Many people would prefer to stay in their own homes and hire in-home helpers rather than move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. This often starts with tasks such as lawn care, housekeeping, home maintenance. The next order of need is often with the IADLS (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living), such as transportation, shopping, paying bills, cooking, health care, home care, safety and pet care. Some need assistance with ADL's (Activities of Daily Living - dressing, bathing, eating and medication supervision, transfer from bed to chair.) Others require skilled nursing due to their short or long term medical conditions. For our handout on interviewing homecare providers, choosing private or agency and important terms, click here. For an article on home care options and how to choose among them, click here. If you hire a caregiver, either individually or through a company, read this article (click here) for information about tax and legal implications. For an article on how to be an informed home care consumer, click here.
It is important to identify your needs as it helps you select the appropriate care provider. Will it be sufficient to have this assistance for a few hours per day, or are there are safety concerns that would indicate 24-hour care? What will happen if the care provider doesn't come? Medicaid and Long Term Care Insurance may pay for some of these services. Medicare only pays for medical care.
There are various levels of home care:
Companions are paid to help and sometimes live in your home. They can provide meal preparation, housekeeping, shopping, transportation and laundry. They do no hands-on care and are not regulated. Companions can be found through homecare agencies or privately.
Home health aides are trained, certified and work under the supervision of a registered nurse. They help with personal care, including dressing, personal hygiene, and ambulation. Aides can be found primarily through homecare agencies.
Visiting Nurses are licensed nurses (RN or LPN) who can dispense medication and do follow-up medical care such as wound dressing and removal of stitches. Other skilled providers who may visit at home are physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. This skilled care often follows hospital or rehabilitation center discharge and is provided over a limited period of time with intermittent visits. Sometimes a nurse is needed on a long-term basis for medical care. This care is often arranged by the discharge planner or doctor.
There are several considerations when deciding whether to find a care provider privately or go through an agency. A licensed agency should background check, train, and oversee their staff. Workers are bonded and insured, covered by workers compensation, and payroll taxes are paid. If the worker can not come for an appointed shift, the agency should replace them. If you chose private pay, the hourly rate is lower, but you are responsible for the payroll taxes and workers comp. You should inquire about training, certifications and recommendations. Make sure you understand whether the agency employs its care staff or whether they are serving as an employment agency and you will employ the staff. Check driver's license and record if you expect them to drive (not all agencies permit this.) Whether a private or an agency employee, remember that this is one of the lowest paid and most challenging professions. Care providers are often juggling client and family needs themselves, and may leave for a higher paying or more satisfying position. Many also become very attached to the families they serve and provide high quality care. PSRC does not match private care providers with families.
Medicare-certified agencies can be found at the Medicare web site www.medicare.gov. They are both licensed and certified at the highest level. They provide Medicare- reimbursed skilled medical nursing and rehabilitation in the homefor people who are unable to leave home to receive thse services. Services are short-term and intermittent. Local providers include:
Mercer Street Friends Home Health Care, 7 Dunmore Avenue, Ewing, NJ 08618 (609) 396-1507. www.mercerstreetfriends.org
Princeton Healthcare System Home Care Department, 88 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Suite 202, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550, 609.497.4900 http://www.princetonhcs.org/phcs-home/what-we-do/princeton-homecare.aspx
Robert Wood Johnson Visiting Nurses, 972 Shoppes Blvd, North Brunswick NJ 08902, 888 997-9584
Visiting Nurse Association of Mercer County, 171 Jersey Street, Suite 201, Trenton, NJ 08610 Mail: P.O. Box 441, Trenton, NJ 08603 (609) 695-3461 or 800-862-3330. www.vnahomecare.org
Call 800-367-6543 or look at www.nj.gov/health/healthfacilities for Medicare-licensed homecare agencies. The National Private Duty Association is the national association for providers of private duty nursing and homecare. (317) 663-3637 www.privatedutyhomecare.org
Licensed Health Care Service firms are licensed by the State of New Jersey. They can provide personal care services; have nursing supervision; must use employees to provide services; must pay employee taxes; and employees providing health care services must be licensed/certified. Medicaid will cover services to income-eligible people as an alternative to institutional care if the person is home-bound and needs assistance with at least 2-3 Activities of Daily Living. The State of NJ Division of Consumer Affairs has created a Consumers Guide to Homemaker-HomeHealth Aides, available at http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/hhh/hhhaguide.pdf. Some of these are local franchises of state or regional organizations, while others are small local agencies. Local providers include:
A+ Senior Care, 700 Route 130 N, Suite 212, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 (609) 470-9018. www.aplusseniorcare.com
Akin Care, 174 Nassau St, Princeton #379, NJ 08542, 609-450-8877, www.akincare.com
Always Best Care, 50 Princeton Hightstown Road, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550. (609) 455-2886. www.seniorcareprinceton.com
Bayada Nurses, 168 Franklin Corner Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (609) 620 -1910. www.bayada.com
Buckingham Home Health, 700 Woods Lane, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 (732) 329-8954. www.buckinghamplace.net
Care Finders, 2572 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08610 (609) 888-4844
Care Street, 56 Georgetown Rd, Bordentown, NJ 08505, 609-227-2900. www.CareStreetNJ.com.
