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Your Super Guide to In-Home Care: Live-In Care, 24-Hour Care, and Navigating COVID-19

Your 1+1 Team
September 15, 2020

We guide you through different levels of care to select the right service and the right caregiver in a safe, affordable, and timely way.

As your loved one ages, this can be a moment of uncertainty, confusion, and stress for you and your family. For most of you, this will be a new world filled with complex questions:

At 1+1 Cares, we hear you. We know that aging can be a difficult and complicated transition for families. This is why we exist; since 2007, our mission has been to make high-quality, affordable care accessible and to provide meaningful impact for the people who need assistance, the families who love them, and the caregivers who perform these critical services.

Our goal is to make it easy and affordable. Referring you to a qualified caregiver is our way to relieve some of your stress and uncertainty. In this post, we introduce you to two types of care— Live-in care and 24-hour care—so that you can make an informed decision on what makes the most sense for your loved one and your family. We also answer your questions on the costs of care and what care looks like amidst COVID-19.

A key benefit of professional care that is often overlooked, especially with Live-in care and 24-hour care, is the shift it brings from a family member as the primary caregiver back to a family member as the wife, the husband, the daughter, the son, the grandchild. With this welcome shift, family members can once again enjoy the company of their loved one rather than focus on the monitoring and tasks at hand.

What’s the difference between Live-in care and 24-hour care?

An early step in your planning process is to identify the type and level of care you need. You should also know that these needs are likely to change over time. As such, while it’s difficult if not impossible to chart a long-term plan, it is good practice to familiarize yourself with all of your options to help your planning.

Some families will need just a little help. We can refer to you qualified caregivers for hourly services for routine visits or for à la carte concierge services, like at-home salon services, special outings, meal or medication delivery, home cleaning, and pet grooming. Other families may need a bit more help, and we can do this, too.

The Basics of Live-in Care

Let’s start with Live-in care. As the name implies, with Live-in care, a caregiver will “live” with your aging loved one. However, they’re not a new roommate; a Live-in caregiver will often work for 16 hours and then take an unpaid, off-duty period of eight hours for sleep. It is important to understand that off duty means they are not required to stay there and may leave during the off duty time. Leaving during the middle of the night is not something many caregivers would want to do and it is very uncommon, but it could happen.

However, if you have a need for around-the-clock care, perhaps because of a high wander risk, fall risk, and/or frequent bathroom visits during the night, you should seek 24-hour care (see below) with caregivers that are required to remain on-premise for the full duration of the day and night. In other cases, if your loved one sleeps well through the night and faces fewer risks, you may deem it sufficient and safe for a caregiver with off-duty time, and, even though it is unlikely, who may potentially leave the premise. Remember, with all things, this is 100 percent your choice to make with your family and your aging loved one.

Caregivers typically sleep close enough to be able to respond to any needs that arise during this time, such as an adjacent room. Another option is to have a remote monitor that can alert the caregiver in another room or even down the hall.

Keep in mind that Live-in care has an added benefit of reliability, comfort, and familiarity. While dividing shifts among multiple caregivers may provide well-rested aides, a Live-in caregiver is often more affordable and better able to develop a long-term, trusting, and meaningful relationship with your loved one.

The Basics of 24-Hour Care

Now let’s look at 24-hour care. Often, with 24-hour care, two caregivers rotate in 12-hour shifts or three caregivers rotate in eight-hour shifts. Caregivers are present and awake during the entire shifts (versus Live-in caregivers who may sleep on-premise or leave during the overnight hours). Does your loved one require around-the-clock monitoring for health or safety reasons, perhaps for dementia, ALS, wandering, or from the risk of falls or self-harm? 24-hour care might be a good option for your family.

