When it comes to caring for a senior parent or a disabled loved one, many factors must be considered. For some, a nursing home may be the only option, depending on the level of care required and the type of medical issues they face. But in many instances, staying at home is the best scenario for a family member’s emotional and physical well-being, provided all needs are met.
Disabilities can happen at any age due to illnesses, injuries, or genetic conditions. In many cases, people with disabilities require assistance with daily routines, such as dressing, housework, personal care, bathing, meal preparation, errands, shopping, and more.
Choosing a disability home care provider is easier if you understand the services included with in-home care and how to determine the services that will meet your loved one’s special needs.
Understanding Capabilities and Challenges
There are many types of disabilities, which may be physical or cognitive, including:
- Vision impairment
- Hearing deficiency
- Physical disability
- Mental health illness
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Ambulation or balance issues
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cerebral palsy
The extent of the disability determines what type of home care services will be best for disabled individuals. Some may require more physical care, while others simply need someone nearby to remind them of medication schedules or appointments and help them with daily living duties or companionship.
Disability In-Home Care Services
Most home care agencies primarily offer non-medical care services and provide around-the-clock availability. Home care aides perform vital sign checks and medication reminders, along with specialized care services for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Some agencies also provide hospice care, a support group for both client and family members, and perform personal care needs.
Determining what level of care your family member will require is the first step. Experienced in-home care services in your area will perform a consultation, offering you the opportunity to ask questions about the level of care your loved one requires and match it to the types of care services provided.
An in-home evaluation is often performed so the agency can determine whether their level of staff care will meet the patient’s special needs or if more extensive medical care is needed. For an elder, there are specific parameters to determine whether he or she is disabled.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services uses a guide to determine whether a senior citizen is disabled or becoming disabled, based on their ability to perform ADL (Activities of Daily Living). This guide helps family members determine what level of care their disabled loved one requires.
First, the patient’s ability to manage five core ADLs is determined: bathing, using the toilet, dressing, feeding oneself, and moving from bed to chair.
Then, an additional evaluation determines his or her ability to manage daily living tasks such as meal preparation, taking medications correctly, housework, grocery shopping, and managing money. Oftentimes, only occasional help is needed, but with others, ongoing service is required.
It is important to choose a caregiver from a reputable agency that has performed essential and thorough background checks, as well as education, experience, and qualification verifications. Compatibility is another important part of the process. Your loved one should feel safe and comfortable with the in-home caregiver.
Younger Disabled Patients
For a younger disabled client, there are additional characteristics to consider in choosing a great caregiver. A young adult with disabilities may be seeking care that does not include a parent or guardian, desiring a more independent life.
Or in some cases, parents who have served as their disabled child’s caregiver throughout their lives may be reaching an age when they feel less physically able to handle the daily rigors of physical and emotional care of a disabled adult.
In some situations, the adult child can live at home with the parents, with an in-home caregiver providing any personal care needed. This allows the parents more time and flexibility to enjoy day-to-day life and a more relaxed relationship with their adult child.
People with disabilities may choose to live independently with the help of around-the-clock in-home disability care services or a caregiver who comes in for specific hours of the day or certain days of the week.
These home care scenarios require a professional and compassionate disability home care service provider who respects familial relationships. He or she should also respect the client’s independence and offer the physical and emotional support needed to accomplish it while ensuring the client’s safety and well-being.
Choosing the Right Disability In-Home Care Agency
Home care services are an excellent option for people with disabilities. Flexibility is one of the main reasons countless families seek home care. With options like 24/7 availability, experienced personnel, and a wide range of services, agencies and their in-home disability care services make life easier and more enjoyable for both clients and their family members.
Because each client has different needs and expectations, it is essential to evaluate the agency thoroughly before agreeing to hire their services.
Ensure you are clear on what services will be needed and what services will not be necessary. Reputable agencies will provide a written contract stating the care your loved one will receive and those services’ costs. All caregivers should be bonded and insured.
Ongoing training is another key component of high-quality in-home care. Understanding the latest technologies used in the industry, along with up-to-date techniques for fall prevention, nutrition, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care, will provide you the assurance your loved one is under the supervision of a care professional.
Another important characteristic of an established disability in-home care agency is their follow-up. Experienced agencies understand the importance of their caretakers arriving on time and performing the highest quality of care.
