Private Care for Elderly at Home: How to Choose a Home Care Agency

More and more families are hiring home care providers for their elderly loved ones. In 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 56% of people turning 65 are predicted to need significant long-term health services. With nearly all seniors preferring to age at home, thousands of families are looking for the best in-home care.

Considering private care for the elderly at home? Here are some factors to consider, as well as six things to ask an in-home care company to determine if they’ll be the right fit.

What is Private Home Care for the Elderly?

First, let’s understand what private care for the elderly at home is. It’s a service designed to help older adults who need help with daily activities but wish to remain in their own homes. It’s an alternative to residential care facilities, offering a more personalized approach. This type of care is tailored to each senior’s individual needs, ranging from basic assistance with daily tasks to more comprehensive medical care.

Home Healthcare Services

Home healthcare providers offer a range of services to cater to the diverse needs of seniors. These services typically include:

  • Personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Mobility assistance
  • Medication reminders
  • Meal preparation and dietary monitoring
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Companionship and emotional support
  • Transportation to appointments and social events

Some in-home care providers offer medical services. These companies use skilled nurses as their caregivers. A doctor prescribes home healthcare services. describes these services as wound care, catheter management, injections, IV infusions, post-op rehab, medication administration, ventilator patient care, and pain management.

Costs and Insurance Coverage

The cost of private care for the elderly at home varies depending on the level of care required, the number of hours the caregiver is needed, and where you’re located. The national average for a non-medical in-home care provider is $26 an hour, according to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

It’s important to note that long-term care insurance may cover some of these costs, and veterans’ benefits can also help fund care. However, traditional health insurance plans and Medicare typically do not cover non-medical in-home care services.

How to Choose a Home Care Agency

When it comes to choosing an agency, the decision is a significant one. It can significantly affect the quality of life for your loved one, ensuring they receive the necessary support while remaining in the comfort and familiarity of their own home. You’ll want to consider several factors when searching for at-home care for seniors.

  • Assess your loved one’s needs:
    Determine the level of care and type of services your loved one requires. This assessment will guide you in finding an agency specializing in the necessary care. Some home care providers, like A Place At Home, will guide you through this process. We sit down with you and your loved one and create a personalized care plan tailored to their specific needs.
  • Research and compare agencies:
    Look for agencies in your area and compare their services, costs, and reviews. Websites like can be a valuable resource.
  • Check credentials and training:
    Ensure the agency is licensed and its caregivers are properly trained and experienced. Agencies should conduct background checks on their staff.
  • Understand the cost:
    Clarify all costs involved and ask about any additional fees. Understand the billing process and frequency. No one wants any hidden charges to pop up.

Questions to Ask When Choosing an Agency

There are several questions you’ll want to ask the company that’ll be in charge of taking care of your loved one when you’re not around. AARP has a complete list of questions, but here are some of the top questions to ask:

  1. What specific services do you offer?
  2. How do you hire and train your caregivers?
  3. Will we have the same caregivers every visit, and do we get to meet them before they start?
  4. How do you handle changes in care needs?
  5. How does your agency handle emergencies or unexpected situations?
  6. How do you ensure the quality and consistency of care?

On top of these questions, ask for references from the agency. If they’re confident in the quality of service their caregivers offer, they’ll provide you with current or past clients who can talk about their experiences.

Let A Place At Home Help

A Place At Home offers a range of in-home care services tailored to meet the unique needs of your loved one. Our compassionate and skilled caregivers are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care. To learn more about our comprehensive care plans, connect with us by finding a location near you. Remember, choosing the right in-home care agency can significantly affect your loved one’s life.

Senior Care at Home: Deciding If It’s Right for Your Family

A caregiver from A Place At Home and a senior in a wheelchair are looking out into a garden together.

Watching a loved one age can be a challenging experience, especially when you’re faced with deciding how best to care for them. Compare your options for elderly care. Find out the pros and cons of senior care at home to decide if it’s the right choice for your family and elderly loved one.

