Tag Archives: Caregivers

Common Problems with Private Duty In-Home Care Agencies

While the private duty industry has just released a report indicating that their turnover rate has reached an all-time high of 82% according to the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study by market research firm Home Care Pulse, a review of the common problems of the home health private duty care agencies is in order. Traditionally, hiring a private duty in-home care agency was seen as the only avenue for people looking to care for those with elderly parents who need assistance.  Through out the history of private-pay, private-duty care, working with caregiving agencies is often a daunting task that can be difficult for both elderly parents and their adult children. Part of the problem is that to date, getting a reliable, dependable, affordable caregiver is usually an exception rather than the rule and this situation is only getting worse.

For adult children looking to hire a caregiver or private duty agency to care for the elderly parents, there are many pitfalls that get covered up by private duty agencies. Most people believe that an agency is going to get a matched caregiver to you or your parent’s needs and pay them a decent wage, when in fact most agencies just field the next available caregiver in roster. They are more about making money than servicing the clients.  In case after case we hear about how caregivers at agencies often do not show up, are sleeping on the job, are not trained, or more seriously, sometimes abuse their charges.

In order to save individuals frustration and regrets, it is beneficial to review some of the most common problems with private duty in-home care agencies and how to avoid them. Below is a listing of the top client complaints concerning private duty home care agencies.

  • Lack of consistency of caregiver
  • Caregivers not showing up or consistently late
  • Communication Problems Between Client and the Agency
  • Insufficient Caregiver Training
  • Caregivers focused on technology not the client
  • Unwanted caregiver behavior
  • Cultural differences / not accounting for cultural needs

The most common problem with private duty home care is that either caregivers do not show up, or there is a new caregiver showing up ever other week.  These issues have been a chronic and persistent problem in private duty home care since its inception. While the industry has known about this situation for some time, the problem persists due in a large part to the inadequate pay afforded caregivers, and the fact that agencies tend to hire anyone who applies for the open job, instead of doing a real match to a client’s needs and the caregiver’s personality and skills. The bottom line is that agencies are more concerned with maximizing their profits rather than really taking care of a client’s needs.

Another common problem lies with poor communication from the private duty care agency and/or their caregivers. While you believe hiring a caregiving in-home care agency will give you some relief for people looking to take care of parents who are no longer able to adequately take care of themselves, it is amazing how even acknowledging that the basic activities of daily living (ADLs) are being performed do not get communicated to those who might be paying for those services. This is even more compounded if special needs are involved, or if the elderly client needs to be taken to the doctor or requires some form of clinical therapy.

On top of not paying caregivers adequately, another challenge for the industry is the fact that there is insufficient training for caregivers. In some instances, caregivers are not allowed to provide services in the home due in a large part to the Stare restricting what services a private duty agency can offer. On the other hand, it goes back to in home private pay care agencies just trying to get billings, knowing adult children are desperate to get care for their needy parents and are unable to personally attend to that need. Sadly, even basic skills such as cooking and cleaning, may go lacking with many of the caregivers private duty agencies hire, and should be questioned and evaluated before hiring a potential caregiver.

Technology can be a great tool for delivering care, but at the same time, many caregivers are distracted with their phones, social media and the internet in general, and this distracts them from performing their caregiving duties. While you may not like it, it is very difficult for home care agencies to police their caregivers on the use of their smart phones as a distraction to caregiving.

While the best-case scenario is when a caregiver feels like they are part of the family, it is vitally important to maintain some boundaries with the caregiver. This is especially true if they start to display some irresponsible behaviors. Occasionally, everybody is late, but with private duty home care agencies, this tends to be a chronic condition, and when you start to see a caregiver not show up for care, or have a substitute being called in frequently, it is time to reevaluate the use of this agency. The problem gets worse if the caregiver seems nice, but in actuality is just taking advantage of the situation. Remember, you are relying on a 3rd party to bring someone you do not know of have not vetted or chosen into your home. Too often people make the assumption that a private duty agency takes as much care as they would in choosing a caregiver, but most of the time, that is not the case.

