Many of our older estate planning clients wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.  With the advances in medications, treatments, and home healthcare options, this wish can be granted more and more frequently.  Whether you are looking for a home healthcare provider for yourself or a loved one, here are some great guidelines to follow:

  1. Determine the level of care that will be needed.  This is going to affect many of your other decisions.  For example, are you or your loved one dealing with a specific ailment?  If so, it may be preferable to choose a provider or agency with experience in that field.  Additionally, do you need round-the-clock care, someone to come a few hours a day, or something else entirely?  There are even adult daycare programs that can provide an outlet for social activities and certain therapies, and these can be used on their own or in conjunction with a home healthcare provider.  You may wish to ask your elder lawyer for a list of possible facilities in the Orange County area.
  2. Decide if you want to hire someone on your own or if you want to go through an agency.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.  If you choose to do it on your own, you will likely have more say in who will be providing the direct care, as well as what services he or she will provide.  On the other hand, an agency will be able to screen applicants thoroughly and can handle payroll and other paperwork for you.
  3. Ascertain how you will pay for the home healthcare services.  An estate planning attorney can point you toward a variety of resources, depending upon what your needs are.  You or your loved one may have long-term care insurance set up for just this situation, or you may be looking to Medicare and/or Medicaid to assist with the costs.

Choosing a home healthcare provider is a big job.  Breaking it down into more manageable objectives can help keep you moving forward without getting too bogged down over what to do next.  At any point in the process, an experienced estate planning and elder lawyer will be able to offer practical advice and suggestions.