Archive for the ‘How Much Care Costs’ Category

How Much Care Costs: Live-in Caregivers

Posted in Articles, How Much Care Costs on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 | 12,255 Comments

If you decide that a live-in caregiver is necessary for you or your loved, there are a few factors to consider when thinking about how much this type of care costs.

Although it is great to have a consistent caregiver who is always around, a live-in caregiver will not work a full 24 hours everyday. A live-in caregiver will typically work an 8-10 hour day with two days off. If you or your loved one needs 24 hours of care everyday, more than one caregiver will be needed. You will need alternative caregivers in order to cover the times that a live-in caregiver will not be working. A team of two consistent caregivers is a great idea. A team of caregivers can rotate days and work the evenings or weekends that the other caregiver is unavailable.

Although a live-in caregiver may be around all of the time, he or she is not necessarily available to work. You will need to develop a contract with your live-in caregiver and discuss the amount of hours they are willing to work. Developing a written agreement with your live-in caregiver is vital, especially if you expect the caregiver to work more than 8 hours a day. You can not expect a live-in caregiver to work every time they are needed, so it is imperative that you develop a professional work agreement. Hiring multiple caregivers is a great way to avoid conflicts with a live-in caregiver; it will also ensure that you will have a back up caregiver in case of any emergencies or time conflicts.

Depending on the specific situation, you may pay a live-in caregiver a daily flat rate or pay them by the hour. A daily flat rate for a live-in caregiver typically equals about 9 hours of care. Daily flat rates tend to be anywhere from $150-$250 per day and $700-$3000 a week.

If you are paying a live-in caregiver by the hour, the cost will vary. For a private caregiver charging $10 per hour, you will pay them about $80 for 8 hours of care and about $400 a week (not including tax deductions).

Keep in mind that you are also responsible for provided a live-in caregiver with food and a bed to sleep in. You will need to factor this into the total cost for your live-in caregiver. Caregivers must be given enough time to get adequate and uninterrupted time to sleep. They must also be provided with a decent amount of food to sustain them throughout the day. Especially when providing care, a caregiver must be well rested and properly nourished. A daily flat rate includes room and board for the live-in caregiver, while payment by the hour does not. Creating a salary package and paying a daily rate will avoid any discrepancies when it comes to providing room and board.

A live-in caregiver is ideal when round-the-clock care is needed. You or your loved one will be provided with the same caring style everyday. You or your loved one will not be faced with many interruptions because a live-in caregiver will work the majority of the daytime and the majority of the week. If you are comfortable with the live-in caregiver, it will put your mind at ease. You or your loved one will be steadily and consistently taken care of.

How Much Care Costs: Agency vs. Private Caregivers

Posted in Articles, How Much Care Costs on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 | Comments Off

The cost of care varies depending on whether you choose a private caregiver or an agency caregiver. The cost of an agency caregiver ranges from $11 to $30 per hour, while the cost of a private caregiver ranges from $8 to $20 per hour. You will be paying more for an agency caregiver, but you will be spending more time hiring a private caregiver.

When hiring an agency caregiver, the agency bears responsibility for recruiting, screening, background checks, reference checks, credential checks, hiring, firing, salary negotiation, and day-to-day management of the caregiver. When it comes to paying the caregiver, an agency will pay wages, withhold taxes, and file required reports with the state and federal government. Without an agency, these responsibilities fall on you.

If you or your loved one has plenty of time to take care of these responsibilities, a private caregiver may be a perfect choice. If you do not mind spending extra money and wish to avoid time-consuming tasks, an agency caregiver may be a better choice for you. Remember to consider who else is around to assist the patient. If there are family members and friends living nearby to assist with the process of hiring, managing, and paying a caregiver, it will not take as much time hiring a private caregiver. You should make a list of the benefits and drawbacks of each choice and determine which type of caregiver works best with your time schedule and financial situation.

When determining how much it will cost to hire a private or an agency caregiver, you must consider two factors:

1) Time
2) Money

Time:

If you work a full time job or have little time to look for an appropriate caregiver, hiring an agency may be the best choice for you or your loved one. An agency will do most of the time-consuming tasks that would otherwise be your responsibility when hiring a private caregiver. It may take a few hours to find a perfect agency, but once you do they will take care of most of these tasks for you. You will need to periodically check-in with the agency, but they will take care of the general management of the caregiver.

