Tips on Finding the Right In-Home Aide

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May 12, 2022 •  The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC
As you age, you may need help to take care of your health but want to live independently in your home.

About 90% of older adults would prefer to age in place, rather than move into an assisted living facility or nursing home, according to an AARP survey.

WRAL’s recent article entitled “How to choose an in-home health aide” says that, fortunately, you can have good healthHow to find a good home health aid.  care and independent living with an in-home health aide. An aide can provide you with care for a short amount of time during the day or can stay with you around the clock. Depending on your needs, an aide can help with many tasks. These include things such as:

  • Chores, such as laundry, cooking and shopping
  • Daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, moving from one place to another and toileting
  • Monitoring vital signs, like blood pressure, respiration, and pulse
  • Keep an eye on your physical and mental health, including your level of exercise and how much you are eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom; and
  • Assist in emergencies, like an accident, heart attack, or stroke.

There are a number of actions to take when you hire an in-home health aide. Here’s the rundown:

  1. Determine what kind of care, and how much, you need.
  2. Decide if you want to hire through an agency or on your own. The advantages of using an agency are that you will get a prescreened aide and will have backup care when that person is unavailable. You also won’t have to be concerned about offering benefits as an employer because the agency takes care of those.
  3. Consider what you can afford. If you qualify for Medicare or have long-term care insurance, some or all your care may be paid for. If you use an agency, the Mayo Clinic suggests you ask for written, detailed explanations of all services and fees associated with home care. Once you have this from several agencies, you’ll be able to choose the best one for your budget. If you hire a home health aide yourself, remember to think about sick days, holidays, vacation, payroll taxes and Social Security. That is because your aide will be considered a household employee.
  4. After you’ve found your health aide, create a care plan, which may include the following:
  • The days and hours you need assistance
  • The daily tasks that need to be completed
  • A schedule of appointments and medication times
  • A list of contacts, such as your doctor’s information
  • An emergency plan; as well as
  • Any of your personal preferences.

Re-evaluate your care plan every few months. Ask your family to discuss this with you because having loved ones on board will be helpful in the future, when you may need more support as you continue to age in place.

Reference: WRAL (April 17, 2022) “How to choose an in-home health aide”

Suggested Key Terms: Home Health Aide, Aging in Place

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