Saint Paul, Minnesota
275 East 4th Street, Suite 345, Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 796-2540
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10 Misconceptions About In-Home Care

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

10 Misconceptions About In-Home Care

According to AARP, 77% of older adults would prefer to remain in the comfort of their own homes. As more older adults look into in-home care as an option, and the spectrum of care providers increases, it is not uncommon to hear about conflicting experiences and inconsistencies in service offerings. This can lead to misconceptions about in-home care. Here are 10 common misconceptions along with perspectives from Comfort Keepers Twin Cities. 

Misconception 1: Home care is only for seniors

When people think of in-home care, they may automatically assume it is a service only for seniors. The truth is, in-home care can be for any individual who needs support at home; at Comfort Keepers Twin Cities, we provide service for adults 18 years old and up. Sure, older adults may face more significant challenges when it comes to maintaining independence and staying safe at home, but in-home care is an important option for individuals of all ages who need help at home. 

Misconception 2: Home care is only for those who are sick 

The COVID-19 pandemic did indeed shine a bright light on a concern that affects many older adults who live alone; loneliness and social isolation. In-home care isn’t just about personal care such as bathing, grooming and hygiene, but can be about having a consistent companion to help bring joy to your day and to engage in activities that you enjoy but need a little assistance to do. Yes, in-home care is an important service for those living with serious health issues and even end-of-life care, but it is just as valuable for those who are in pretty good shape but can benefit from a trusted companion.  

Misconception 3: Home care is expensive

What is the cost of in-home care” is often one of the first questions people ask when researching care options, and rightly so. The hourly rate between in-home care agencies can vary greatly, but no matter the cost it can seem like a major expense; and it is. Especially for private pay agencies, but it may not be as much as you think. In addition, families often weigh the cost and benefit of keeping a loved one at home versus transitioning to a senior living facility or nursing home, which have varying cost structures as well, based on assisted or independent living, memory care, a-la-carte services, etc. AARP has a nifty long-term care cost calculator on its website for those who want to model different scenarios and get a feel for how care needs impact cost. 

During your research be sure to review all your payment options. Comfort Keepers Twin Cities is credentialed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide home care assistance to veterans who qualify through the VA’s process. Depending on your eligibility, in-home care and nursing services could be provided at no cost to you. Long-term care insurance is another benefit that can be used. Here is some additional information on paying for home care

Misconception 4: Caregivers are not well trained

Some caregivers have formal credentials, such as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA), and some have more advanced credentials such as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and some people have a passion for caregiving but may not have the formal experience. Regardless of background, training is often the foundation of a reputable home care agency. There are also usually specific training requirements mandated by most state departments of health. At Comfort Keepers Twin Cities we have rigorous pre-hiring training and annual, on-going training to keep caregivers up-to-date on best practices and our high standards of care.

Misconception 5: Caregivers cannot be trusted

Inviting someone to regularly work in your home is often a new experience for those using home care for the first time. Add to that the trust required for someone new to safely care for a loved one, or yourself. Know that for a reputable home care agency a wide range of protocols, policies and procedures are discussed in depth as part of caregiver hiring, and criminal background checks submitted prior to employment. At Comfort Keepers Twin Cities caregivers are selected after a rigorous interview process, which include national criminal background, fingerprint and driver's license checks, they are screened for empathy and trained to provide high-quality care  with ongoing support and supervision, are employees not contractors, and are bonded and covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Before engaging with a home care agency, ask specific questions about caregiver hiring, training, and supervision.

Misconception 6: Home care is only for people who live in a house

With a name like “in-home care,” it is common for people to assume that home care agencies only provide services to seniors in a formal home setting, this is not the case. In-home care agencies, such as Comfort Keepers Twin Cities, provide care to seniors and other adults wherever they call home or temporary home. This includes personal residences, apartments, assisted living, independent senior living, and other care facilities.

Misconception 7: Home care isn’t necessary if a family is providing care

One of the biggest benefits of professional in-home care is respite care. Family caregivers can hire an in-home care agency to provide care to their loved one so that they can count on regularly scheduled breaks or time to focus on other obligations. For many family caregivers, using in-home care to supplement their efforts, or fill in gaps in care, is crucial to their success and ability to provide the highest level of support to their loved one. 

Misconception 8: Home care services are very limited

Each home care agency will have their own specific policies around service offerings, but most will require an in-home assessment prior to the start of service which is vital to set an agreed upon plan of care. At Comfort Keepers Twin Cities it is important that we provide individualized care plans specific to each client and their unique needs. Our in-home care plans are never one-size fits all, and often care needs change as client needs change. 

Misconception 9: Home care prevents seniors from being independent and social

One of the main goals of in-home care is to help seniors remain independent and safe in the comfort of their own home; regardless of where they call home. Sometimes as part of a care plan a caregiver is there to be a good companionship, but they can also play a big role in helping seniors stay connected with friends and family through phone calls and video chats, engaged in social activities, make it to appointments outside the home, or do other activities that keeps them connected to others. 

Misconception 10: Home care agencies attempt to force you into a lot of service hours

Most in-home care agencies will have their own set minimum shift hours and minimum weekly hours, and you’ll want to ask early on what those are as they will vary greatly. You can then decide what fits best for your situation. At Comfort Keepers Twin Cities we never sell families on services they do not need or want, or inflate service hours. You should view the onboarding process as being collaborative, and together with your agency partner will find the right balance for you. In fact, with most home care agencies there are several conversations that happen before service ever begins so there are multiple opportunities to set and adjust expectations.

Looking for more information about In-Home care?

We know there are many misconceptions about in-home care, and even more questions, and at Comfort Keepers Twin Cities we’re always happy to take your call and help you navigate the process. It’s a big change and a big decision, and we want to make the experience as easy as possible. If you have questions for Comfort Keepers, call (651) 796-2540. 

10 Misconceptions About In-Home Care