Agencies provide a variety of caregivers, so you or your loved one may be able to try out many caregivers to find the perfect fit. Agencies manage the selection of caregivers for you, so finding a perfect caregiver will take less time. Without an agency, you may spend more time trying to find an appropriate caregiver. If a caregiver is unable to show up for their shift, an agency will provide an additional caregiver. Without an agency, it will take much more time and effort to find a replacement. If the patient has family members or friends living close by, finding additional caregivers will not be as time-consuming.

Hiring a private caregiver will take much more of your time. If you have the time to hire a private caregiver and if you are willing to take on more responsibilities, hiring a private caregiver may be the best choice for you or your loved one. It will take you approximately:

• 1 hour to place advertisements for a caregiver
• 2 hours to call potential caregivers
• 30 minutes for each caregiver you interview
• 45 minutes to check a potential caregiver’s references
• 2-3 hours a week to provide ongoing management and bookkeeping for your caregiver.

Overall, it will take you approximately 20 hours to find a suitable caregiver and 2-3 hours per week to manage and pay them. If you or your loved one is unable to provide ongoing management for a caregiver, it is a better choice to hire an agency. If a patient does not have family members or friends living nearby to assist with daily management, a private caregiver will not work.

Money:

It will cost approximately $11-$30 per hour for an agency caregiver. With every dollar you spend with an agency, 55% of it goes to the caregiver. Where a private caregiver charges $10.00 per hour, it will cost $18.00 per hour for an agency caregiver at the same skill level. The cost is more expensive for an agency caregiver because the agency will take care or hiring, managing, and paying the caregiver.

Hiring a private caregiver is less expensive, but you will be spending more of your own time managing and paying them. It is less expensive to hire a private caregiver because you only pay an hourly rate, as opposed to both an hourly rate and an hourly premium for an agency caregiver. You will need to use your own money and assets to pay for a private caregiver and 10% of a private caregiver’s salary must go to payroll taxes. It will cost approximately:

• $25-$50 to place an advertisement to find a caregiver.
• $50-$200 to perform background checks on potential caregivers. A legitimate background check can range anywhere from $15-$50 each
• $200-$300 per year for insurance coverage in your home to cover any future accidents or injuries during the caregivers shift.

Private caregivers are often less expensive than agency caregivers, but they seldom accept insurance as a form of payment. Most agencies accept many forms of insurance for payment. If you wish to make payments with private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or Long Term Care Insurance (LTC) you must use an agency that accepts these types of insurance.

How Much Does Senior, In-home Care Cost?

Posted in Articles, How Much Care Costs on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 | 10,788 Comments

There are different types of caregivers that come with a wide range of experiences and credentials. Some caregivers do not have official credentials, while others have formal credentials for specific medical conditions. Depending on the situation, certain caregivers may be a better fit than others. The more medical help you or your loved one needs, the more appropriate it is to look for credentials focused on medical issues. You or your loved one may also feel more comfortable having a caregiver that has experience working with patients with a similar medical condition. Here are the types of caregivers that may be pertinent to you or your loved one’s situation:

Personal Care Assistant:

This type of caregiver (otherwise known as a Home Care Assistant) has credentials that are focused on primarily non-medical tasks. They are responsible for assisting their patients with daily living. Their duties may include: bathing, dressing, planning meals, grocery shopping, cooking meals, toileting, cleaning, laundry, changing bed linens, and other household tasks. Personal Care Assistants may also provide medical instruction to their patient and keep records to report to their employer. They will be familiar with standard concepts, procedures, and practices. They must have a High School Diploma, have 0-2 years of experience, and may be CPR certified. Some states require a Personal Care Assistant to have on-the-job training by an agency or previous employer. On-the-job training instructs caregivers on preparing meals, housekeeping, basic safety techniques, and how to respond to an emergency situation. Some states require formal training by community/vocational colleges, elder care programs, or home care health agencies.

Home Health Aide:

This type of caregiver (otherwise known as a Certified Home Health Aide) performs all of the same duties as a Personal Care Assistant, yet they have more training and must have 5 years of experience. They are trained to provide light medical assistance. They are able to help with medications and take basic health care measurements, such as temperature and blood pressure. Home Health Aides can meet industry standards for all states by completing a course and passing a written exam generated by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC). A Registered Nurse will assess the Home Health Aide’s skills and evaluate them on their competency.