Caring Senior Service, 2382 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Suite 3C, Hamilton, NJ 08619 (609) 456-0473. www.caringseniorservice.com
ComForcare, 1072 Parkway Avenue, Ewing, NJ 08618 (609) 771-0083. www.comforcare.com
Comfort Keepers, 1337 State Highway33, Suite B, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690 (609) 890-2888. www.comfortkeepers.com
Expert Home Care, 100 Bayard Street, Suite 206, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (800) 848-2336. www.experthomecare.com. Live-ins.
Freedom Home Healthcare, 825 Georges Road, Suite 3, North Brunswick, NJ 08902 (732) 828-2848. www.freedomhh.com
Gentle Care Home Services, 1180 Stelton Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (732) 777-0021
Health Force, 396 Whitehorse Avenue, Hamilton, NJ 08610 (609) 581-8750
Home Care Assistance, 9 Schalks Crossing Road, Suite 7. Plainsboro, NJ 08536 (609)799-1011. http://homecareassistance.com
Home Instead Senior Care, 153 South Main Street, Hightstown, NJ 08520 (609) 448-7555. http://www.homeinstead.com/Pages/home.asp
Homecare Partners, 349 Applegarth Road, Monroe Township, NJ 08831 (609) 655-4800. www.homecarepartners.com
Homewatch Caregivers, 20 Nassau Street, #212, Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 423-1200. www.homewatchcaregivers.com
HomeWell Senior Care, 54 Rte 31 North, Pennington, NJ 08534, (609) 303-0096 www.mercer.homewellseniorcare.com
Independence Home Care, 5 South Main Street, Allentown, NJ 08501, (609) 208-1111. www.inhomecarenj,com.
Interim Healthcare, Ibis Plaza, 3525 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 1200, Hamilton, NJ 08619 (609) 584-0251. www.interimhealthcare.com/
Liberty Healthcare Services, 2333 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Unit B, Hamilton, NJ 08619, (609) 890-0311. www.LibertyHealthNJ.com
Life Force Live-In Caregivers, 1060 North Kings Highway, Suite 314, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, (856) 667-2922. Live-ins. www.lifeforceeldercare.com
Personal Home Care, 11 Deer Park Dr, Monmouth Jct, NJ 08852, (609)230-3540, www.phcofnj.com
Polish Homecare Services, NJ (732) 545-5642 www.polishhomecareservice.com
Preferred Home Health and Nursing Services 45 Main St, Highway 35 N, Eatontown, NJ 07724. 800-603-CARE. www.preferredcares.com
Princeton Caregivers, 88 Princeton Hightstown Road, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 (609) 497-4957. A division of Princeton Healthcare System. www.princetonhcs.org/page6501.aspx
Professional Home Services, 100 Horizon Center Blvd., Hamilton, NJ 08619 (609) 631-0300. www.PHSfirst.com.
