What is Home Care?
There’s no place like home. That is the purpose of home care: to secure the assistance you need in order to keep you safely in the comfort of your chosen residence. Services are available from us for a variety of situations, such as seniors needing assistance with bathing, dressing, laundry, shopping, or caregivers wanting to plan a vacation but needing someone to stay with a loved one. New mothers requiring a few nursing visits to help with their newborns love our services, as do patients returning home from surgery and needing assistance with wound care. We serve the chronically ill who need skilled supervision, support services, home modification and equipment, and or those who just need some time off!
Ed and Jeannine Sylcox at Mid-Hudson Managed Home Care, Inc. offer a free program to train men and women to be Home Health Aides (HHA’s) or Personal Care Aides (PCA’s) and perform these varied tasks in your home. These aides can stay with you 24 hours per day or only a few hours a couple of days a week. Options are the key to a successful home care experience. One week might have different needs from the next week, and your agency needs to have the availability to meet your changing needs.
It is certainly understandable to be concerned about someone coming into your home, but if you have a need for home care, or you want to be prepared when the time might come for this need, consider doing some homework on the subject. Agencies carry General Liability Insurance and their aides are covered under Worker’s Compensation Insurance, which is a protection for you if an employee gets hurt in your home.
Call us, ask our staff how we go about servicing our patients, visit the office. Ask about our monthly in-services and on-the-job nurse visits to assure procedures are being handled correctly.
Ask about our relationships with our families. Then ask if you can make an appointment with the owners, Ed and Jeannine Sylcox. Our family has been serving this community with health care services since 1939. You wouldn’t buy a house or rent an apartment without a visit. Therefore, you or someone you trust should schedule an interview to see if the situation feels good to you, and this might help you decide what route to take. More expensive or less expensive is a factor in the equation, but what the agency feels like during a visit should also be a factor in your decision.
There are several types of Home Care Agencies. Each serves a particular purpose in the continuum of care and payment sources, but an agency will be licensed or certified by the Department of Health (DOH). This is important to your feeling of security because it means there are standards to be met in order for the agency to be in business and the standards are periodically evaluated. Ours is a Licensed Home Care Services Agency and our payment can be through private pay, insurance if your policy covers home care, or Medicaid. If you decided to accept care outside an agency, your caregiver may be wonderful but you are missing the standards and supervision that comes with an agency.
Remember, in addition to the phone call at (845) 567-3022, try to schedule a visit to get an actual impression of the people before you make your choice.
Are all Home Care Agencies licensed?
Home Care agencies might be licensed, certified or offer companion care. Here is a sure fire way to tell the difference:
- A licensed agency can bill privately, accept insurance if the patient has home care coverage, or bill Medicaid if the patient qualifies and lives in Orange, Sullivan or Ulster Counties.
- A certified agency can bill Medicare (a licensed agency cannot) and this is beneficial to a qualified patient because wound care and therapies can be billed through Medicare if the patient qualifies.
- A companion care agency assists the person with non-medical tasks.
The certified services are usually only a certain number of times per week, and have an ending when their goals have been met. With a licensed agency as ours, there is no ending limit for services, no pre-set number of hours per day or week because our contract is with the family.
Although we no longer own the nursing home on Meadow Hill Road, Ed and I chose to continue in home care, and are the third generation of the Sylcox family, which has provided health care to this community since 1939. We are actively involved in its direction and care of the patients we service. Our Mission is to keep our patients comfortably in their home because we truly know there is no place like home.
There are so many agencies listed on the internet and in the phone books, how can I sort them out and be sure I am finding the right service in home care?
A long time ago, Dorothy went to Kansas and The Wizard of Oz, and came up with one of the best mottos for today: THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME! In years past, when our elders became sick, a nursing home used to be the basic option since service at home had not yet been established. However, in the 2000′s, there are many agencies servicing people at home. Now the question becomes, how do I choose what is best for my loved one?
If you were looking for a job, whether you are in your eighties and nineties, or teens and twenties, the usual procedure is to make an appointment for an interview or just stop in and see if the company is hiring. You, or someone representing you, can do the same thing in your search for the best service in home care. You might know you need help but aren’t aware of available services, and an interview with a home care agency can help you become familiar with what the aides can and cannot do, and the staff can help you with what they have available in services to relieve your dilemma.
I would suggest interviewing at least 3 agencies because, after all, you are looking for the right match for the elder, and a visit will give you a feeling for how the agency works. The visit will help you sort out whether you would benefit from a companion care, a licensed home care agency, a certified home care agency, hospice care, and others. There are many options to sort through.
