My mom can no longer live alone. What should I do now?

Every day hundreds of Americans ask this tough question. According to recent surveys, more than 26 million family caregivers provide care to adults with a disability or chronic illness, and 5 million informal caregivers provide care for older adults aged 50+ with dementia. The average amount of time caregivers spend on care giving is about 20 hours per week. Caring for a person with disabilities can be physically demanding, especially for older caregivers, who make up half of all caregivers. One third of all caregivers describe their own health as fair to poor.

Fortunately there are a number of different resources available for family caregivers. There are governmental and social organizations and private care companies specialized in different areas of Home Health Care. However, identifying the best resources for your individual situation can sometimes be a challenge.

Our experience in helping families in need shows that one of the biggest problems families have is navigating through the maze of Senior Care Resources and organizations, knowing what questions to ask, whom to ask, and where to find the right answers!

Affinity Care’s team has over 10 years experience in working with seniors and providing Home Health Care, including Personal, Hospice, and Companion and Geriatric Care Management for seniors of Central New Jersey. Affinity Care is a Medicaid accredited company that works in partnership with a number of agencies, i.e. Veterans Administration, Visiting Nurse Association, Hospice, long-term care insurance carriers, etc. in an effort to provide the most compassionate care possible.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation in detail or schedule a free assessment interview, please contact one of Affinity Care’s senior care advisors. Call us with your questions: 732-324-1515 or e-mail: Info@AffinityCareNJ.com

My dad is in need of home care. How do I go about finding a Home Health Aide to help him?

Finding the right Home Health Aide can be a daunting task. However, this is what you need to look for. In general a caregiver may be an independent person or an employee of a Health Care Agency.

I would not advise using an independent caregiver unless you are willing to take on the responsibility of the following tasks:

1. Checking person’s employment status (to avoid problems with INS);
2. Paying employer’s Federal and NJ taxes, since you would be considered the employer (to avoid problems with IRS);
3. Checking the background and referrals for potential caregiver;
4. Since caregivers in general do not have liability insurance, another major concern for you would be if the caregiver sustains an injury while in your home.

If you decide to use a Home Health Care Agency here are some questions you can ask:

1. Is the Home Health Agency or Health Care Service Firm licensed and accredited? In NJ only agencies that have a Personal Care license can provide personal care services.
2. How does the agency screen and select caregivers prior to an assignment?
3. Is there a licensed health care professional, who along with the client and family develops an individualized plan of care? How are emergencies handled after normal business hours?
4. Does the agency manage all payroll and employee related matters?

I’m 78 years old, living alone, and I need somebody to help me in the morning to shower and get dressed. Will Medicare help pay for Home Health services?

Unfortunately, the answer is “no”. Medicare covers some home health care only if the patient’s condition is very severe and only if all of the following conditions are meet:

a. A doctor prescribes medical care at home;
b. The patient must require on-going skilled nursing or physical therapy;
c. The patient must be homebound.

The other options to acquire home health aid maybe private pay, long-term care insurance and number of different state programs. The eligibility for the state programs are required more considerations of your personal situation and can be done only on a case-by-case basis. To get more information regarding state and federal programs available for seniors please call us at Affinity: 732-324-1515 or e-mail: info@AffinityCareNJ.com

Questions answered by Dr. Bobby Malik MD, Clinical Director of Affinity Care of NJ.

Call us with your questions: 732-324-1515 or e-mail: info@AffinityCareNJ.com