How to Know If It’s Time

Noticing signs that a senior needs assistance is crucial. Sometimes the symptoms are obvious, such as a health issue like a stroke or fall. Other situations might be more subtle such as noticing they’re struggling with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, or personal care. Both are indicators that it might be time to consider help. The Mayo Clinic discusses these five warning signs:

  1. Self-care management: If you’re seeing a decline in personal hygiene, an unkept house, or bills going unpaid, it could be a sign of declining health.
  2. Memory loss: Are they forgetting to take medications, misplacing commonly used items like the TV remote, or repeatedly asking the same question? The Mayo Clinic defines all of these as signs of some type of memory loss.
  3. Home safety: Unexplained bruises or injuries is a suggestion that they might be having falls. Is the home safe for your loved one to navigate independently, such as climbing stairs or walking over loose rugs? Are daily items easily reachable, such as dishware? Senior care at home might be necessary if they can’t navigate their home safely alone.
  4. Unexplained weight loss: The Mayo Clinic says unexpected or unexplained weight loss is a sign of mental and/or physical health complications. Struggling to cook on their own, losing their sense of taste or smell, being overwhelmed by grocery shopping, or other health conditions are signs that intervention is needed.
  5. Mood changes: Has your loved one withdrawn from social activities or become increasingly isolated? This could indicate depression, and your senior could benefit from companionship care.

Types of Senior Care

When considering the best care option for your loved one, it’s essential to understand the distinctions of each choice. Let’s explore the social opportunities, medical facilities, and psychological impacts of senior care at home, adult day care, and retirement homes.

 Social OpportunitiesMedical FacilitiesPsychological Impact
In-Home Senior CareAt-home care primarily offers one-on-one interaction between the senior and the caregiver in the comfort of familiar surroundings. Families can easily visit, and seniors can maintain their neighborhood connections. However, it might require additional effort to ensure diverse social interactions.At-home care can accommodate basic medical needs, with caregivers assisting with medications and some therapies. For more specialized medical attention, additional arrangements might be necessary.Staying at home can offer emotional stability due to the familiarity of the environment. However, there’s a risk of feeling isolated if proactive steps aren’t taken to ensure regular social interactions.
Adult Day CareAdult day cares offer group settings where seniors can interact with peers. They often have scheduled activities, games, and group sessions that encourage socialization.Many adult day cares provide basic medical monitoring and have healthcare professionals on-site. They can handle routine medical needs but might not be equipped for specialized care.Attending an adult day care can provide a change of scenery and routine, which can be stimulating. However, the transition between home and the facility might be challenging and tiring for some seniors.
Retirement FacilitiesRetirement homes offer a community setting. Seniors have neighbors of their age, and there are often organized events, clubs, and activities to foster community bonding.These homes can handle a broader range of medical needs, from routine care to specialized attention. Some even have on-site medical facilities.Moving to a retirement home is a significant transition. While it offers a sense of community, it also means leaving behind a familiar environment. It can come with a very challenging adjustment period.

Costs of Senior Care

Senior care costs vary based on the type and duration of services needed. Genworth, a life and long-term care insurance company, created a cost-of-care survey in 2021. Here’s a breakdown of the national median costs for monthly senior care:

  • In-home senior care: (40 hours/week): $4,506
  • Home health aide: (40 hours/week): $4,680
  • Adult day care: $1,690
  • Assisted living facility: $4,500
  • Private nursing home room: $9,034

Senior care at home might seem expensive initially, but it can be more affordable compared to the costs of retirement homes or long-term care facilities. While adult day care is the cheapest option, it doesn’t prevent falls or other medical risks from occurring in your loved one’s home. You’ll have to figure out how to get them to the care facility daily.

If you’re concerned about paying for home care costs, here are some methods to manage these costs:

  • Long-term care insurance: If your loved one has this insurance, it might cover some costs of in-home care.
  • Veteran benefits: Veterans might be eligible for home care benefits.
  • Medicaid: Depending on your state, Medicaid might cover some home care services.
  • Personal savings: Setting aside funds for senior care can ease the financial burden when the time comes.

