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January 2, 2013     Montmorency County Tribune
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013 The Montmorency County Tribune 13 How to find and hire a good home care worker Dear Savvy Senior, What's the bestway to find a good in-home caregiver for my elderly mother? Looking for Care Dear Looking, Finding a good in-home caregiver that's depend- able, likeable, trustworthy and affordable can be challenging, to say the least. Here are some tips and resources that can help. Know Your Needs Before you start the task of looking for a caregiver, your first step is to determine the level of care your morn needs (see NCLneedsassessment.org for a checklist). If, for example, she only needs help with activities of daily living like preparing meals, doing laundry, bathing or dressing, a "homemaker" or "personal care aide" will do. But, ff she needs health care services, there are "home health aides" that may do all the things a homemaker does, plus they also have training in administering medications, changingwound dress- ings and other medically related duties. Home health aides often work under a nurse's supervision. Once you settle on a level of care, you then need to decide howmanyhours of assistance she'll need. For example, does your mom need someone to come in just a few mornings a week to help her cook, clean, run errands or perhaps bathe? Or does she need more continuous care that requires daily visits or a full-time aide? After you determine her needs, there are two ways in which you can go about hiring someone. Either through a home health agency, or you can hire some- one directly on your own. Home Health Agencies Hiring a certified home health agency to supply and manage your mom's care is the easiest but most expen- sive option of the two. Costs run anywhere from $12 up to $40 an hour depending on where you live and the qualification of the aide. This is also usually a better way to go if your mom requires a lot of in-home health care. How it works is you pay the agency, and they handle everything including an assessment of your mom's needs, assigning appropriately trained and pro- screened staffto care for her, and finding a fill-in on days her aide cannot come. Some of the drawbacks, however, are that you may not have much input into the selection of the caregiver, and the caregivers may change or alternate, which can cause a disruption in care and confusion. You also need to know that while Medicare does cover some in-home health care services if it's ordered by a doctor, they don't cover homemaker services, nor will they cover personal care services, such as bathing and dressing, provided by a home health aide if that is the only care required. But, if your mom is low-income and qualifies for Medicaid, some services are covered. To locate and compare Medicare-approved home health agencies visit www.medicare.gov/hhcompare, and call 800-633-4227 and request a free copy of the "Medicare and Home Health Care" publication (# 10969) that explains coverage and how to choose an agency. Hiring Directly Hiring an independent caregiver on your own is the other option, and it's less expensive. Costs typically range between $10 and $20 per hour. Hiring directly also gives you more control over who you hire so you can choose someone who you feel is right for your mom. But, be aware that if you do hire someone onyour own, you become the employer so there's no agency sup- port to fall back on ifa problem occurs or if the aide doesn't show up. You're also responsible for paying payroll taxes and any worker-related injuries that may happen. If you choose this option make sure you check the aide's references thoroughly, and do a criminal background check. To find someone, ask for referrals through friends, doctor's offices or hospital discharge planners, check online job boards like craigslist.org, or try carelinx.com or carescout.com. Some states even offer registries (PHImatchingservicesmap.org) to help you locate good caregivers. Or, for a fee, a geriatric care manager (caremanager.org) can help find someone. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a con- tributor to the NBC Today show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book. Phone: 989-785-2405 €.ffordablc Emergencies: 989-306-3471 Licensed 8c Insured For All Plumbing & Heating Needs: Boilers, Freeze-ups, Drain Lines, SerVice, & Install Easlick Heating Cooling & Plumbing Installing Armstrong Products 24 HR Service For EstimQtea Call FREE Estimates 989-785-6419 Servicing All Brands For Servia Call 17850 Co. Rd. 612 ATE989-785-6419 Atlanta, MI 49709 Mio. 989-808-5609 WE HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED! Two Locations Wholesale • Retail Do-It-Yourself Center Plumbing • Heating Pumps & Well Supplies Complete Inventory of Fiberglass Tubs, Sinks & Showers Plastic Pipe & Fittings for Drainage & Watersupply in Stock NORTHWEST PLUMBING & HEATING SUPPLY 718 N. Mt. Tom Rd. M-33 Between Hio & Fairview Mio (989) 826-6767 • Brighton (989) 546-PIPE Lot Clearing • Septic Systems • Road Grading Demolition ° Ponds ° Limestone • Gravel • Topsoil K-N-K Excavating 10844 M-32 West, Atlanta, M149709 989-785-4562 Fax: 989-785-4182 Ken & Kim Werner Snowplowing • Sanding Twin Lakes Well Drilling & Pump Service, LLC Ted V. May, Owner 2847 Bay Street Lewiston MI 49756 D.M.R. SERVICES CONTRACTING RESIDENTIAL BUILDING & EXCAVATUNG Additions, Decks, Polebarns, Driveways, Landscaping, Septic Systems, Snowplowing Licensed & Insured Dale M. Robinson High 22770 Pleasant Valley Rd. Performance Hillman, MI 49746 Insulations Office: (989) 742-3247 Distributor Cell: (989) 464-1288 Kenyon Brothers Construction Design • Build • Remodel Residential & Commercial Carpentry ° Concrete & Masonry Doug Kenyon PO Box 217, I lillman, Michigan 989-742-3963 IH00RSW Complete Roofing Services • Tear Offs & Re-Roofs • Fascia & Soffit Work • Straighten & Fix Sagging Roof Lines Complete Home Restorations Fax 989-786-7811 2929 Reining Rd. J/QK.aKI) Lewiston, MI 49756 /OU 3U7 Rick@tswcommoltcom ! Running out of