Finally, there are the differences in cultures, likes and dislikes. Some of these are straightforward like language and ethnicity, but others deal with diets, foods, music, cleanliness, and religion. It is important that you address possible language and cultural barriers first. There are some cultural differences between hygiene and eating habits that may pose a surprise problem later on. Laying out expectations from the beginning can eliminate these problems. Working with private duty in-home can be difficult, but it does not have to be. There are new alternatives being offered, like Well Beyond Care, that allows people to how hire your own caregiver and steer clear of the frustrations of working with private duty and at the same time saving a substantial amount of money and letting you choose your own perfect caregiver.  Well Beyond Care teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover. The platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. This solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.

About Well Beyond Care
Well Beyond Care is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover through the web application, WellBeyondCare.com. The Company’s platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. Their solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.

Well Beyond Care Helps Veterans

From our founding, Well Beyond Care has had a focus in helping veterans. Two of our original investors, are both veterans, and the Company was designed with a special place for our vets.

We know that many veterans would like to work as a caregiver, but have not due in part to the difficulty in finding a position that pays more than $9 per hour. Part of what makes our service veteran focused is that we can offer well paying caregiving positions for those veterans who would like to continue their “service” to America. Most notably, these positions pay 25% to 40% more than what a veteran can make at a private-duty agency and Well Beyond Care gives our caregiving Veterans the flexibility to chose the individuals they want to give care to and the hours they want to work.

The Well Beyond Care curation system matches veterans who want to work as caregivers with veterans seeking care. Veterans have asked the Company to give them veteran caregivers, and that is what we do. It is nice to have another vet dress your wound and hear “war stories” as opposed to having a 20-year-old-someone who does not understand the sacrifice a veteran made for his country in getting that wound.

In addition, our nationwide network of nurses also inform vets about their “Aid & Attendance Benefits” afforded them as part of their VA pension and will help them with getting reimbursement for caregiving costs. These nurses also serve as a resource to medical resources in the areas were a veteran is receiving care. Because we are able to save individuals money and pair them with better caregivers, we keep vets out of the hospital, and aging in place more affordably (the get more care with less money). In addition, we have teamed with a palliative care / hospice organization that can offer doulas for those veterans facing end-of-life situations.

Below is a graphic on the benefits Well Beyond Care affords veterans. To get a larger view or download, just click on the image.

In summary, Well Beyond Care offers an online caregiving curation, matching and management system for those veterans looking for in home care. While most private duty care is administered by agencies, Well Beyond Care teaches and guides a Careseeker (most likely an adult child looking for care for a parent or veteran) on hiring their own caregiver. Compared to traditional private-duty agencies, veterans can save $10,000 to $30,000 per year, and caregivers who might be veterans, make $3 to $6 per hour extra using our service. It combines the best in caregiver hiring (matching, screening, ratings & background checks) with all the back office functions (verified time worked, payroll, scheduling, and documentation) to insure safe, reliable, dependable, affordable care is obtained for our deserving veterans.

Home Health Aides hard to find in 2018

According to a new report conducted by CareerCast, jobs in the caregiving field, including in-home caregiving, and personal care aid, will be hard to fill in 2018. With the rapid growth in the demand for senior care with the Silver Tsunami approaching, there will be an ever-increasing demand for these types of “unskilled” jobs. According to the list provided by CareerCast, health care jobs in general will be five of the top ten most difficult job openings to fill in the coming year and years. Well Beyond Care understands this trend and has already taken steps to see that the need will be filled with qualified employees.

Looking at the list below, home health aides were ranked as the fourth toughest position to fill, with the median salary at only $10.55 per hour, and in parts of the country as low as $8.75 per hour. Personal care aides rang in at No. 8, with a median salary of $8.75 per hours.  Part of what makes WellBeyondCare.com different, is that Caregivers tend to make 25% to 40% more per hour when employed through our system.