Pros and Cons of Senior Care At Home

In-home senior care offers a more personalized approach compared to other care options. You will be provided with one-on-one attention tailored to your loved one’s needs, ensuring they receive the best possible care in a familiar environment. Plus, your loved one can remain in their own home, surrounded by cherished memories and personal belongings, creating a level of comfort and familiarity. Some in-home care companies, like A Place At Home, offer customizable care plans. So, care schedules can be adjusted based on your family’s needs, whether a few hours a day or round-the-clock care. This allows you and your family to be more involved in day-to-day care and decisions for your loved one.

In contrast, adult day cares provide care during specific hours, often in a group setting. On the other hand, retirement homes offer a more permanent solution with 24/7 care but may require a significant lifestyle change.

Some cons to consider with home care include the cost, space limitations, or potential isolation. Depending on the level of care needed, at-home care can be expensive. Some homes may not be equipped to handle advanced medical equipment or mobility aids. Lastly, without regular social activities, seniors might feel isolated.

Find Help with A Place At Home

Those cons are nothing you should worry about when creating a care plan with A Place At Home. We offer compassionate and personalized at-home senior care services tailored to your loved one’s needs. Find a location near you and take the first step towards ensuring your loved one’s comfort and well-being.

WISH Act May Change the Game When it Comes to Paying for In-Home Care

In news that could affect the care seniors receive as they age, the Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home (WISH) Act has been introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY). This new legislation seeks to help seniors pay for long-term care.

Currently, most Americans don’t have the coverage needed to pay for potential long-term care needs. This comes at a time when Baby Boomers are expected to have increased needs as they continue to age. Many rely on federal programs such as Medicaid. Medicaid covers nursing home care for seniors who have meager assets, and families are often faced with spending down their loved one’s assets to help them qualify. In most states, the threshold for assets is just $2,000.

Medicare, on the other hand, provides no coverage at all for long-term care.

Another current option is long-term care insurance. But only 2% of Americans have it, according to Time Magazine, partially because it’s expensive. As a result, their loved ones often try to provide a patchwork of care. However, these unpaid caregivers are untrained in most cases and often end up suffering from depression and stress-related disorders. In addition, many neglect their medical care as they try to provide care for their loved ones.

The WISH Act Provides Benefits and Flexibility.

As this new legislation seeks to help seniors pay for long-term care, it also gives them added flexibility. Instead of just funding nursing home care, the WISH Act would also allow seniors to use their benefits to pay for 6 hours a day of home care and pay for other services.

Monthly cash benefits would be about $3,600 and be indexed for inflation. The money would be funded by a .3 percent increase in the payroll tax for workers and employers.

Seniors who are of full Social Security retirement age and have significant cognitive impairment or need help with at least two activities of daily living (such as bathing or eating) could receive benefits under the bill. Once seniors pay into the system for 1.5 years, they would receive partial benefits. Full benefits would kick in after they contributed to the program for ten years.

Benefits under the new legislation would not be taxable. And seniors who receive benefits under the WISH Act would still be able to utilize other federal benefits programs. Funds from the WISH Act would pay out first, and then other programs, like Medicaid, could be used.

Find Out What Your Current Options Are

To learn about current options to pay for in-home care, find a location near you. We provide compassionate at-home care services that make it easier and safer for seniors to maintain their independence and continue to live at home.

American Stroke Month

American Stroke Month exists to create awareness of the risk factors for stroke and educate the public about preventing their own risk.

Each year in the US, almost 700,000 individuals will experience their first stroke. While a stroke can happen to anyone, at any age, the risk for women is much higher than that of men. One in five women will suffer a stroke in their lifetime, and stroke itself is the number four leading cause of death in women in the United States. While the number of individuals who will experience their first stroke is large, someone who has had one stroke is at risk of suffering another one in the future. 

There are several key factors when it comes to the risk of stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Artery and heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Excessive drinking
  • Physical inactivity

The situation may seem dire, but in actuality, 80% of all strokes are preventable.

