Home Care Services
What is home care?
Home care, sometimes referred to as home aide, senior care, homemaker care, assistive care, or companion care, is non-medical support aimed at enabling a person to live safely and happily in the comfort and familiarity of home. Home care can be the key to achieving the highest quality of life possible. It can promote safety, security, and increased independence; it can ease management of an ongoing medical condition; it can help avoid unnecessary hospitalization; and it can aid with recovery after an illness, injury, or hospital stay.
Who can benefit from home care?
Any adult needing assistance to live independently, recover from childbirth or surgery, manage chronic health issues, or recover from a health setback. Adults with special needs or disabilities also can benefit from home care.
What services does home care include?
Home care includes:
- Assistance with self-care, such as grooming, bathing, dressing, and using the toilet.
- Enabling safety at home by assisting with ambulation, transfer (e.g., from bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to toilet), and fall prevention.
- Assistance with meal planning and preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, errands, medication reminders, and escorting to appointments.
- Companionship and engaging in hobbies and activities.
- Supervision for someone with a condition like dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
Is home care provided only in homes?
No. We can provide care anywhere you reside, whether that is in your home, in a hospital, rehabilitation facility, nursing home, memory care or assisted living facility, even hospice. You can also count on us to keep continuity of care should you move.
What is the difference between home care and home health care?
Our home care services are non-medical in nature, whereas home health care includes medical care administered by nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists or other skilled medical professionals, often prescribed as part of a care plan following a hospitalization.
What kind of caregivers do you use?
Many of our caregivers have completed a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Community-Based Residential Facility (CBRF), or other relevant educational programs. We provide initial training to our caregivers and verify their CPR competency. Many complete additional, specialized training in caring for those with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Our caregivers are drug screened and TB tested and undergo criminal background and reference checks.
How are your caregivers supervised?
Our clients are served by a team that includes one or more qualified caregivers under the supervision of our Care Coordinator and Field Supervisor, who are responsible for assuring consistent quality care and customer service. Our field team is also backed by our helpful office staff. We use the latest technology “Telephony” to supervise our caregiver’s arrival and departure times. This technology notifies the managerial staff within 10 minutes of the caregivers scheduled start time if they have not called in. We also provide on-site supervision every 30-60 days and ongoing communication.
Will I always have the same caregiver?
It is always our goal for you to have the same caregiver. It works best for you, our caregivers, and our office staff to ensure seamless communication and care. But cases involving more than 40 hours/week will, by necessity, involve more than one caregiver. And keep in mind that personalities matter in home care and finding the right chemistry between client and caregiver can take even the best matchmakers more than one try. Also, life happens, even to the most dedicated caregivers, and things like weather, illness and transportation issues occasionally crop up. We recommend having more than one caregiver familiar with any case for unexpected situations.
What if my caregiver is not a good fit for me?
Your comfort is our priority. We follow up with you and your loved one frequently. Anytime you are not completely comfortable with your caregiver, we will work with you to find the best possible fit
Home Care Agency
Does your agency provide transportation?
Yes, we provide transportation to doctor appointments, social outings and errands for clients requesting this service. We ask that you notify us in advance if you will be wanting transportation so we can assign a caregiver who meets the necessary prerequisites.
Will Assisting Hands custom tailor its services to meet my needs?
Yes, we offer three types of service arrangements and custom tailor the schedule and care plan within each of them to meet the unique needs of our clients: Hourly – Services are provided under an hourly arrangement, days or nights, weekdays or weekends. Live-In – This arrangement is designed to afford the client 13 hours of service per day delivered by a caregiver who resides in the home and has the remaining 11 hours of the day reserved for an uninterrupted sleep period and occasional breaks throughout the day. Generally, a week of service will be provided by two caregivers. 24 Hour Hourly – Designed for clients requiring round-the-clock attention, this arrangement involves two or three caregivers providing service in back to back shifts of 8 or 12 hours.
Who answers the phone after hours if we have an emergency?
A member of our field team or office staff will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our clients appreciate knowing they always have a knowledgeable member of our team available.
Do you accept VA (Veterans benefits) and LTC (Long Term Care Insurance)?
Yes. In addition, our service includes helping you administer your benefits at no extra charge.
What benefits are available to eligible Veterans to cover some or all the cost of home care?