Well Beyond Care realizes that over the next eight years the demand for home health aides are forecasted to grow 47%, while personal care aides are anticipated to go 39% over the same time period during to the fact that over 4 million baby boomers per year will be retiring over that same period. This forecast is based on data from trade and professional associations and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As a ranking, the 10 toughest jobs to fill in 2018 are:

  1. Application software developer
  2. Construction laborer
  3. Financial advisor
  4. Home health aide
  5. Information security analyst
  6. Medical services manager
  7. Nurse practitioner
  8. Personal care aide
  9. Physical therapist
  10. Truck driver

Due to a large part of how little private duty care companies pay their caregivers and how much they need to charge their clients to make a profit, it is little wonder that in-home care has been facing a labor shortage.  This will become exacerbated as companies like Well Beyond Care start to siphon off more of the higher quality caregivers and as a result, see a raise in hourly wages. Conversely, by using a company like Well Beyond Care a careseeker can actually end up playing a caregiver $3 to $5 more per hour, and still save between $10,000 to $30,000 per year in caregiving costs.

Well Beyond Care gives caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in-home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses, certified nurse assistants, and geriatric care managers can use the website to be best matched with Careseekers looking for care, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers and family members looking for someone to give care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses, CNAs and caregivers, are matched with a caregiver who can best can deliver care to specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules and payment online and receive personal support from the nurse that is assigned to them when they join. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.

Private Duty Caregivers: Too Much Turnover

Many adult children who are looking to care for their elderly parent find in home care services a better option than having to place their loved ones in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. There are a number of factors influencing this specific preference. Topping the long list would be the fact that the elderly careseeker remains it the familiar confines of their home. This gives family and friends more peace of mind knowing that they can more readily get in touch with person receiving care. Even though the cost of in home caregivers has increased, it is still more cost effective than placing a loved one in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, making it a more practical choice.

The hourly cost involved with hiring a caregiver from a private duty agency varies since costs are based on several controlling factors. When you hire a caregiver using a private duty agency, the needs of the careseeker should be the primary consideration. Another important factor to consider is the number of hours that the patient may require assistance, since overtime rates or minimum hour charges may apply when using an agency. Additionally, the skill set required, experience, and certifications of the caregiver will also contribute to the rates you may have to pay for the type of caregiver you receive. Geographical location is another factor as rates vary from one city to another, and one region to the next.

According to the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the national average hourly wage for home caregivers is at $9.31 per hour. However the costs are higher when going through an agency due in large part to their overhead. For example, an agency may charge $21.50 per hour for an entry level caregiver. This cost may include salary, healthcare, uniforms and other employee related expenses such as training and having a business office. Costs for more experienced caregivers will increase based on skill set, certifications and years of experience. These are the costs you can expect to find as you conduct your caregiver search. Most caregivers these days are working for a private duty agency as it has been traditionally the only avenue for them to find careseekers or to get continuous work.

Families requiring home caregivers may have the expectation that the quality of service from the caregivers supplied through agencies is expected to be higher, since most people assume agencies have minimum standards and state implemented rules and regulations for their caregivers. While this might be the expectation, due to the low wages paid to caregivers at most agencies, they usually experience as much as a 50% turnover rate of caregivers in any given month. According to a 2014 Benchmark Study published by Home Care Pulse and sponsored by the National Private Duty Association, average caregiver turnover rate for all home care companies increased from 46.2% to 49.8% between 2010 and 2013, and has increased yet again to 52.9% as of 2015. This high turnover rate is not conducive to creating a stable care environment in the home, and companies like Well Beyond Care are trying to rectify this with offering higher salaries for caregivers while reducing the costs paid by families looking for care for their loved ones. In addition, when a careseeker has more say in the screening and hiring of a caregiver, there is a dramatically reduced incidence of caregiver turnover.

