Providing Care For Your Loved One in Their Own Home
In home care is becoming a popular option for aging adults who prefer to stay in their own home or the home of their loved ones instead of moving into a retirement, long-term care, or assisted living facility.
Skilled and qualified in home care providers can assist older adults with their daily activities, helping them to maintain their independence for longer. Higher qualified caregivers could even provide medical assistance to seniors in the comfort of familiar surroundings.
You could find an independent in home care provider by asking for friends or persons in your community for references. However, this route means you need to screen applicants, do background checks, and contact their references to ensure that you are getting your loved one the best possible care. Hiring an independent caregiver also means that you need to deal with things like employment contracts and taxes.
While this is doable, using an agency to arrange senior care takes care of the business side of things. This ensures that your loved one gets an experienced caregiver who can provide them the care they need when they need it most. It also leaves you free to spend more time with your loved ones instead of worrying about the logistics of their care.
What is Visiting Angels, and what services do they provide?
Visiting Angels is a group of home health care agencies that provide caregiving services to your loved one in their own home. Each franchised agency provides a variety of in home care services, including companion care, personal care, respite care, and specialized home care.
The franchises also provide services in assisted living, nursing, or retirement facilities. This could assist an aging adult to maintain more independence even while living in a long-term care facility. It also gives the care recipient more individual attention and care than they may receive in one of these facilities.
Visiting Angels was founded in 1992 and started offering franchises in in home senior care in 1998. They have over six hundred franchised locations throughout the United States, with at least one in each state. They also have franchises in the UK, Mexico, and Korea. Each franchise is independently owned and operated, while the national company provides the owners with training. The national company is also responsible for setting standards that the franchisees need to adhere to.
The company provides hourly care, overnight care, and 24-hour care. While they do provide care for all persons who require assistance, their main focus is elder care. Some of their services include:
- Respite care – taking care of your loved one when the primary caregiver is unavailable.
- Personal care – providing basic caregiving services.
- Companionship – providing basic caregiving services while the main priority is offering companionship to the care recipient.
- Light housekeeping – this could include dusting, vacuuming, doing dishes, or making beds.
- Meal planning and preparation – planning and preparing meals. This could include doing grocery shopping.
- Hygiene assistance – helping with bathing, grooming, and using the restroom.
- Laundry assistance – doing laundry, folding, and putting it away.
- Running errands – or accompanying the care recipient while they run errands.
- Medication reminders – although not all caregivers are qualified to administer medication, they can remind care recipients to take their medication at specific times.
Visiting Angels strive to provide their clients with personalized home care services tailored to each care recipient’s needs. The agency has moved away from a one-size-fits-all approach. They prefer to sit down with the care recipient and their family to discuss each individual’s distinct needs.
One of the more unique services that Visiting Angels offer is Long-distance Caregiving. This product is specifically for clients who have loved ones who require care in another part of the country. The team at Visiting Angels provides support to those who do not receive support in their local community. They provide caregiving services to the care recipient and keep their family members informed of any changes in the care recipient’s condition.
Who would benefit from Visiting Angels’ services?
Companion care services are ideal for individuals who do not need advanced assistance. A companion caregiver could perform basic caregiving tasks like light housekeeping, preparing meals, and running or assisting the care recipient with errands. These caregiver’s primary responsibility is to support care recipients who still enjoy plenty of independence but may need assistance with small daily tasks like driving, reading, or mobility.
Personal caregivers can assist with the basic caregiving services that a companion caregiver performs. They can also perform personal care duties like grooming, bathing, dressing, going to the toilet, and aiding older adults with mobility. In addition to this, personal caregivers can help individuals with managing chronic medical conditions like diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Respite caregivers provide interim care when the primary caregiver is unavailable. This option is ideal if the primary caregiver is a family member. A respite caregiver could fill in when the family caregiver needs to attend to other obligations. They can also be used as a relief for the primary caregiver. Taking care of a loved one can be physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing. Having someone that you trust to take care of your loved one while you take some time off to take care of yourself could reduce the risk of caregiver burnout.
Visiting Angels offer specialized home care. These dedicated services can be combined with traditional home care to create a personalized care plan that fits your loved one’s needs. This service is especially beneficial for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease or require Dementia care.
Visiting Angels could also assist with the care required during the transition period when a loved one has returned home from a stay in the hospital. The aim of this service is to lower the likelihood of readmission after a hospital stay. Care services usually begin while the patient is still in the hospital. This ensures a seamless transition once the patient is ready to go home. Caregivers liaise with the client, their family, and health care providers.
