Home care sounds simple; when an older person needs assistance, someone will come to his home and care for him, right? Well, yes and no. There are several options for in-home care, both from qualified full-service agencies and independent contractors, and the type your loved one gets will often depend on the type of care needed. The following are some clarifications on your options and choices for care:

There is actually a difference between home care and home health care. While the two terms seem to refer to the same thing, they are quite different. Home care is often referred to as private duty care or private pay services (sometimes also called personal care or companion care), as these services are paid for by the individual receiving care, whether out of pocket from personal savings or from insurance or reimbursement from a veterans’ program. Home care services are mostly “non-medical” services and can range from companionship to housekeeping, transportation, personal care, dementia care to 24-hour or respite care.

Home health care always has a “skilled nursing care” component and involves certain other health care services one receives in a home setting for the treatment of a condition, illness or injury. The care is based on that condition, illness or injury getting better with the care being provided. Thus, home care also covers those situations where the care is ongoing and the condition or illness is chronic and does not improve over time.

Hiring an independent caregiver instead of a home care agency is risky business! It’s important to understand the facts when it comes to selecting a caregiver from a registry or private hire, such as you see advertised in the Classifieds section of the newspaper. While it can sound appealing: “Woman with years of home care experience available immediately to care for your loved one – low rate guaranteed!” there are a number of additional factors that need to be considered.

Nurse registries and private hires come with some hidden risks. When working with registries or hiring a caregiver on your own, the responsibility of managing and supervising the worker falls on the patient, a family member, or a family advisor. Government mandated taxes and workers’ compensation coverage usually fall on the consumer and oftentimes the workers are not trained.

Full service senior home care agencies in Concord and the surrounding areas, like Live Free Home Health Care, provide care by employees of the agency who are screened, trained, monitored and usually bonded and insured. There is far more safety in this model, and far less potential liability for the care recipient than with a nurse registry or private hire.

We know that shopping for home care is not only a big decision, but an overwhelming one as well. At Live Free Home Health Care, we’re always happy to speak with you if you have any questions about senior care companies in Concord and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more!