A licensed agency can bill privately, accept insurance if the patient has home care coverage, or bill Medicaid if the patient qualifies. A certified agency can bill Medicare and this is beneficial to a qualified patient because wound care and therapies can be billed through Medicare if the patient qualifies. The patient could have services from both agencies. The certified services are usually for a certain number of times per week, and have an ending when their goals have been met. With a licensed agency, the contract is with the family who decides the number of hours and days per week. A companion care agency assists the more independent elder, while hospice gives comfort to the very ill. All of these agencies service people of various ages in their home.
Now, how does a person make a choice? I offer two suggestions. You can call agencies directly and ask what services they offer, ask the agency to send you a brochure or other information so you can start your search in the comfort of your own home and then choose who you want to interview on the phone or ask for a personal appointment.
Alternatively, you can contact your county New York Connects office or the county Office for Aging. They are prepared to listen to your needs and help direct you in your search for home care. At my agency I encourage people inquiring to come in and meet the people they will be communicating with whenever possible.
The personal touch can make a big difference in giving you a first-hand experience as you sort through all the options in home care. Most important, don’t think someone is too sick to remain at home. Be clear with your doctor that the loved one wants to be at home, then set out to choose the best option. THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
How do I know if I need Home Care?
We have tried to envision what it must be like when one develops a problem doing everyday tasks. How would we recognize that need for help? How would we get some help especially if there is no family close by or there is a desire not to interfere with their lives? And how we can possibly pay for this help?
In days gone by, it wasn’t unusual for children or nieces/nephews to go off on their own but not to be too far away from the homestead. This was helpful when parents needed assistance. Home Care is designed in this 21st century with formal training requirements to assist with the tasks the family used to do for their elderly members.
To decide if there is any possible way to benefit from home care, answering a few easy questions might help:
- If you live alone, do you sometimes wish there was someone to talk to?
- Is shopping becoming a difficult chore?
- Does your home need some housekeeping but you just don’t have the energy?
- Were you once a great cook but now it’s too much bother?
- Would you like to enjoy a nice warm bath but are afraid you might fall?
- Does your spouse need your assistance so you are not able to leave the house much, but you would like to?
Home care aides help with all of these things. They can come for a few hours a week or a few days a week, or stay with you 24 hours per day. Or, you could request a different schedule each week depending on what your plans were. Home care can be very flexible.
Here at Mid-Hudson Managed Home Care, Inc., we have developed an agency training program which is approved by the Department of Health. We use their curriculum to teach and test skills which our aides must demonstrate in our classroom before they become certified by our agency. We want to be sure each patient receives proper care, so our RN’s monitor and evaluate the care given by the aides.
Caring for people began in the Sylcox Family on Montgomery Street in Newburgh back in 1939. We assure you family is important and generations are respected. Being a family-owned business, this focus is carried over to our home care agency and the training of our employees.
If you answered yes to any of the above questions and would like more information, call us. Our staff can be reached at (845) 567-3022 and would be glad to discuss how home care can assist you, as well as payment options. There’s no place like home, and our mission is to help you with your medical and non-medical needs so you can stay safely in the comfort of your home.
If I consider having someone assist me in my home, can I still “Have It My Way?”
We have just weathered a national election in which many of us listened to the presidential candidates and our political parties explaining our options and trying to convince us about choices. There is a parallel to this and choosing home care, and I’d like to present it to you one letter at a time.
C - Choices go along with Mom and apple pie in the United States. We can choose our food, clothes, religion, newspapers, and we certainly have the right to choose home care when it could be beneficial.
H - Home care aides are trained to be helpful and honest. At Mid-Hudson Managed Home Care, Inc. we have a Department of Health approved training program for home health aides (HHA’s) and personal care aides (PCA’s) as part of our Department of Education.
O - Options are very important in choosing home care. Interview several agencies and choose one willing to meet your challenges and offer options for successful solutions.
I - Interest in you, your family expectations and your quality of life at home must be central in your home care experience.
C - Care Plans are established to care for you and help you in areas such as bathing, dressing, light housekeeping, shopping, staying with you when family members are away. A nurse meets with you and talks to your physician to be sure your needs are met.
E - Excellent Employees already work for Mid-Hudson Managed Home Care, Inc. and our current training class is expanding that number. Monthly education classes help our employees improve their skills.
S - The Sylcox Family manages MHMHC and maintains a philosophy of caring for the customer in home care as we did for three generations in our nursing home. Ed and Jeannine Sylcox continue the family focus on choices, options and solutions.
Our family has spent over 70 years serving our community in health care. We invite you to meet with us and our staff by calling (845) 567-3022 or (800) 505-6165 to determine what choices may be appropriate to keep someone at home, for we all know “There’s no place like home!”