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In-home health care clinicians recognize that the care setting—the home—is the inviolable domain of the patient. Choosing in-home senior care is vital.

When you are in the market for home care services, you may feel confused and apprehensive about the process. While allowing someone or several people into your home can be a worrisome prospect, when you know what to look for in a home care service, it does not have to be a fearful or flawed process. Choosing in-home senior care for your loved ones is a very crucial decision.

            According to the IBIS industry data there are currently 482,820 home care providers in the US as of 2023 who primarily provide in-home care. What services do they provide?  The businesses primarily provide traditional home health care and nursing care; hospice care; homemaker and personal services; home therapy services.  Activities include: homemaker and companion services; administering in-home physical therapy; in-home hospice care; 24-hour home care; in-home occupational, vocational and speech therapy; in-home dietary and nutritional services; and, in-home medical care.

That means that when it is time to make a decision, you will find yourself looking at many different options. When this happens, it is essential to remember that no two home care service providers are alike. The differences can vary

            How do you determine which home care services suit your loved one? Read on for five considerations you should make when researching home care services in your area.

            1. Credentials. The majority of home care providers are required to be bonded, and licensed or certified in their skills and expertise. That means they have never been reviewed by a third party who can verify their trustworthiness.

            2. Available Services. Once you have found a few different home-certified home care providers, it is time to consider the needs of your loved one and how various home care providers can or cannot meet those needs.

            3. Reputation. Why take a home care provider’s word for it? Do your due diligence research into the agency.  Look online at the reviews each provider has received from current or previous clients. Pay attention to the ratings given by clients and how the provider responds to any stated concerns. Also, ensure they are licensed or possess the proper training for their field. Make sure you have the agency and supervisory contact information. A good home care provider will provide clear, transparent channels of communication.

            4. Payment. Once again, consider your own needs. What is the financial status of your loved one? What are the provisions for home care in their health insurance policy? Ensure that your loved one’s home care is, at minimum, partially covered by their health insurance. Find out what type of payment plans or financial aid the home care provider can offer if necessary.

            5. Public Health Response. It is well known that seniors are some of the most vulnerable in the face of widespread viruses. Before allowing a caregiver to come in and out of your loved one’s home, ensure you understand the safety precautions the home care provider has in place for their employee’s health and the health of your loved one.

Now, if you are a caregiver or about to become a caregiver, “One Caregiver’s Journey” is a MUST-read when it comes to quality in-home senior care.

One Caregiver’s Journey

            This personal memoir by Eleanor Gaccetta will make you laugh or tug at your heart as she shares her experiences about providing 24/7 care to her mother for 9 ½ years until her mother’s death at age 102. The book is an easy read, honestly written, and provides suggestions and information that all caregivers can utilize. The author wrote the book over a long period, and it is a snapshot of the reality of the stages, changes, and many challenges caregivers face over time. It is a caregiver’s blueprint. Reading this book, you will feel you are in the author’s living room, and she is telling her story and offering an abundance of advice and information.

Who Is Eleanor Gaccetta?

Eleanor (Ellie) Gaccetta, MBA is an author, speaker, cook and baker.  Formally she was a legislative and policy analyst for the State of Colorado, the City and County of Broomfield, and after leaving government she was a private contractor.  Ellie’s almost forty-year career ceased when her mother fell and broke her hip at age 92.

Thus began Ellie’s own journey of being a 24/7 sole caregiver for her mother for the next nine-and-one-half years.  During that time her book One Caregiver’s Journey was born with personal memories, insight, and advice for caregivers.  The book is a snapshot of the realities, changes, and challenges of caregiving.  During the six months after her mother’s passing at age 102, Ellie journaled about her reintegration back into the world.  “The biggest challenge to reintegration after 10 years of isolation has been to not be an outsider looking into the world that passed you by.”

Ellie’s next book, Generations of Good Food, wasn’t planned.  It was a labor of love that consumed her time during the pandemic.  It incorporates recipes, stories, and anecdotes from six generations of her Italian family.  It is a book for the kitchen novice and seasoned cook and baker.

Today she lives in a suburb west of Denver where she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, baking, and gardening.  During the pandemic she committed to remaining healthy, getting in shape, and staying fit.  After the pandemic she walks 2 miles daily and has become a gym shark.