers do not spread diseases and biotoxins from house to house?
- Have all caregivers been background-checked and vetted by the company?
- Does the organization take steps to ensure that your property and belongings are safe while their staff is in your home?
About the Author
Andrew Mastrandonas, Co-founder & CEO of Pillar (www.pillarcare.com), Asia’s leading home care company. He is also Director of JPE Group, Asia's Most Comprehensive Care, Recovery & Senior Living Solutions organization. For more information please visit www.jpecare.com. This article was reviewed by Dr Lim Geng Yan (M.D).
Contributor since June 16th, 2019
With so many American families owning Long-Term Care Insurance today it gives family members extra peace-of-mind knowing that their loved one will have access to their choice of quality care in the setting they desire.
Many people think of Long-Term Care Insurance has just money to pay for care. Yes, asset protection is an important benefit of owning an LTC policy but it is much more than just about finances.
Help with Claims
Numerous home care providers will assist in the claims process to you can quickly receive the benefits from your policy. Often, they will provide free assessment services and process your paperwork for the claim. This eases the stress on family members and allows the policyholder to start receiving benefits from the policy much faster.
Most Long-Term Care Insurance policies provide professional case management. The nurse case managers will help you and your family develop a plan of care and guide you in finding your choice of quality care in the setting you desire.
Your Health Can Change at Any Time
The key is to have your policy in place for you and your family when the time comes you require long-term care services. That is a great unknown. We understand the risk of needing help with activities of daily living or supervision due to memory loss is a big risk and gets bigger as you get older. However, we don’t know the “when” or “how long”.
You must have relatively good health to even qualify to purchase a policy. The underwriting criteria differ with every insurance company. This is why most experts suggest planning before you retire, ideally in your 40s or 50s. Not only are premiums very affordable but usually you enjoy better health and could even qualify for good health discounts.
Planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging is a key part of retirement planning. Longevity has a big impact on family and finances. Care costs are expensive that drains income and assets and has an adverse impact on your lifestyle and legacy. Family caregivers face huge challenges since they have to juggle their careers, families and other responsibilities. Caregiving is hard and paid care can wipe out a huge chunk of savings. These are reasons to take action before you retire.
Use LTC NEWS Tools for Research
Start your research by using the LTC NEWS cost of care calculator. You can find the current and future cost of care services where you live … or plan on living in the future. You can also see if your state participates in the federal Long-Term Care Partnership Program which provides additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. There might even be tax incentives you could be eligible to take advantage of. Just click here to start your research.
Then find a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. This is important since most financial advisors and general insurance agents have little knowledge of the product, underwriting, features and benefits, the partnership program and claims. Since they usually have never processed a claim, they don’t understand how these policies get used. They could recommend benefits which are way more than what you need.
Find a qualified specialist by clicking here.
Long-Term Care Insurance is easy, affordable, and rate stable income and asset protection. Planning for long-term care is all about family. Start planning now.