Did you know that 24-hour care can also be arranged on a temporary basis, such as recovering from illness or surgery? Often, a recovering family member, no matter their age, requires around-the-clock supervision or assistance and, if you’re not nearby nor accustomed to this level of commitment, it can be difficult, expensive, or unsafe to provide the needed level of support. This is where qualified caregivers can be of tremendous help. 24-hour care can also be set up for seniors in need of long-term full-time care. This way, a loved one can remain at home where he or she is most comfortable and surrounded by a familiar environment and loved ones.

Another benefit of having rotating shifts is that it can prevent “caregiver burnout”. You’ll have built-in backup options for caregivers who are familiar with your needs should someone take a vacation or get sick.

Is it expensive?

One of the most common questions we get about Live-in care or 24-hour care is, how much will it cost? Keep in mind that there is no single, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. If you’ve been struggling to identify a dollar figure, this is expected and normal.

However, there are tools and comparisons to help you estimate the costs and formulate a general budget and plan. The best place to start is to reach out to us—we can provide estimates for all levels of care that are uniquely customized to the rates and expenses in your neighborhood. One thing to know is that the cost of in-home care in metro areas or areas with a higher cost of living will have higher rates. For example, according to one measurement tool, the hourly median rate in Chico, California is about $24 compared to $33 in San Francisco. When you arrange for in-home care with one of the caregivers referred by 1+1 Cares, our costs are typically 30 percent less than traditional in-home care agencies.

We offer a range of services at affordable rates:

Basic Service, in which you download our 1+1 Cares App and self-search to find a caregiver. Depending on your location, this rate is typically $16 to $21 per hour.
Premium Service, in which we do everything for your peace of mind. Depending on location, this is typically $19 to $26 per hour. With Premium Service, a personal advocate facilitates communication, personalizes concierge services, and offers 24/7 support—essentially, we serve as your peace-of-mind cheerleader!

Additionally, because we’re consumer-directed, families and caregivers negotiate the schedule and rates, there is no minimum number of hours, and we do end-to-end background checks on all caregivers. We also offer a large pool of qualified caregivers, which means you’ll not only connect with the ideal person but you’ll also have options for backup caregivers at your service, should your main caregiver(s) be unavailable.

Keep in mind that connecting with a qualified caregiver is not the best time to shop for unqualified bargains. Here are a few pitfalls to be aware of:

  • Private-found caregivers: While unvetted, private individuals may offer lower rates, but you may sacrifice protections such as background checks and identity verification. Private caregivers may also employ questionable “bait and switch” tactics in which they present and provide an affordable, personable, and quality caregiver for a short period of time (one or two days) but who is quickly replaced by a “cousin” who is less experienced, underqualified, or who may even be ineligible to work in the U.S. Often, private caregivers lack liability insurance, and most will not have access to qualified backup caregivers.
  • Home-care employment agencies: Often these companies charge a higher rate for the same qualified caregivers referred by 1+1 Cares. Families can pay vastly different rates for the same caregiver doing the same things. Additionally, the agency is in control of all aspects of selecting and managing caregivers. This means that you lack the control to select and even keep the right person for your family, and the caregiver may be constrained or unsatisfied in how they’re being managed.
  • Newspaper or online directories/listings: We all know the internet can be a great source for purchasing niche items or connecting with service providers. So, too, can “friend-of-a-friend” connections. But these directories and referrals have low or no standards for verification and vetting of caregivers. Cost is one thing; finding qualified people to assist your loved one is a lot of work that can not be done with a simple online posting. 1+1 Cares spends countless hours doing the work of qualifying hundreds of potential caregivers so that you don’t have to.

1+1 Cares about you. And we care equally about the qualified caregivers we work for. One of the perks of a referral from 1+1 Cares is that we help match you to the ideal caregiver, including preferred languages spoken, personality traits, specific capabilities (like driving), and hours and availability. At 1+1 Cares, we’re consumer-directed, meaning that we ensure that caregivers get the pay and schedule they desire and that they’re matched with the right family. With every family, we compare your needs with the experience and expertise of the caregivers and then empower you to decide the rest. We work for you. The result is a well-matched, fruitful, and positive environment for both your loved one and your caregiver.

