Caregiving

The Power of Self-Directed Home Care

Finding home care can be a stressful process

Especially after a fall, surgery, or other incidents when nerves are on edge. During these times, families need to find and agree on a solution fast, which could lead to more stress. Hospitals and rehabilitation centers have outplacement counselors who can help. However, they often carry a large workload. They may not take the time to truly listen to individual needs and preferences or offer a variety of options for care.

In fact, many hospitals own their own homecare companies or work with a few preferred home care partners. For the organization, it is easier and in their financial interest to direct patients to the same care agencies. That leaves you and your family with fewer (and more expensive) options to choose from.

When my eighty-four-year-old father had cardiac bypass surgery, the hospital gave him the name of a visiting nurse association to call for home care. He called the number and arranged for the services he needed.

But, he became very unhappy with the care he received. Only then did it occur to him that he might have a choice about the home health organization to use. He called his insurance company and found out that, yes, he did not have to use that company and could choose a provider he preferred.

Home Care - A Nice Lady Helping A Nice ManThere are two potential problems with this type of provider-directed approach to home care.

Firstly, traditional home care agencies can be very expensive. It becomes very problematic when insurance isn’t covering the whole bill. Unfortunately, families can quickly run out of money to pay for the care their loved one needs.

Second, some people want more choice and control over their own care. They want to choose their individual caregivers and decide what level of care and services they need. Also, they want to manage how and when their care is provided. Doing so allows them to feel more in control and ensures that their individual preferences and needs will be met.

The Power of Self-Direction

Self-direction gives seniors and people with disabilities the power to choose to stay at home. They have the power to decide what care they need. Additionally, they can select, hire, manage and fire their own caregivers or service providers as they see fit. Having more choice in their care helps them feel more in control and ensures that their individual preferences and needs will be met.

For those receiving services through Medicaid (MassHealth) or the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs Home Care program, consumers have the right to self-direction. They can receive services, paid by the Commonwealth, to help them get set up as employers, obtain worker compensation insurance, and handle payroll for the hours of care paid through the program.

If you are looking to reduce the cost of home care, or you would prefer to find, hire, and manage your own caregivers and their schedules, self-directed home care may be the right option for you. Be sure to ask about your options and know your rights.

For more information,
– contact your Aging Services Access Point at 1-800-AGEINFO (1-800-243-4636) or
– visit Medicaid.Gov

For more information, contact Meetcaregivers at 1-888-541-1136 or info@meetcaregivers.com

For additional resources and to learn more about caregiving, read our Blog.

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