Well Beyond Care gives caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in-home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses, certified nurse assistants, and geriatric care managers can use the website to be best matched with careseekers looking for care, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers and family members looking for someone to give care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses, CNAs and caregivers, are matched with a caregiver who can best can deliver care to specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules and payment online and receive personal support from the nurse that is assigned to them when they join. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com

Tips for Caregivers: Caring for Elderly Parents with Alzheimer’s Disease

Caring for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), resulting in dementia, can be a demanding experience due to their changing behavior. Every day brings new challenges and difficulties. A caregiver should have an effective plan in place to help them care for elderly patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Handling a person with dementia caused by onset Alzheimer’s disease or finding out that a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease can be stressful, challenging and frightening. Alzheimer disease is a progressive neurological disorder, affecting long and short-term memory, thinking skills, and human behavior. AD patients will forget how to perform basic daily tasks, but they also forget familiar people and places. Caring for a person with AD can become frustrating at times, but it is also extremely important because Alzheimer’s patients cannot usually care for themselves. Because our aging loved ones typically have such a hard time recognizing their surroundings, especially new ones, it is often recommended that patients stay living at home as long as possible rather than moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Benefits of hiring your own Caregiver for elderly patients with Alzheimer’s

The benefit of hiring a caregiver directly is that you can select the person you like the best, has the appropriate dementia training, and who is the best fit for your family. Hiring someone directly is usually cheaper than hiring through an agency, and it is typically orders of magnitude less expensive than placing them in a nursing home.

The Internet makes it very easy to find an appropriately skilled caregiver near you. Using a fully integrated online service to hire a caregiver for your loved one is a new way to be matched with the best skilled caregivers, who are reliable, have a well-matched temperament, are verified, and affordable. Well Beyond Care makes hiring a caregiver simple and easy, allowing you to maintain control of your care needs or the care needs of a loved one.

Alzheimer’s Geriatric Patient Caregiver Tips

  • As a caregiver, it is vital to learn as much as possible about Alzheimer’s disease and what to expect from an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s, including taking as much training on AD and dementia as is available.
  • When possible, caregivers should learn about the elderly patient’s history and family. Surrounding the patient with items that remind them of their past or photographs or their loved ones may be beneficial to the patient.
  • A caregiver should not feel guilty if the patient is upset or confused. Always keep in mind that many behaviors associated with patient are due to the disease. Try to focus on their positive moments and good memories. Keeping a positive attitude will make helping the patient work through difficult times easier.
  • Engage the patient with games and books. Place more focus on having fun with the games rather than the patient’s illness. Entertain patients with interesting books to promote active listening.
  • Choose lively TV shows with simple story backgrounds to keep the patient occupied.
  • Play familiar music that the dementia patience likes to listen to. It has been shown that music is one of that memory functions to deteriorate with dementia.

About Well Beyond Care:

Well Beyond Care provides the tools that help you plan care and allow your loved ones to safely age in place.  It is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover.  Our platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. This solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.   Its online system combines the best in Caregiver matching (searching, screening, ratings & hiring) with all the back-office functions (time worked, payroll, scheduling, and notifications) to ensure safe, reliable, dependable, affordable care is obtained. It is the only company that gives each Careseeker access to their own local, personal nurse to help guide them through the hiring process. The Careseeker’s nurse provides advice on healthcare options and aids with transitional care.

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.

Well Beyond Care Overall Winner of Rice Alliance Pitch Event

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Lauren Tarrant, RN
Chief Nursing Officer
Well Beyond Care, Inc.
(512) 809-4057
lauren@wellbeyondcare.com

Well Beyond Care Overall Winner of Rice Alliance Pitch Event

A Health Tech Company Disintermediating Private Duty Care was Selected as Overall Winner over Ten Companies Presenting at the 2017 Startup Pitch Competition

Austin, TX, January 25, 2017 – Well Beyond Care, an online caregiving matchmaker service that is disintermediating private duty care, won the first Rice Alliance-Austin Chapter and Central Texas Angel Network pitch competition on Wednesday night at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.  With overall winner’s prize package is worth more than $100,000 including “in kind” prizes from Andrews Kurth, Capital Factory and other companies.