This is excellent news, considering the often devastating effects of a stroke. Depending on the side of the brain the stroke occurs on, an individual can experience paralysis, issues with vision, speech, and language, changes in their behavior, and memory loss. It’s less common, but a stroke that occurs on the brain stem heavily impacts both sides of the brain. In these cases, a person can be “locked in.” This means they aren’t able to speak and lack the ability for movement below the neck.

In general, strokes fall into two categories – ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke happens when a vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked. There are two types of ischemic strokes:

  1. A thrombotic stroke is often caused by diabetes or high cholesterol and usually occurs in older people. Symptoms may come on slowly over days or hours and may be preceded by a TIA or “mini-stroke.” 
  2. An embolic stroke usually happens rapidly without warning signs and is often the result of heart disease and, in some cases, heart surgery. Debris from a blockage elsewhere in the body travels to the vessels of the brain. 

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to bleeding on the brain or the space between the brain and its protective membrane. This type of stroke also causes irritation and swelling around the brain, leading to further brain damage. Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 15% of all strokes. 

 There are two categories of hemorrhagic strokes:

  1. An intracerebral hemorrhage is when the vessels in the brain are weak and bleed. High blood pressure is often the cause of this weakness. This type of stroke usually happens suddenly with no warning signs and can be severe enough to lead to a coma or death. 
  2. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is what is commonly known as an aneurysm. This happens when there is bleeding in the space between the brain and the membrane that covers it. 

Life post-stroke can be confusing, depressing, and overwhelming. 

In quite a few cases, life after a stroke will look drastically different. Everyday tasks such as using the restroom and getting dressed may no longer be possible to do on one’s own. However, you may not think of other things, for example, not being able to roll over or readjust yourself in bed because one side of your body doesn’t respond to your commands. Holding utensils and communicating with your loved ones. Difficulty sleeping, memory deficits, and emotional effects such as anxiety and depression. 

However, recovery from a stroke is possible.

Beginning as soon as possible is integral to making as much progress as possible. Generally speaking, the maximum recovery takes place over the first three to six months following a stroke. It’s essential to begin as soon as possible. Rehabilitation happens on several fronts. Physically, one will work on motor skills, strength, and coordination. Mobility using aiding equipment and re-learning how to walk is a significant part, as well as forced-use therapy and range of motion exercises. 

In recent years, more technology has played a part in the recovery process. Wireless technology has come into play recently. Activity monitors can help track and increase an individual’s activity level and frequency. Electricity is used to prompt muscles to contract through a technology called Functional Electrical Stimulation. Robotics can help regain the strength and function of impaired limbs, and virtual reality allows one to interact in a simulated environment.

Physical rehabilitation is not the only focus for improvement post-stroke. 

One’s cognitive and emotional state following a stroke needs to be attended to as well. Depression, anxiety, and behavioral struggles all need to be taken into account. Occupational and Speech therapies help address processing, social skills, judgment, speaking, writing, comprehension, and more. Counseling and support groups will benefit stroke survivors and their families. Often, a family needs as much emotional and mental support as their loved one following a significant health event. Resources for both patient and caregiver support can be found here and here

A Place At Home can provide support in the home following a stroke.

A Place At Home has a stroke-specific program to support individuals recovering from a stroke and provide respite to familial caregivers. This program is designed to address the specific care needs of individuals recovering from a stroke. It may be appropriate for individuals that have had a stroke in the past, as well. Caregivers supporting individuals enrolled in the Stroke Recovery program are CARE certified. They are educated to address the specific needs of this type of recovery. You can learn more about this program here

Taking heed of the risk factors for stroke is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Take the time to educate yourself on how you can help prevent a stroke from affecting your future and quality of life. That’s what American Stroke Month is all about. 

May 6th 2021 – National Nurses Day

May 6th, 2021, is National Nurses Day – the start of National Nurses Week.