Certified Nursing Assistant:

Along with assisting patients with the tasks of daily living, Certified Nursing Assistants provide direct patient care activities supervised by a Registered Nurse. Their duties may include: bathing, dressing, food and fluid intake, toileting, housekeeping, bed-baths, ambulation, preparing dressing packs, sterilizing equipment, transporting patients, answering patient’s signals, and turning and repositioning bedfast patients. They will take vital signs of a patient and be responsible for recording and reporting them to a Registered Nurse. The vital signs include: temperature, respiration, blood pressure, pulse, and level of pain. Certified Nursing Assistants must know basic safety techniques and be quick to respond to emergency situations. They must have a High School Diploma and attend a 6-12 week training program to pass state exams. The training program includes instruction in basic nursing skills, anatomy, nutrition, physiology, infection control, and clinical activities. To obtain a certification, they must complete 100 hours of clinical training and 50 hours of theory. They must also complete an internship at a health care facility.

Licensed Nurse Practitioner:

Licensed Nurse Practitioners (otherwise known as Licensed Practical Nurses or Licensed Vocational Nurses) require more advanced credentials with additional requirements for education and licensing. Their duties include: assistance with the tasks of daily living, assistance with personal hygiene, taking vital signs, giving injections, wound care, monitoring catheters/oxygen supplies, therapeutic massages, assisting doctors with sutures, preparing patients for tests, collecting samples, and reporting information to a Registered Nurse. They must complete a year long licensed practical nursing program or obtain an associate degree of science in nursing. The program includes instruction in pediatrics, nutrition, anatomy, physiology, psychiatric nursing, recording vital signs, providing injections, dressing wounds, monitoring equipment, conducting lab tests, and patient care and comfort. Licensed Nurse Practitioners have more responsibilities when it comes to providing comfort and emotional support for their patients.

Registered Nurse

Registered Nurses (otherwise known as Medical Doctors) have the most formal credential for caregiving. They have the most precise state requirements for education, training, and licensing. Their duties include: performing patient tests, analyzing test results, administering medications, documenting medical symptoms and history, operating machinery, evaluating patients, teaching the patient and the family about the specific condition, and promoting patient independence. They must obtain a bachelor’s degree of science in nursing, an associate degree in nursing, and a diploma from a nursing program. They must complete courses in nursing, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, anatomy, microbiology, and other behavioral sciences. They must pass a national licensing examination to complete the nursing program. Registered Nurses are prepared for a broader scope of nursing practices.

You must first assess the situation and determine which type of caregiver(s) will be needed.

Part-time care
: If a condition requires part-time care, you or your loved one may need a caregiver that is focused primarily on non-medical tasks. Personal Care Assistants and Home Health Aides are mainly responsible for assisting with the tasks of daily living.

Full-time care: If a condition requires full-time care, you or your loved one may need both a caregiver focused on non-medical tasks and a caregiver that has credentials in light medical assistance. For the non-medical tasks, Personal Care Assistants or Home Health Aides will be needed. For the light medical tasks, a Certified Nursing Assistant may be a perfect choice.

Round-the-clock care: If a condition requires round-the-clock care, you or your loved one will need a caregiver that is focused primarily on medical tasks. Licensed Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses have formal credentials and are appropriate for these types of conditions.

After assessing which type of caregiver(s) you or your loved one may need, it is time to evaluate the cost of each type of caregiver.

The more credentials, experience, and training a caregiver has obtained, the more expensive they will be. The average costs for caregivers in the U.S. are as follows:

• Personal Care Assistant: $10.68
• Home Health Aide: $12.33/hr
• Certified Nursing Assistants: $12.84/hr
• Licensed Nursing Practitioner: $19.76/hr
• Registered Nurses: $30.74/hr

A great way to be cost effective is to consider using different types of caregivers only when needed. Licensed Nursing Practitioners and Registered Nurses are more expensive and you should consider using them for only specialized tasks. You should utilize more cost effective options when you or your loved one needs assistance with daily living and light medical assistance.

Licensed Nursing Practitioners often have similar qualifications and responsibilities as a Registered Nurse, yet Registered Nurses are about $10.00 more expensive per hour than a Licensed Nursing Practitioner. Unless you or your loved one absolutely requires a Registered Nurse for a specialized medical condition, utilizing a Licensed Nursing Practitioner is a more cost effective option.

Certified Nursing Assistants have more credentials than a Home Health Aide, yet they each cost about the same. Certified Nursing Assistants may be more suitable for dealing with light medical tasks than Home Health Aides, so utilizing a Certified Nursing Assistant is a more cost effective option.

Also keep in mind that the pricing for caregivers varies depending on where you live in the U.S. Metropolitan cities are far more expensive. If you live in a major metropolitan area, such as New York, New Jersey, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Chicago, you will need to be more conscious of how you are spending your money on caregivers.