business forms? The Tribune can produce multi-part carbonless forms. Wednesday, January 2, 2013 The Montmorency County Tribune 13 How to find and hire a good home care worker Dear Savvy Senior, What's the bestway to find a good in-home caregiver for my elderly mother? Looking for Care Dear Looking, Finding a good in-home caregiver that's depend- able, likeable, trustworthy and affordable can be challenging, to say the least. Here are some tips and resources that can help. Know Your Needs Before you start the task of looking for a caregiver, your first step is to determine the level of care your morn needs (see NCLneedsassessment.org for a checklist). If, for example, she only needs help with activities of daily living like preparing meals, doing laundry, bathing or dressing, a "homemaker" or "personal care aide" will do. But, ff she needs health care services, there are "home health aides" that may do all the things a homemaker does, plus they also have training in administering medications, changingwound dress- ings and other medically related duties. Home health aides often work under a nurse's supervision. Once you settle on a level of care, you then need to decide howmanyhours of assistance she'll need. For example, does your mom need someone to come in just a few mornings a week to help her cook, clean, run errands or perhaps bathe? Or does she need more continuous care that requires daily visits or a full-time aide? After you determine her needs, there are two ways in which you can go about hiring someone. Either through a home health agency, or you can hire some- one directly on your own. Home Health Agencies Hiring a certified home health agency to supply and manage your mom's care is the easiest but most expen- sive option of the two. Costs run anywhere from $12 up to $40 an hour depending on where you live and the qualification of the aide. This is also usually a better way to go if your mom requires a lot of in-home health care. How it works is you pay the agency, and they handle everything including an assessment of your mom's needs, assigning appropriately trained and pro- screened staffto care for her, and finding a fill-in on days her aide cannot come. Some of the drawbacks, however, are that you may not have much input into the selection of the caregiver, and the caregivers may change or alternate, which can cause a disruption in care and confusion. You also need to know that while Medicare does cover some in-home health care services if it's ordered by a doctor, they don't cover homemaker services, nor will they cover personal care services, such as bathing and dressing, provided by a home health aide if that is the only care required. But, if your mom is low-income and qualifies for Medicaid, some services are covered. To locate and compare Medicare-approved home health agencies visit www.medicare.gov/hhcompare, and call 800-633-4227 and request a free copy of the "Medicare and Home Health Care" publication (# 10969) that explains coverage and how to choose an agency. Hiring Directly Hiring an independent caregiver on your own is the other option, and it's less expensive. Costs typically range between $10 and $20 per hour. Hiring directly also gives you more control over who you hire so you can choose someone who you feel is right for your mom. But, be aware that if you do hire someone onyour own, you become the employer so there's no agency sup- port to fall back on ifa problem occurs or if the aide doesn't show up. You're also responsible for paying payroll taxes and any worker-related injuries that may happen. If you choose this option make sure you check the aide's references thoroughly, and do a criminal background check. To find someone, ask for referrals through friends, doctor's offices or hospital discharge planners, check online job boards like craigslist.org, or try carelinx.com or carescout.com. Some states even offer registries (PHImatchingservicesmap.org) to help you locate good caregivers. Or, for a fee, a geriatric care manager (caremanager.org) can help find someone. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a con- tributor to the NBC Today show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book. Phone: 989-785-2405 €.ffordablc Emergencies: 989-306-3471 Licensed 8c Insured For All Plumbing & Heating Needs: Boilers, Freeze-ups, Drain Lines, SerVice, & Install Easlick Heating Cooling & Plumbing Installing Armstrong Products 24 HR Service For EstimQtea Call FREE Estimates 989-785-6419 Servicing All Brands For Servia Call 17850 Co. Rd. 612 ATE989-785-6419 Atlanta, MI 49709 Mio. 989-808-5609 WE HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED! Two Locations Wholesale • Retail Do-It-Yourself Center Plumbing • Heating Pumps & Well Supplies Complete Inventory of Fiberglass Tubs, Sinks & Showers Plastic Pipe & Fittings for Drainage & Watersupply in Stock NORTHWEST PLUMBING & HEATING SUPPLY 718 N. Mt. Tom Rd. M-33 Between Hio & Fairview Mio (989) 826-6767 • Brighton (989) 546-PIPE Lot Clearing • Septic Systems • Road Grading Demolition ° Ponds ° Limestone • Gravel • Topsoil K-N-K Excavating 10844 M-32 West, Atlanta, M149709 989-785-4562 Fax: 989-785-4182 Ken & Kim Werner Snowplowing • Sanding Twin Lakes Well Drilling & Pump Service, LLC Ted V. May, Owner 2847 Bay Street Lewiston MI 49756 D.M.R. SERVICES CONTRACTING RESIDENTIAL BUILDING & EXCAVATUNG Additions, Decks, Polebarns, Driveways, Landscaping, Septic Systems, Snowplowing Licensed & Insured Dale M. Robinson High 22770 Pleasant Valley Rd. Performance Hillman, MI 49746 Insulations Office: (989) 742-3247 Distributor Cell: (989) 464-1288 Kenyon Brothers Construction Design • Build • Remodel Residential & Commercial Carpentry ° Concrete & Masonry Doug Kenyon PO Box 217, I lillman, Michigan 989-742-3963 Complete Roofing Services • Tear Offs & Re-Roofs • Fascia & Soffit Work • Straighten & Fix Sagging Roof Lines Complete Home Restorations Fax 989-786-7811 2929 Reining Rd. J/QK.aKI) Lewiston, MI 49756 /OU 3U7 Rick@tswcommoltcom ! Running out of business forms? The Tribune can produce multi-part carbonless forms.