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 such as 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 such as 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 private or 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 of 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 Ave, 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 Assoc. of Mercer County 171 Jersey St, Ste 201 Trenton NJ 08610 mail: PO 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 NJ . 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 Activites 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 othes are small local agencies. Local providers include:
A+ Senior Care 1873 Rte 70 E, Ste 203, Cherry Hill NJ 08003 (609) 450-1719 www.aplusseniorcare.com
Bayada Nurses 168 Franklin Corner Rd, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (609) 620 -1910 www.bayada.com
Buckingham Home Health 700 Woods Ln, Monmouth Jct, NJ 08852 732-329-8954, www.buckinghamplace.net
Senior Bridge, 3131 Princeton Pike, Bldg 2, Ste 101, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 or 1 Rossmore Dr #2, Monroe Twp 08831 (609) 395-5575. www.seniorbridge.com
CareFocus Companion Services 168 Franklin Corner Road, Suite 220, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (609)512-4081 www.carefocuscompanion.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 Hwy 33, Ste B, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690 (609) 890-2888 www.comfortkeepers.com
Epic Health Services 825 Georges Rd, Ste 3, New Brunswick, NJ 08902 (855) 218-2012http://epichealthservices.com/. Private duty nurses.
Expert Home Care 100 Bayard St, Ste 206 New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (800) 848-2336 www.experthomecare.com. Live-ins
Firstat Nursing 20 Texas Ave Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (609) 219-1400
Freedom Home Healthcare 825 Georges Rd, ste 3, North Brunswick, NJ 08902 (732) 828-2848, www.freedomhh.com
Gentle Care Home Services 1180 Stelton Rd, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (732) 777-0021
Grace Home Care, 116 Village Blvd, Suite 200, Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 951 2289 http://www.gracehomecareofnj.com/
Health Force 396 Whitehorse Ave, Hamilton, NJ 08610 (609) 581-8750
Home Instead Senior Care 153 S. Main St, Hightstown, NJ 08520 (609) 448-7555 http://www.homeinstead.com/Pages/home.aspx
Homecare Partners 349 Applegarth Rd, Monroe Twp, NJ 08831, (609) 655-4800, www.homecarepartners.com
Idam Home Care Services 2572 S. Broad St, Trenton NJ 08610 (609) 888-4844
Interim Healthcare Ibis Plaza 3525 QuakerBridge Rd., Suite 1200, Hamilton NJ 08619 (609) 584-0251 www.interimhealthcare.com/
Liberty Healthcare Services, 2333 Whitehorse-Mercerville Rd, Unit B, Hamilton Nj 08619, (609) 890-0311, www.LibertyHealthNJ.com
LifeForce, 1060 N. Kings Hwy, Ste 314, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, 856-667-2922. Live-ins. www.lifeforceeldercare.com
Polish Homecare Services, NJ (732)545-5642 www.polishhomecareservice.com
Princeton Caregivers 88 Princeton HIghtstown Rd, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 (609) 497-4957. A division of Princeton Healthcare System www.princetonhcs.org/page6501.aspx
Professional Home Services, 2382 Whitehorse-Mercerville Rd, Mercerville, NJ 08619, 609-915-7365, www.PHSfirst.com.
Right at Home 10 Gordon Ave, Ste B, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (609) 530-0221. www.RAHprinceton.com
Senior Helpers 764 Easton Ave, Ste 1, Somerset, NJ 08873, (732) 993-6991, www.seniorhelpers.com.
SJ Nurses 850 Hamilton Ave Trenton NJ 08629 (609) 396-7100 www.sjnurses.com
Synergy HomeCare. Shoppes at Pennington, 21 Rt 31 North Suite B8, Pennington NJ 08534. (609) 730-9004 www.synergyhomecare.com
We Care- 941 Whitehorse Ave Ste 20, Trenton, NJ 08610 (609) 581-8400
Visiting Angels 140 Darrah Lane, Lawrenceville NJ 08648 (609) 883-8188 http://www.njseniorcare.com/
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?
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