Dorothy Sutherland called for a day to recognize nurses in 1953. At the time, Nurses Week was in October, in commemoration of Florence Nightingale’s mission in Crimea. “National Recognition Day for Nurses” was changed to May 6th in 1981. This day kicks off a week of celebrating nurses for the contributions they make each day in their communities. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has been an especially poignant reminder of the energy and sacrifices nurses make each day to care for those in need. 

The first of the frontline workers over the last year, Nurses Day and Week is a perfect time to thank a nurse in your community. Several organizations are showing their support for nurses this year by offering discounts and deals throughout the week:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts: May 6th, nurses can get a free medium hot or iced coffee at participating locations.
  • Chipotle: Now through May 31st, the restaurant chain is gifting free burritos to healthcare workers. You can place an order here.
  • Under Armor: The clothing line offers 40% off online and in-store purchases for nurses and others working in healthcare through May 9th. Visit their website, and confirm your identity here
  • GO-Clip: This company sells mask clips that attach to hats or other headwear. Through Nurses Week, use the promo code GONURSES to get two mask clips when you purchase one. 

Whether in schools, hospitals, clinics, or the home, each day in the community, a nurse can be found making an impact. 

At A Place At Home, our nurses provide a necessary service – Care Coordination, helping clients and families navigate an often complex healthcare system. Not only that, but they develop personalized care plans to help keep seniors in their homes longer and oversee a team of caregivers. Our nurses ensure that each client receives the compassionate and professional care that they need and deserve. 

Whether they are caring for children in schools, patients in hospitals, in the home, or those in hospice care, nurses make a difference in thousands of lives each day. This year, take a moment to thank a nurse in your life. If you or someone you love can benefit from Care Coordination or any of our other senior-focused services, reach out to us today. We would be honored to help. 

We Stand Greater Than Diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month. As declared by the American Diabetes Association, this year’s theme is “We Stand Greater Than Diabetes.” The association chose this theme to highlight that when we stand together to support the research efforts, legislation, and a healthy lifestyle, we can be greater than the threat of diabetes.

There are three main types of diabetes: Gestational, Type I, and Type II. Type I and II are the most common. Most of the time, patients can successfully manage their diabetes, no matter which kind. Managing this condition can be done through diet and exercise, and in some cases (always, in the case of Type I), medication.

But what is the difference between Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes?

  • Type I Diabetes: With this type, the body doesn’t produce insulin at all. This type cannot be prevented but can be addressed with medication and insulin therapy. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help manage Type I as well.
  • Type II Diabetes: Though Type II is preventable, it is the most common type. It often occurs in aging adults. Someone who has Type II diabetes can produce insulin, but their body doesn’t use it properly. One can manage this type successfully with diet and exercise, but in some cases does require medication.

While there’s no cure for diabetes, managing the disease can ensure most people diagnosed will live long, healthy lives. However, complications from the disease can arise if it is not taken care of properly. If left unchecked, this disease can lead to underlying conditions that cause further complications and stress on the body.

Some of these complications are seen frequently in older adults and can require regular medical attention and care.

When diabetes is not managed appropriately, neuropathy (a condition affecting the nerves that can cause a loss of feeling and weakness in the area affected) and poor circulation can occur. This can quickly lead to diabetic wounds and ulcers, often seen on the feet and lower extremities. Not only that, but uncontrolled diabetes can cause other, severe conditions. Examples are heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, issues with vision, and some skin conditions. And of course, some of these can require frequent hospitalizations and multiple new medications.

If you have diabetes, there are things you can do to prevent further complications.

 You must keep track of any prescribed medications or insulin therapies. Ensure you’re tracking your blood sugar regularly, if necessary. And of course, maintain a healthy diet and get as much exercise as possible. If your diabetes has already caused complications, it might be a good idea to reach out to an in-home care company that can help you manage a healthier lifestyle. Having caregivers in your home can help ensure that you’re following a proper diet, can help with medication reminders, and, in some cases, medication management. You can also have the peace of mind of having oversight to address any further complications that might emerge.

If you’re an aging adult with diabetes or know someone who could use assistance managing the disease process, reach out to us today. Our professional and trained caregivers can help.