Tag Archives: Aging In Place

Nursing Home Costs On The Rise Means More Jobs for In-Home Caregivers

Over the past eight years and despite the recession in 2008, the cost of nursing home care has increased by nearly 37%. According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of private nursing home care in the US is now $92,345 per year (or $235 per day). Just eight years ago that average was $67,527 per year. With such high costs, it is no wonder that more and more seniors and family members who are looking for care for their aging loved ones are now turning to in-home care as a better alternative.

This increased demand for in-home care means more job opportunities for private pay Caregivers, registered nurses, geriatric care managers and certified nurse assistants. According to the US Department of Labor, home care provider jobs are growing faster than in any other industry sector. This is good news for Caregivers and those who need care alike. With the demand so high and the increase use of the internet, more and more Caregivers are striking out on their own and setting their own rates, which are actually lower than that of going through a traditional private pay or private duty agency.  While rates for in-home Caregivers are increasing, because they are no longer burdened with the overheard of a private duty agency, they are actually much more affordable for elderly clients and their families. The difficulty is that until now, there were no good online tools for Caregivers to use to help them connect with those looking for care, and help them with the matching, interviewing, scheduling, and payment of care.

The Genworth Survey also found that 78% of seniors prefer in-home care to nursing home care. Leaving their home and moving to an unfamiliar place can be quite stressful for elderly patients, who would rather be able to stay in their home where they are comfortable. Many seniors also like to retain some independence, which is easier to do living in their own residence assisted by a Caregiver rather than in a nursing home.

In the past, one of the deciding factors for moving into a nursing home rather than opting to hire an in-home Caregiver has been the difficulty of seeking out private Caregivers. Today, online resources that match Caregivers and Careseekers make the process easy and streamlined. Sites like WellBeyondCare.com not only offer a sophisticated matching and search function, but also include cool features like Caregiver ratings and online care plans; and detailed profile views so that Careseekers can assess a Caregiver prior to interviewing, and can determine the most qualified and better suited to help them with their specific care needs. In addition, the company has a sophisticated matching capability to help further aide in getting the perfect Caregiver. Another feature only offered by Well Beyond Care is when a creates a profile on line, they get a nurse navigator who is in the care recipient’s town to help with local resources.

By disintermediating the costs associated by hiring a private duty company, Careseekers and their families are better able to keep their costs low. For the Caregiver, the ability to set your own pay rate lets them control their income. For in-home care providers, online tools are a great way to access the many available caregiving jobs in their area, and they offer those looking for care an easy way to manage their care either from home or remotely.

When are Patients “Unsafe” for Home Care?

Reprinted by permission from Elisabeth Hogue, Esq.; (877) 871-4062; ElizabethHogue@ElizabethHogue.net

CaringForCaregivers-CGS-largeDischarge planners/case managers are likely to encounter instances in which home care, hospice, and home medical equipment (HME) providers state that they cannot accept patients because they are “unsafe” at home. The use of this term may be confusing to discharge planners/case managers. What is it about patients’ homes that make it unsafe for them to receive services there? Aren’t all patients appropriate for home care?

First, discharge planners/case managers may not have provided services in non-institutional settings. If so, it may be difficult to make a crucial distinction between institutional care and home health services. Specifically, in institutional settings the provider controls the “turf” on which care is rendered. In post-acute care at home, providers have little control over the environment in which services are provided. In fact, patients have almost absolute control over the “turf” in home care because services are rendered in their private residences.

Consequently, home care providers often confront barriers to the provision of services that many discharge planners have not experienced. Staff have, for example, encountered “attack geese” when they arrive at patients’ homes and risk the consequences of a serious pecking in order to reach patients’ bedsides! Or they have come eyeball-to-eyeball with a pet alligator, named Bubba, in a mobile home in Louisiana!

Although patients may not be adversely affected by pecking geese and may have a cozy relationship with Bubba, there may be other factors over which home care providers have no control that clearly jeopardize the well-being or safety of patients. These factors may make it impossible for providers to render services at home. Patients’ homes may, for example, be in such disrepair that both patients and caregivers are at risk. A home health nurse, for example, recently fell through the floor of a patient’s home as she approached the patient’s bedside. Patients’ homes may also be invested with roaches, rodents and/or vermin of various types and descriptions. Despite appropriate interventions from providers, patients may suffer repeated falls at home that make it risky or unsafe for them to remain there.

Despite these examples, discharge planners/case managers may still be unclear about why patients cannot be cared for at home when post-acute providers decline referrals on the basis that patients are “unsafe.” It may be helpful for providers to be more detailed in their communications. Specifically, providers could say, “The patient’s home environment will not support services at home for the following reasons….” When providers’ communications with discharge planners/case managers are vague, discharge planners might prompt clearer communication by asking: “What are the specific reasons why this patient’s home environment will not support home care services?”

Institutional care and home care services are fundamentally different models of care. Because the differences are so great, it is reasonable to expect that providers who practice primarily in institutions and those who work in home care may not always understand or account for important factors involved in different types of care. Clear, specific communication is, therefore, absolutely essential for the well-being of patients.

Well Beyond Care:

WellBeyondCare.com gives those who need care the tools to manage their in home care online. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses and caregivers, post jobs that outline their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, and make payment online and receive personal support, local support from their personal Nurse Care-Pair Manager. Caregivers can use the website to search for caregiving jobs, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.