Veterans can receive additional pension funds to pay for home care costs. Please check out our VA home care page and/or contact us to learn more about the Aid and Attendance or Homemaker benefits. We would be happy to connect you with a resource that specializes in helping Veterans access their eligible benefits.
Senior Care / Aging Parents
What are some of the common conditions that lead older adults to turn to home care in order to maintain their independence and maximize their quality of life?
Arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and other chronic conditions can make living at home challenging or even unsafe. Our senior/elderly care service can provide a lower cost, high quality alternative to moving into a care facility for those dealing with such conditions who prefer the comfort and familiarity of remaining in their own home.
My parents need some home modifications to make their home safe. Can you help advise us on installing grab bars or a ramp?
Yes! Assisting Hands Home Care can refer you to local resources who can help you out with these home modifications to make aging in place a reality!
What if my mother or father is stubborn and doesn’t want a caregiver?
It’s a big step for anyone to admit they might need help. And, it’s normal to feel reluctant about allowing an outsider into your private space. These challenges are very common, and we regularly help families get over the proverbial “hump”. Check out our blog post on what to do when a family member refuses home care. You may be surprised how quickly your caregiver starts to feel like part of the family!
What determines the cost?
The factors that tend to impact the cost of our home care service include:
Volume - The number of days per week service is needed, and the number of hours per day.
Predictability - Regular service under a pre-set schedule tends to cost less than service that is needed only occasionally or under a schedule that varies unpredictably.
Duration – Whether the overall length of the assignment is anticipated to be short- or long-term.
Specialization – The demands of the assignment, as well as the unique skills and experience needed to fulfill the care plan.
Location - To the extent a client resides in a remote, or hard-to-reach place, ease of access may need to be considered.
Do I have to commit to a minimum number of hours of service?
No, although we do charge a premium rate for visits under 3 hours. We have a variety of service options ranging from “rise and shine” visits to live-in coverage. We try to be flexible with your needs and offer an array of options. Our respite care services give family members caring for loved ones a much-needed break.
Can I cancel my service at any time?
Yes, we require 24-hour notice to either cancel a shift or services all together. We do understand that emergency situations arise and we will be flexible.
Can I change my service or schedule?
Yes, we are flexible and can adapt to your needs as they change.
Wisconsin does not require home care agencies or caregivers to be licensed. Should I be concerned about that?
Not with Assisting Hands. Unlike some of our competitors, we choose to operate to the highest standards even if not required by the state. Our caregivers are drug screened and TB tested. They undergo criminal background and reference checks and are screened against the sex offender registry. Our agency is fully insured. All our caregivers are employees, which means we stand behind them and assume responsibility for their compensation, taxes, on-the-job injuries, and all staffing concerns.
How do I assess when home care is appropriate?
Many use the activities of daily living (ADLs) as a guide in determining when home care could be beneficial, or even necessary. Can someone eat, dress, shower/bathe, take medication, use the toilet etc. by themselves, every day safely without assistance? Think about their morning and nightly routines. Would your loved one benefit from having help with these things? Would you benefit from having the peace of mind that comes with knowing he or she is receiving quality care you can trust? A few signs it might be time for some assistance:
- Falls: Has your loved one fallen recently? Did he or she end up in the hospital due to a fall? Our caregivers are trained in fall prevention techniques and can help your parent with activities during times of the day when a fall may be more likely to occur.
- Concern for driving: Are you starting to feel worried about your family member behind the wheel? Is his reaction time much slower than it used to be? Check out our blog post on how to talk with an older adult about driving.
- Nutrition suffers: Lifting heavy pots or carrying bags or fresh fruits and veggies can be hard for older adults (think of someone suffering from osteoporosis or sight problems). They often opt for a microwave meal or skip meals altogether. Our caregivers can stop by to prepare some home cooked meals and leave leftovers in the fridge for the next day!
- Household chores are not being Accomplished: Do you notice a change in the way your loved one cares for the house? Have you noticed any odors? Our caregivers can visit to wash the comforters, vacuum, and do some other light housekeeping.
- Other Safety Concerns: Is there a chance he or she may forget to turn that burner off at night? Have you visited mom and dad and found the door unlocked? Consider a nightly “tuck-in” visit. Our caregiver can stop by in the evening to make sure medication has been taken, burners are off, and doors are locked!