Right at Home, 10 Gordon Ave, Suite B, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (609) 530-0221. www.RAHprinceton.com
Senior Helpers, 764 Easton Avenue, Suite 1, Somerset, NJ 08873, (732) 993-6991. www.seniorhelpers.com.
Towne Nursing Home Care, 290 Cedar Bridge Ave, Lakewood, NJ 08701, 732-363-3939, www.townenursing.com
Synergy HomeCare, Shoppes at Pennington, 21 Route 31 North, Suite B8, Pennington, NJ 08534. (609) 730-9004. www.synergyhomecare.com
We Care, 941 Whitehorse Avenue, Suite 20, Trenton, NJ 08610 (609) 581-8400
Visiting Angels, 140 Darrah Lane, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (609) 883-8188. http://www.njseniorcare.com
Non-medical Home Care or Companion agencies hire many independent contractors to provide services, they do not pay payroll taxes or malpractice insurance, although some provide worker's compensation. Nursing supervision is often not provided; providers cannot provide hands-on care or personal services unless certified as an aide, and they may not provide health care services. These companions may come in for a few hours a week, or live in. They provide essential services such as cooking, cleaning and laundry, but are not licensed to give personal care. Local providers include:
Senior Bridge, 3131 Princeton Pike, Building 2, Suite 101, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 or 1 Rossmore Drive #2, Monroe Township, NJ 08831 (609) 395-5575. www.seniorbridge.com
Families can also privately hire certified home health aides to provide assistance with personal care and companionship. This is a business relationship between family and employee, with family assuming the responsibility for salary, payroll taxes and insurance. PSRC does not match private care providers with families.
Selecting a homecare agency
This checklist can help in your selection of a homecare agency:
Is the agency licensed and accredited, certified by Medicare?
Are the aides employees or independent contractors?
Are employees bonded and insured?
How are employees screened prior to employment?
What kind of training do employees get?
Who supervises employees? How frequently?
Who pays employees? What are the fees?
Will the agency provide a written care plan?
Will the agency provide a replacement if the employee is ill?
How often is the client seen by a nurse?
Is there a minimum number of hours per day?
The Princeton Senior Resource Center's HomeFriends and LINK programs connect home-based older adults with adult and teen volunteers who visit weekly for companionship and minor assistance. These programs supplement but do not replace in-home care. For individuals who are otherwise fully independent, there are also organizations that offer assistance with specific tasks such as paying bills or transportation. See the Personal Assistance page for organizations offering these services, or call PSRC at (609) 924-7108 for more information.
Families who choose home-based care often find that they are using the services of several organizations for various aspects of care (meals on wheels, visitors, homecare, transportation, etc). It is very helpful to have a case manager to coordinate and oversee care, particularly when family is not nearby. PSRC social service staff can do assessments, and follow-up, and can help you find, select and connect with these services as your needs change. Professional Geriatric Care Managers also provide these services, are available 24/7, and can provide guardianship services if needed where there are no family members available.
Virtual Retirement Communities are another option currently receiving much attention. Here a person pays an annual fee to an organization which provides an array of services. This generally includes an assessment and case management with 24/7 availability. They provide referrals to affiliated services, such as counseling, meals, transportation, chores, home care, home maintenance, cleaning (sometimes at a discount) which help a person to remain at home as long as possible. The only virtual retirement communities we are aware of at present are:
Secure @ Home (Jewish Family and Children's Services), 707 Alexander Road Ste.102, Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 987-8121. http://www.jfcsonline.org/Secure@Home.html
Family Care: Many families provide in-home care themselves, ranging from occasional shopping to full 24/7 care. There is a growing recognition of the importance of family caregivers and the need to support them in this challenging role. The State of New Jersey is beginning to make some funding available to compensate low-income caregivers and to provide support services and respite relief. PSRC recommends seeking information, support and respite if you are a family caregiver. Our Caregiver Resource Center offers support, counseling, education, information and other services to caregivers.
See also the Adaptive Technology and Home Modifications page which provides sources for information on health-related modifications to your home.
The Princeton Senior Resource Center does not endorse any of the resources listed on these pages. We collect and provide information from many sources as a service to those seeking services in the Princeton area. No listed provider pays to be in our directory.