What it’s like to have a Visiting Angel.
Visiting Angels are dedicated to making the care schedule work for the care recipient, not the agency. Care services could often start within 48 hours and, in some cases, even the same day.
The first step will be to arrange a meeting with a Visiting Angel care coordinator from your local branch. During this visit, you will discuss the care that is needed, the schedule that best suits the care recipient and any specific requirements – both from the care recipient and their family members. This meeting will also cover any other concerns.
Once the initial consultation is completed, Visiting Angels will draw up a care plan and schedule. They will also arrange for a nurse to visit the care recipient. Next, the agency will match the care recipient with a caregiver who has the skills required to meet their needs. In most cases, care could be provided within 48 hours.
Schedule changes could be accommodated for, although in most situations, this requires a week’s notice.
One drawback of Visiting Angels being franchised is that each franchise is owned and operated independently. That could make it difficult to find online reviews on your local branch. More than that, people are more likely to leave a negative review after a bad experience than leave a positive review of good service. That means that you could find plenty of negative reviews of the company if you do a quick online search.
The best way to get around this and to establish whether your local Visiting Angels agency is a good fit for you – and will provide your loved one with the best quality of care is to contact them directly. By speaking to the staff, you will already get a feel of the agency.
Most Visiting Angels agencies offer a free consultation. Suppose you feel comfortable with your initial communication with the agency. In that case, you can book a meeting to explore this option some more. You can ask the agency for references and whether they could arrange an opportunity to speak with current clients. While they probably won’t provide you with their clients’ contact information, it is always worth asking whether a current client or clients would be willing to contact you instead.
Costs associated with Visiting Angels services.
The cost for in home care varies from state to state. More than that, care in urban areas is often more expensive than care in rural areas. The cost could also differ depending on the type of care a care receiver needs and the number of hours a caregiver is required to work.
Visiting Angels franchises work with their clients to create a care plan that meets the care recipient’s needs and budget. A number of franchises accept long term care or other insurance coverage to assist with paying for the cost of in home care.
Medicare cover could assist with paying for care provided by Visiting Angels. However, Medicare usually only covers short-term care. In order to be eligible for cover, the patient needs to meet the following three criteria:
- The individual should have received inpatient treatment in a hospital for at least three consecutive days.
- In home care should start within 30 days after the patient has been discharged.
- A doctor should certify that skilled nursing care is required.
If the patient meets these three criteria, Medicare could cover part-time nursing care, short-term therapies like physical or occupational therapies, and medical equipment that the patient may need to assist in their treatment or recovery. In some cases, the patient may need their doctor to certify that the patient’s health could be negatively affected if they leave the house – illustrating the need for in home health care.
Medicare does not cover companionship care, 24-hour care, or personal care. This means that Medicare will not cover Visiting Angels who assist with meal preparation, housekeeping, running errands, bathing, dressing, or grooming, amongst other things.
A person who has been certified homebound by their doctor while they recover from an injury could receive cover for care by Visiting Angels through Medicare. The cover for care could be extended if the physician certifies that the care is still required. This can be done every sixty days. Costs covered could include speech and occupational therapists, medical equipment, medical social services, and part-time nurse-covered care.
Medicare could assist with Hospice or end of life care if a patient is not expected to live more than six months due to a terminal illness. Cover could be obtained for hospice aid, social health services, grief counseling, physical and occupational therapies, medical equipment, and prescription medication. There may be a co-payment due in some instances.
Long-term care is seen as medical expenses by the IRS. That means that payments to Visiting Angels could be tax-deductible.
It could be stressful to arrange senior care for a loved one. You need to ensure that the caregiver is experienced and qualified. If you are hiring an independent caregiver, you also need to run background checks and make sure that the person is who they say they are. More than that, you need to establish whether they have the skills and characteristics required to do their job.
Making use of an agency that specializes in arranging in home care for seniors takes some of the stress out of the search. Agencies like Visiting Angels help you find a caregiver who is the right fit for your loved one. They ensure that their caregivers are trained in providing elder care services. Visiting Angels takes care of all the staff-related issues while you can focus on spending time with your family.
Although in home care could be expensive, it could also be less expensive than long term assisted living, retirement, or nursing facilities. Because each Visiting Angels agency is run by an independent owner, prices could vary from agency to agency, although rates are usually on par with the competitors in the area.
Using a senior care agency can allow you peace of mind while providing your loved one with caregiving services in the comfort of their own home.
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