Lower Valley Care Advocates is here to help. Review the answers below to frequently asked questions. If you still have questions or decide you would like to find out more information about setting up services through LVCA, contact us at any time.
Private duty home care is a non-medical service provided to individuals who are in need of assistance with day-to-day activities. A private duty homemaker or companion visits your home or the home of your loved one and helps with activities such as meal preparation, housekeeping, and personal grooming and hygiene, grocery shopping, companionship and more.
While some have a neighbor who is “looking for extra work” and is willing to help out around the home with running errands, cooking, cleaning, and maybe even assist with transfers to and from a wheelchair or showering – there are some red flags you need know about.
Is this individual bonded and insured should something happen? Is this person experienced in providing personal assistance and transferring using safety precautions protecting both the elderly client and the homemaker/companion? Does this person have a replacement for when they are sick or on vacation – or are you left without assistance? Have you conducted a criminal background check or a check on their driving record? When hiring a person who is virtually unsupervised, in your home, and likely taking on driving responsibilities – these are important things to consider.
Using an agency like LVCA gives clients, their families, and friends the peace of mind they need. Using the services of Lower Valley Care Advocates assures that:
- Staff are local professionals and paraprofessionals who are experienced, dedicated and caring;
- They have been carefully screened, passed comprehensive criminal and DMV background checks, and been tested for drug use;
- All staff are bonded and insured;
- A supervisor visits the client at home to assess and determine client needs;
- A detailed service plan and agreement is put in place;
- All staff are supervised and supported by managers who make regular calls and visits to ensure client satisfaction, and make appropriate service plan adjustments.
- Skilled nursing and therapy visits (through Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley) are coordinated with homemaker and companion visits, providing a client-centered approach to case management.
- 24/7 homemakers and companions with on-call staff providing support and replacement staff when needed.
Now. If you are reading this, chances are you, a family member, a friend, or a neighbor is starting to ask for more assistance or is showing signs of needing extra support in the home. Some common signs include:
- Repeated falls
- Physical changes – signs of incontinence, weakness, loss of weight
- Mental changes – forgetfulness, appears distant, anger, sadness
- Housekeeping — unkept, dirty, clutter, stale food
- Driving accidents
- Overall lethargy /disinterest in participating in past activities or family events
LVCA believes being pro-active is the preferred course of action. Too often we receive calls when families are dealing with a crisis. Our goal is to begin the discussion before a family needs our services or when they need minimal support so we can provide preventive services. Preventive services can be as simple as having a homemaker a couple a visits a week to strip the bed, carry the heavy laundry basket (up and down the basement steps even!), roll the trash to the curb, and vacuum and dust those hard to reach areas – all avoiding unnecessary falls. They also can include as needed visits by a homemaker/companion driving to non-local appointments, or a standing appointment with staff to assist with showering, for those with strength and balance issues.
We conduct unannounced spot checks on our homemakers and companions frequently, to ensure that all protocols are met and that the plan is being followed. Spot checks also provide clients with an opportunity to raise any questions.
Communication between homemakers/companions and clients is key to A Caring Hand’s approach. An important communication tool is the notebook kept in your loved one’s home. The staff fills out the notebook each time they visit. Family members can read it and find out what the client has been doing, talking about and is concerned about. It’s one more way A Caring Hand keeps you in touch. They are personally interviewed and screened to make sure they are truly interested in helping others. For specialty assistance assignments, they must have documented proof of past experience in providing this type of help. All hired staff receives thorough orientation.
Yes, people sometimes discover that the assistance provided in an assisted living facility is not sufficient to enable them to remain independent. In these cases, LVCA provides a qualified homemaker or companion to make this possible. In some cases, you are allowed to hire private help in an assisted living facility – or nursing home.
The good news is that where you want to be –home—overall is the least costly option for seniors.
The services LVCA provides are generally private-pay. However, if you have a long-term-care insurance policy, some or all of our services may be covered.
LVCA bills clients hourly for services, pricing options will be discussed at the initial free consultation. We work hard to stretch your homecare dollars and will suggest various options to do this. We have a Senior Costs guide that explains various expenses across the industry that we can provide upon consultation as well, if that may apply to your situation.
Just call us at 860-767-2695, we can arrange an in-home consultation to review current or future assistance needs as well as pricing, available staff, and schedules. If you decide to secure our services we can use this time to sign a contract, prepare an individualized service plan and schedule and get started in as early as 1-2 days.