These agencies should follow up on their employees to ensure they are performing to the client’s expectations. They will also regularly provide scheduled communications with the client and the family, and the caretaker to make sure the client/caregiver match is working.
Each visit is overseen by the agency, with shift arrival and departure times monitored and recorded.
With thousands of non-medical in-home care agencies in the United States—how do you know which one to choose for your loved one who has a disability? The process is not without its challenges, but it’s a good idea to approach an agency you can trust, regardless of your zip code.
Disability Home Care Services Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Generally Included in Home Care for the Disabled?
Caregivers who serve individuals with support services usually perform several tasks each day. These depend on their clients’ needs and include assistance like:
- Light housekeeping
- Meal preparation
- Medication reminders
- Personal care
- Respite care
Additionally, caregivers usually have the expertise to care for people with various types of disabilities, with some of the most common ones being vision, hearing, physical issues, and cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and autism. If this is a need for your family member, know that you have this option for in-home care.
How to Get Safe and Effective Home Care Services for the Disabled?
The best way for families to ensure safe and effective home care services and assistance for a loved one with a disability is to choose an agency they can trust. This means finding an agency with trained and certified caregivers, plenty of positive reviews, and legitimate licensing paperwork.
What Does It Mean When a Disability Home Care Agency Says It Is Registered?
When a home care agency is registered, that means it’s licensed, bonded, and insured. Additionally, a registered caregiver is officially licensed and/or certified to take care of older adults in nursing homes and people with disabilities.
What Qualifications Are Required for a Caregiver Who Offers Home Care for Disabled Clients?
Training qualifications vary by state. Generally speaking, aspiring caregivers who support others have to take a specific course that teaches the basic and essential skills of working with seniors and people with disabilities.
The course(s) may teach non-medical training and health care practices, home care licensing, additional skills like proper meal prep and personal care, and more.
Some home care agencies offer their own training and certification programs to keep the education in-house, such as 24 Hour Home Care, which guarantees more consistent care standards for clients.
What Red Flags Should I Look out for in a Disability Home Care Agency?
A study found that nearly 60% of home care agencies’ hiring assessments were purely based on the applicant’s self-reporting rather than external observation.
In other words, more than half of all home care agencies don’t perform their own evaluation for the caregivers they’re interviewing. When considering an agency, ask about the details of their hiring process. This is the time to gain as much information as possible and ensure that they are familiar with their caregivers’ qualities. Before being hired, 24 Hour Home Care’s caregivers go through a 24-point screening process, which ensures that only the best of the best are hired. In fact, only roughly the top 4% of applicants are selected to work for 24 Hour Home Care.
If the agency you’re researching is not registered and does not require certification for its caregivers, then these are major red flags. Ensuring that the caregivers are trained keeps them up-to-date on basic home care skills and qualifications, making for a better experience for your loved one.
Do Most Insurances Cover Respite Care Plans for the Disabled?
Most health insurance policies will cover health services like doctor-prescribed assistance, hospice care, and home care services for seniors and people with disabilities. You may also try government resources like Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
Medicare is age and disability-based, which means that if your age and/or disability meet Medicare’s standards, Medicare can cover your caregivers’ costs. Medicaid is income-based, so if your loved one makes below a certain level each year, they may be eligible for this program to cover those expenses instead.
How Has COVID-19 Impacted Home Care Assistance for the Disabled?
COVID-19 has not been easy on anybody, but it has significantly affected how family members’ loved ones receive care from their trusted caregivers and the level of care and support they can expect.
“Many people with developmental disabilities have lost access to caregivers and service providers and these supports may not return given the financial toll of the pandemic on agencies and state budgets, the experts say,” reports Michelle Diament of DisabilityScoop.
Fortunately, many agencies have adapted their tasks for safer operation under COVID-19 with extra care towards sanitation, while maintaining support for residents’ needs. Many personal care workers have also been first in line to receive the vaccine, keeping patients and their family members safe.
Contact 24 Hour Home Care Today
Choosing a disability home care service is an experience that should raise many questions. Researching facilities takes plenty of time because you want to ensure that the agency is registered and the caregivers are certified.
24 Hour Home Care is aware of the struggles families face when trying to find care services they can trust. That’s why we employ only the best of the best non-medical home caregivers in the United States. Contact 24 Hour Home Care today for more information.