Protecting and Engaging Seniors Amidst COVID-19
Another significant concern you’re likely facing is the risk of COVID-19. The CDC reports that 8 out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths are among adults aged 65 years and older. This age group accounts for only 16 percent of the U.S. population but 80 percent of the deaths. It’s scary and we understand. You’re likely asking, how can I keep my loved one safe and engaged right now when we’re distanced and isolated and navigating this pandemic?

In general, in-home and concierge caregivers can provide needed services and connection while practicing social distancing, to keep your loved one safe in their own home. If your loved one continues to leave the home to pick up things like groceries, medications, and household items, an in-home caregiver can help reduce their risk by safely picking up and delivering these items to their house. Caregivers can also assist your family member with learning the basics of technology and communication, like video calls, to keep you connected while apart.

Our first priority at 1+1 Cares is the health and safety of the caregivers and the families we serve every day. As a caregiving concierge, we’ve taken steps to minimize the exposure risks while balancing the unique needs of seniors. Despite the challenges associated with COVID-19, in-home caregivers continue to provide essential home care services for older adults. Your situation is unique and we continue to tailor our services and caregiver matching to your specific needs including COVID-19 testing and personal protection equipment (PPE) certifications.

In this COVID-19 Continuity of Care post, we share a few ideas for helping your loved ones right now (or really at any point in time), including:

  • Keep them busy. Do you live with your senior? Keep them engaged in household activities and conversations. Ask them how they’re doing, what they’ve been thinking about, or, better yet, ask them to share stories from their youth. You can get to know them better, and maybe even learn a thing or two about their life experiences.
  • Practice social distancing, but not social isolation. Living alone can make anyone feel lonely, and the elderly are no exception. As mentioned above, qualified caregivers from 1+1 Cares can help your loved one learn how to communicate in new ways, like video calls or via social media.
  • Avoid going out of the house. Be prepared to explain to your loved one why they need to stay inside, why they can’t visit their friends in the neighborhood, and why their routines have to change.
  • Plan ahead. Stock up on medicine, food, and other necessities that they will need and provide emergency contact numbers for your loved one.
  • Check on them. Always ask if they are doing fine, or if their health is in good condition. Remind them to notify you immediately if they develop any symptoms, so that help can be sent.
    Keep yourself healthy. Make sure that you practice social and physical distancing and observe proper hygiene. As a primary carer, it is your responsibility to keep yourself healthy to avoid infecting the vulnerable.

Another consideration of Live-in care or 24-hour care amidst COVID-19 is perceived costs and savings. Caring for your family member incurs costs that fall outside of set rates. If you are caring for your family member yourself, you will undoubtedly make sacrifices, giving up your own time to care for your loved ones. This could mean working less or not at all, which affects your own household income. You’ll also sacrifice personal time to arrange things like appointments and doctor visits and to run errands like grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions.

Today, many families are navigating new work-from-home environments while at the same time juggling childcare and virtual schooling. It’s hard to find time to do it all, especially if you have the added burden of caring for an aging family member. Hiring in-home help—whether these visits are daily, weekly, on an as-needed basis, or via Live-in care or 24-hour care—can reduce the burden on you, personally and financially. For many families, the best and optimal solution right now is to arrange for in-home care with a caregiver referred by 1+1 Cares. Many of the perceived costs can be handled by caring, qualified experts leaving you more time to retain some normalcy in your personal life to spend time on other critical responsibilities like working, taking care of young ones, or simply finding newfound time to enjoy the company of your aging loved one.

For more, please reach out today to schedule a call!

1+1 Cares by serving as a family’s caregiving concierge.  1+1 Cares is a unique platform that synergizes premium service, qualified caregivers, and affordable rates.  By empowering families to make the right decisions, 1+1 Cares makes in-home care affordable and accessible.  1+1 Cares about you.

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