2017PitchAwardRice Alliance and CTAN picked ten Texas-based seed stage companies out of 67 who applied to present at the event.  Jeffrey Fry, CEO and Co-Founder, came up with the idea for Well Beyond Care after caring for his ailing mom, who lived in Alexandria, Virginia for seven years.

“First it is an honor to have been chosen to present with so many fine Austin startups,” Mr. Fry stated.  “And to be selected the overall winner just gives testament to the pressing need to resolved the “silver tsunami” of geriatric care in the U.S.,” Mr. Fry added.

“Being an engineer, I wanted to create something better than what’s out there. Together with my co-founder, Lauren Tarrant, RN, we created an innovative online platform that allows families to hire their own caregivers and resolve most of the pervasive problems in private duty care.  This platform not only save families $10K to $30K in caregiver cost but families now can hire a caregiver of their choosing, that are matched to their needs, and are dependable, reliable, affordable, and available,” Mr. Fry concluded.

Lauren Tarrant added, “today, more than seven and half million people are getting in home care. The market is $120 billion for in home care, but by the end of the decade it’s going to be $180 billion. And 95 percent of all the people who get in-home or private duty care use an agency. They are first off, extremely expensive and we wanted to now allow a more affordable choice for families.  In addition, the two biggest problems with those agencies are truancy and turnover of workers. So, you get unreliable care. Winning this award gets us one step closer to realizing the dream of affordable in home care.”

Well Beyond Care, founded in 2014, has raised $310,000 in seed stage capital so far. The company is raising additional funds to build new features into its it platform including a mobile app and more administrative reporting.  Project Balance has been contracted to develop this applications and the company is looking to launch their platform in May of 2017.

The other finalists in the Austin Rice Alliance pitch competition included:

Anderson Remplex: This Flower Mound-based startup created a product called ProROX to eliminate pathogens from food products for commercial kitchens and consumers.

HipPocket: This Dallas-based startup created a better search and marketing product for real estate listings using machine learning, data and analytics. The company says it transforms how buyer and sales agents connect and consumers buy homes.

Renovate Simply: This Austin-based startup created a home renovation platform for banks, credit unions and other lending institutions to automate the home renovation process and provide increased transparency and reduce risk.

Cingo: This Austin-based startup provides the technology for companies to embed real time in app customer support in their mobile apps.

Homads: This Austin-based startup created a marketplace for month to month rentals of 30 or more days.

Sandbox Commerce: This Austin-based startup created a simply to use system that allows retailers to create a mobile app easily without any knowledge of coding.

SigTrak – This Austin-based startup created technology for data extraction and analytics for microchip design.

About Rice Alliance – Austin Chapter:
Rice Alliance – Austin Chapter aids entrepreneurs and investors alike, principally through educational events and workshops but also through mentoring, funding, partnership, and networking. The Austin Chapter was formed in 2003 as the successful Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship initiative at Rice University in Houston expanded its footprint. Austin was an obvious choice and the Austin Chapter now claims an important space in the entrepreneurial community in the capital city. Learn more at austinricealliance.org.

About CTAN:
Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) is the largest angel investing network in Texas, and the #1 most active single-chapter group in the nation (for 2015).  It mission is twofold:  To provide quality early-stage investment opportunities for accredited angel investors, and to assist entrepreneurs and early-stage growth companies by serving as a key source of funding, mentorship, strategic advice, and educational resources. CTAN was founded in 2006 by local investors and community leaders, who believed that early-stage investing could provide a meaningful return for investors while also spurring local economic growth. Individual members of the organization volunteered their time and expertise to review potential investments and assist entrepreneurs.  Learn more at centraltexasangelnetwork.com.

“Hiring Caregivers”

Lauren Tarrant, CNO
Lauren Tarrant, CNO

Lauren Tarrant, RN and Jeffrey Fry of Well Beyond Care are addressing the issues of high costs of caregiving and the low wages of caregivers in a unique way with their new company, Well Beyond Care. Don’t miss this episode as it is packed with information that will validate why it’s so hard and how they can help. ..listen here. The first 30 seconds or so, are not very audible.. it describes how Well Beyond Care came into existence.