Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the signs that an aging loved one may need some help at home:
- Lack of housekeeping: Dishes piling up in the kitchen, dirty floors, or large piles of unwashed clothing, general change in housekeeping habits.
- Poor hygiene or change in personal hygiene habits. Wearing the same clothing for several days.
- Bills not being paid.
- Personal finances being neglected, checks bouncing.
- Inappropriate clothing choices (not wearing a coat in cold weather, not wearing shoes, wearing heavy clothing during hot weather)
- Confusion in the kitchen: Not remembering to turn off burners, leaving the oven on, leaving items in the oven and forgetting about them. Food being left out, leaving the water running.
- Changes in behavior: Odd conversations, signs of paranoia, accidentally taking too much medication, phone calls at odd hours, unusual fears and nervousness ... all of these things may be signs that your parent needs help.
- Licensed by the California Department of Social Services
- Caregivers are “Employees” (this means the agency is responsible for paying all employees payroll taxes, as required by law. Unemployment insurance tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax and State and Federal with-holdings)
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Fidelity Bond Insurance (this is sometimes referred to as “theft insurance”)
- Active management of the caregiver through a direct manager
- Plan of care developed at the start of care and updated as conditions change
- Criminal background check performed on all employees
- Ongoing training for caregivers
- 24 Hour on call service
Home healthcare services are typically medically necessary. They are paid for by Medicare or other health insurance, and have been ordered by a physician. Private duty home care services are typically non-medical, companion care services, including errands, light housekeeping, light meal preparation, medication reminders, light laundry, grocery shopping, transportation to and from appointments, taking walks, and getting the mail.
Yes, we provide services and companionship to seniors in assisted living facilities, skilled nursing/rehabilitation facilities and in hospitals for those that may desire to have additional one-on-one, personalized care.
Companion care and non-medical home care are typically not paid for by Medicare or traditional health insurance. Medicare and traditional health insurance only pay for “skilled care”, meaning the care must be ordered by a physician, must be medically necessary, and must be monitored by a health care professional.
In the case of Medicare, the client must also be home-bound and unable to run errands, or engage in activity outside of the home. Medicare and traditional health insurance pays for very limited amounts of care, for very brief periods of time.
In some cases, long-term care insurance will pay for non-medical home care. Look at the care recipient's policy and call the customer service telephone number or the agent that sold the plan. There is usually (but not always) an elimination period that must be met before long-term care insurance picks up the bill. Claims must be processed per the terms of the policy.
Yes, we are contracted with the VA Northern California Health Care System to provide care to veterans and their spouses. Our team can also provide assistance in determining if you qualify for the Aid & Attendance Benefit and connecting you with the VA to begin services once qualified.
Aging Assistant pays all taxes, insurance, unemployment, and worker's compensation insurance for our caregivers. You and your family will not be responsible for these items.
Your caregiver is employed by Aging Assistant and it is our responsibility to take care of all billing, payroll, taxes and insurance. We will send you semi-monthly billing statements and you send us the payment. We accept credit cards, debit cards and personal checks as payment.
Home health aides usually have more training (some are called Certified Nurses Aides or CNAs) and they can provide some medical services as well as non-medical services (like bathing, light wound care, or blood pressure monitoring). Home Health Aides are typically employeed by Home Health Care Agencies that focus on medical care. Personal caregivers provide non-medical assistance like light housekeeping, light laundry, errand running, transportation, and light meal preparation.
Live-in care means the caregiver lives in the home most of the week, and may only leave on their days off or to accompany the client. They may be replaced by another live-in caregiver on their days off. They have their own bedroom, and sleep at night when the care-receiver is sleeping. All live-in caregivers require a break during the day and during the week and will have days off. There is usually more than one caregiver assigned to a live-in case if 7 day coverage is needed. Most private duty home care agencies can provide live-in services and hourly services. Hourly caregivers do not live in the home. Live-in care is not appropriate for everyone. Hourly services may be more appropriate for seniors who need 24/7 attention, cannot be left alone and need the caregivers to be awake at night.
Typically, live-in care is cheaper than paying for 24-hour care at an hourly rate. Aging Assistant offers both hourly and live-in 24-hour care.
Respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members. Respite might be for a day, a week, or just a few hours. Most family caregivers need a break from time to time to take care of themselves and enjoy life. We offer respite care from 6 hours to 24 hours a day.
All agencies should do a criminal background check on their employees. Aging Assistant performs a criminal record background check on all employees.
Insurance covers liability issues that may arise in the course of someone’s work. If a caregiver is injured in a fall, the agency’s insurance would provide compensation, not you or your insurance carrier. Aging Assistant carries professional liability insurance for all of our employees.
From time to time caregivers may call in sick, have a flat tire on the way to work, or a family emergency that requires them to take the day off. We will provide a backup caregiver if the designated person is unable to arrive for the scheduled visit.
Typically, services can be started within a 24-hour to 48-hour period and often the same day depending on the type of care and hours needed by the client.
Schedule changes are easily accomplished with as little as 24-hour notice. Our philosophy is to make the schedule work for the client, not the agency. You come first. Your needs, your requests, your schedule. We will do everything possible to make sure the schedule you want is the schedule you get.