Do you have an aging loved one who could use the help of an in-home caregiver, but don’t know where to even begin looking for one? There are so many options for in-home caregivers, and hiring the right one is crucial to your loved one’s wellbeing…but what qualities should you look for? How much time do you have to invest in the search for a caregiver? How will you pay for this caregiver?

Here is some advice to guide you through the process of choosing the right at-home caregiver for your loved one, from an emotional, physical and financial perspective:

1. Start with a list. Alongside your loved one, make a list of the different types of assistance your loved one needs. Make sure you include doctor recommendations, and your loved one’s dislikes and likes. Is your loved one covered by Medicaid or Medicare? If so, you will need confirmation from your doctor that at-home care is a necessity in order to get it covered.

2. How much time do you have to choose a caregiver? If you have a lot of time—for example, you are retired, have flexible hours at your job, or don’t foresee your loved one needed in-home care for a little while—then performing the search for a caregiver may be something you can handle independently. However, for those who are a bit more strapped for time (or who need at-home. Care suddenly and immediately), using an agency to pre-screen candidates may be a better option for you. It mostly comes down to whether you want to be in charge of this caregiver, or if you want an agency to be in charge.

3. Find a caregiver with good word-of-mouth referrals or reviews. Interview your chosen candidates, using a list of important questions such as what their background is, a list of references, their style of care, and what hours they are available. Be upfront about the requirements of the job—tell them exactly what you are looking for, what you expect, and any “dealbreakers.”

4. Do you need Medicaid Planning? In-home care can be expensive, but fortunately—with proper Medicaid Planning—you can get assistance with the cost. Currently, all 50 states and Washington D.C. have at least one program that provides assistance to senior citizens who live outside of nursing homes. This can include at-home care, adult day care, adult foster care, or assisted living. Most states have multiple programs available.

In Ohio, Medicaid waivers that address the needs of those who need an in-home caretaker are available. There are two options: the Ohio Medicaid PASSPORT waiver and the MyCare Ohio Plan. The PASSPORT program allows seniors who require a nursing facility level of care to receive their care at home, or in the home of a family member. Under PASSPORT, family members can be hired to provide them with the care they need. MyCare Ohio is a Medicaid program that allows individuals to have a single point of contact for both Medicare and Medicaid. This includes health, behavioral, and long-term care services provided in the home.

Looking for help with Medicaid Planning in order to pay for in-home care assistance, or any other nursing care for yourself or your loved ones? Start by downloading our FREE Medicaid Planning booklet, which will answer many of your questions and get you thinking about long-term healthcare needs.

When you’re ready to begin the Medicaid Planning process, please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation!

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