Home Care Assistance, In-Home Services

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 home care 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 home care 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 home care 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 medicare.gov. They are both licensed and certified at the highest level. They provide Medicare- reimbursed skilled medical nursing and rehabilitation in the home for people who are unable to leave home to receive these services. Services are short-term and intermittent. You can learn more about providers at medicare.gov/homehealthcompare.  Local providers include:

Call 800.367.6543 or look at 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 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 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:

  • Griswold Special Care 780 Livingston Ave., North Brunswick, NJ  08902 732.749.8173 griswoldhomecare.com
  • Guardian Angel Home Health Inc. 311 West Trenton Ave., Morrisville, PA 19067 215.295.6200 guardianangelshomehealth.com
  • Hands and Hands Home Healthcare 30 Columbia Ave., Trenton, NJ 609.638.1449 handsandhands.com
  • Home Care Assistance 301 North Harrison St., Suite 250, Princeton, NJ 08540 609.807.2910 homecareassistance.com
  • Home Helpers Service areas: Somerset, Middlesex, Mercer, Hunterdon counties: 732.873.9063; 417 US Highway 206, Suite 201, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 homehelpershomecare.com
  • Home Instead Senior Care 153 South Main St., Hightstown, NJ 08520 609.448.7555 www.homeinstead.com/357
  • Homewatch CareGivers, 20 Nassau St., #10, Princeton, NJ 08540 609.423.1200 homewatchcaregivers.com
  • HomeWell Senior Care 54 Route 31, North, Pennington, NJ 08534  609.303.0096  homewellseniorcare.com/
  • Independence Home Care 348 Applegarth Rd.
  • Life Force Live-In Caregivers 1060 North Kings Highway, Suite 314, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034  856.667.2922. Live-ins. lifeforceeldercare.com
  • Maxim Healthcare North Brunswick 2147 Route 27 South, Edison NJ 08817 732.476.1774. maximhomecare.com/ and maximhomecare.com/Hamilton_Homecare_290.aspx
  • Nesting Egg Home Care 16 S. State St., Newtown, PA 18940 888.335.6537
  • New Life Health Care 3642 Nottingham Way, Hamilton, NJ 08690, 609.689.5032 newlifehealthagency.com
  • Noble Home Care 877.662.5365
  • Personal Home Care 11 Deer Park Dr., Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852, 732.230.3540 phcofnj.com
  • Pinnacle Home Care Solutions 475 Wall St., Princeton, NJ 08540 609.819.5467 pinnacleathome.com
  • Polish Homecare Services NJ 732.841.9198  polishhomecareservice.com
  • Preferred Home Health and Nursing Services  1 Washington Blvd., Suite 7, Robbinsville, NJ 08691 800.603.CARE 609.944.4100 preferredcares.com
  • Princeton Caregivers 88 Princeton Hightstown Rd., Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 609.497.4900. A division of Princeton Healthcare System. princetonhcs.org/care-services/princeton-homecare
  • Right at Home Find a location 877.697.7537 rightathome.net
  • Senior Helpers 764 Easton Ave., Suite 8, Somerset, NJ 08873, 732.339.3672 seniorhelpers.com.
  • SJ Nurses 850 Hamilton Ave., Trenton, NJ  08629 609.396.7100 sjnurses.com
  • Springpoint at Home/Senior Care Management Constitution Bank Office Center 2650 Route 130, Suite D, Cranbury Township, NJ 08512 844.724.1777 springpointathome.org
  • Synergy HomeCare Shoppes at Pennington, 21 Route 31 North, Suite B8, Pennington, NJ 08534 609.730.9004. synergyhomecare.com
  • We Care 941 Whitehorse Ave., Suite 20, Trenton, NJ 08610 609.581.8400
  • Visiting Angels 140 Darrah Ln., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 609.883.8188. visitingangels.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:

  • Executive Care 88 Lakedale Dr., 2nd Fl., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 609.212.2993 executivehomecare.com
  • Home Care NJ 616 E Elizabeth Ave., Linden, NJ 07036 908.500.1067
  • Nightingale Concierge Caregivers 214 Park Ave., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 908.233.0701
  • Seniors Helping Seniors 65 W Street Rd., Suite B101 Warminster, PA 18974 609.512.1104. seniorshelpingseniors.com
  • Serenade at Princeton 75 Mt Lucas Rd, Princeton, NJ 08540 609.430.4000
  • Touching Hearts 1669 Edgewood Rd., Suite 206, Yardley, PA 19067 215.741.1030 touchinghearts.com/bucksco/

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?

Other Options:

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 609751.9699 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 Rd., Suite.102, Princeton, NJ 08540 609.987.8121 jfcsonline.org/
  • Friends Lifecare at Home Available in Pennsylvania and Delaware friendslifecare.org/

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.

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