Care Mountain has over 31+ years (since 1986) of licensed leadership experience providing in home care and home health care. Through these years we have seen some of the most effective means to reduce the cost of in home care and want to share this with caregivers in Dallas, TX and caregivers in Arlington, TX areas.
One of the easiest and biggest savings comes from the use of adaptive and medical equipment that can take the place of a caregiver. I had a son call me for his father wanting home health care in Plano, TX. His father lived with him and was wanting a caregiver to be with his father while he was at work – about 8.5 hours daily Monday through Friday. His main concern was that his dad needed assistance getting up out of his chair as needed. I suggested a mechanical lift chair that would lift his dad up to a standing position, which he ended up purchasing and then not needing a caregiver. Besides looking on the Internet for adaptive and medical equipment, you can also get some good ideas from local physical therapists and occupational therapists found at places such as HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital and Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation.
If adaptive or medical equipment is not enough to address your need, then your next step may be to see what types of free or subsidized services are available in your community. Some good places to start are Meals on Wheels Collin County, Meals on Wheels Dallas County, Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, Meals on Wheels Denton County, The Senior Source, Accessibility at Uber, Greater Dallas Chapter of Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Association North Central Texas, Dallas Area Parkinsonism Society, ALS Texas Association Chapter, Dallas Area Agency on Aging, United Way of Tarrant County and the North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging.
If you come to the point of a hiring a private pay caregiver, then to best manage costs you want to have a good care plan with clearly defined goals, research and understand the different pricing models for caregivers, understand how to get the most for your money, ensure caregiver stability, be proactive in your care, stay active within healthy limits and always remember the caregiver is there for you and not you there for the caregiver.
Have a good care plan with clearly defined goals. In other words, if you don’t know where you are going you will likely end up some place else. Be clear on what your expectations are for your caregiver along with goals to achieve by specific dates. Without this you run the risk of enabling a higher level and longer term dependence on your caregiver. The greater your independence, the less you will be spending on in home care assistance.
Research and understand the different pricing models for caregivers. The rates charged for in home care services in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex vary for the same services. Be careful of any home care agency that charges you more as your care needs increase, but doesn’t pay your caregiver more. I always felt it a conflict of interest for a home care agency’s profit to be driven by you getting sicker. If you are needing 24 hour home care, then look into the cost of Live In home care since it will often cost you about 45% less than standard hourly home care rates.
Understand how to get the most in home care for your money. If you are on a limited budget, then having a caregiver from around 8:30 AM to around 12:30 PM will typically give you the most for your money. This is the time of the day that most care giving tasks need to be done, the care giver can take note of any issues happening at nights, can prepare and ensure breakfast and lunch are eaten, assist at the time most medications are often taken and can leave a prepared meal for later in the day.
Ensure caregiver stability. Do not bring a caregiver on board unless you are assured of good reliability. Caregiver turnover will cost you dearly in retraining related issues and in the cost the added stress will have on your health.
Be proactive in your care. Proactive means making changes to minimize the chance of more costly care. This is one of the biggest challenges I see with families. Adult children are typically proactive, but their elderly parents are often not willing to take action until something bad happens that scares them. Those that tend to wait and make change when things get bad, tend to be in a more consistent state of crisis and higher level of stress which is certainly not good for their health.
Stay active within healthy limits. Throughout the years I have met many in their late 70’s that can not figure out why they feel as if their health is suddenly declining resulting in the need for in home care. In most of those situations I attributed it to a discretionary decline in their level of daily activity. For example, many elderly cut back on their daily level of activity out of fear of falling, not realizing the less they walk the more likely they may be of falling when they do walk. In these cases, having a home health care aide come in for an hour or two a day can provide the sense of security to do activity that would not otherwise feel secure doing alone.
Remember, the caregiver is there for you and not you there for the caregiver. One of the most costly mistakes I see is a family putting the best interest of their caregiver ahead of their own. A good recent example of this is a daughter I met caring for her parents in her home. She only needed a caregiver from 8 AM to 2 PM daily, but was paying for a caregiver from 11 AM to 7 PM and wanted to hire another caregiver from 8 AM to 11 AM. The daughter liked the current caregiver, so out of fear of losing her she gave her extra hours that were not needed and allowed her to come in at 11 AM because that caregiver liked to sleep in late. Most of the work and the hard work was done before 11 AM, which the daughter had been doing out of risk of losing the caregiver she liked. Unfortunately, this very kind and caring daughter put the caregiver’s interests ahead of the best interests of her parents care. Anytime I walk into a situation and see a caregiver schedule that makes not sense, I know it’s the same – a caregiver’s best interest put ahead of the best interest of the client. This will add cost to your home care in so many ways!CLICK HERE FOR FAQ
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