Birmingham Alabama Home Care: Common Terms, How to pay for Home Care, Licensing and Questions to ask
The largest metropolitan area in Alabama is Birmingham which also serves as the state’s economic center. Birmingham hosts the University of Alabama which is a major medical research center. The Birmingham Metropolitan area has consistently been rated as one of America’s best places to work and earn a living based on the area’s competitive salary rates and relatively low living expenses. Birmingham, Alabama is a city filled with potential and a rich tapestry of experiences. Its affordable housing, dynamic arts scene, and convenient location make it an enticing place to call home.
What are the different Home care options?
The various care services and options
Personal Care Assistant
- Companionship as well as assistance with activities of daily living, (non-medical personal care) toileting, dressing, grooming, and bathing.
- They can help with grocery shopping and meal preparation.
- A personal care assistant can help with family difficulties. If a family caregiver must leave town or be away from the home overnight the caretaker can stay with the individual and monitor and assist as needed.
- If a spouse is too heavy, a personal assistant can be a great asset in helping the individual move without risk of injury.
- These care assistants cannot perform any medical care.
- These companions spend time with older adults. Providing companionship is especially relevant for people who live alone, or do not leave the house due to cognitive impairments or frailty.
- These companions are there to look after the person, keep a watchful eye, act as an extension of the person to help with mobility and general physic functions.
- They may drive the person to appointments, prepare light meals and snacks. They may even play games or read and listen to music together.
- Companion care is a great way to bring social interaction and assistance to a person who may otherwise spend long periods of time alone.
About Home Care in Birmingham
Over 17% of Alabama’s nearly 900,000 residents are aging adults 65 years and older. We all know that as we age some people may require care at some point. Typically, when people think of senior care they envision a nursing home. However, nursing homes are definitely not the only option for caring for a loved one who might require some care. Alabama Home Care (or In home Care) is designed specifically for aging adults who only require some basic assistance at home without medical help.
In home Care is suited for seniors who may only require some basic non-medical assistance at home. Home aides may support with activities of daily living (ADLs), which include medication reminders, assistance with bathing and eating, among other helpful tasks. Home Care may be an excellent care option for family members if they must leave town or just need a break from caring for their loved one. The Home Care aides bring a sense of personalization, providing companionship and socialization, and a sense of connection.
Considerations when looking for care in Birmingham
Alabama has a subtropical climate with an average of 64 degrees and temperatures tend to be warmer in the southern part of the state near the Gulf of Mexico, while the northern areas near the Appalachian mountains are much cooler. The hot season in Birmingham lasts from May to September, with an average daily high of above 83°F. The coldest month of the year in Birmingham is January, with an average low of 36°F and high of 54°F
Birmingham metropolitan is populated by 197,575 people. The care you’ll find there is immense and there are many options for care.
Home care agencies ARE NOT required to be licensed in the state of Alabama. Regulations vary, so ask questions to the agencies of your interest.
Home Care Communities near Birmingham, Alabama
Cities Near Birmingham
- Gardendale – 11 miles north of Birmingham
- Leeds – 18 miles east of Birmingham
- Hoover – 10 miles south of Birmingham
- Sylvan – 13 miles west of Birmingham
How to pay for Home Care
Private Funds- YES:
- Many families pay for care with private funds.
- Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
- Family members may contribute funds toward a loved one’s care.
Medicare – NO:
- Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
- People 65 years and older and individuals with end stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter their income.
- Coverage is meant for people in need of short-term care.
Medicaid MAY cover home care for seniors who are eligible. Each state has its own Medicaid programs in place. As a result, eligibility and services fluctuate state to state. Funding may also be offered under the Home and Community Based Services Medicaid Waivers.
In-home personal care services (dressing, bathing, eating, etc.) are not federally mandated, and some states do not even regulate these agencies.
Long-term care insurance- MAYBE:
- The purpose of long-term care insurance is to cover senior care, which includes home care. Though, be aware that coverage varies depending on the insurance provider, the specific policy, and other factors.
- It is common that long-term care insurance will only start to cover care when the person with the policy requires assistance with two or more ADLs.
- As a result of the above, individuals who only need companion care may not be covered by their long-term care insurance.
- Typically, purchasing long-term care insurance is not an option if you are at the point where you already need care.
Veteran Aid and Assistance – MAYBE:
This benefit is available to some military veterans and surviving spouses who live in an assisted living community and those who have in-home care.
- There are specific guidelines, but a veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 each month.
- A veteran with a sick spouse may be eligible for $1,600 per month.
- If a veteran has passed, their surviving spouse can qualify for $1,300 per month.
- Many families pay for care with private funds.
- Family members may contribute funds toward the care of a loved one.
- Private pay may be a combination of personal savings, retirement funds, or pension payments.
Questions and inquiries about home care
- Is the agency RN operated?
- Is the agency a franchise or locally owned and operated?
- Is the agency licensed by WA State Department of Health?
- Is the agency licensed for both home care and home health?
- Does the agency have liability insurance?
- Can the agency respond to you 24/7?
- Are employees licensed, bonded & insured? Or are they independent contractors?
- Does the agency test skills, conduct behavioral interviews and verify caregiver credentials?
- Are caregivers required to have current certifications for First Aid, CPR, and TB?
- Are caregivers provided continuing education/training?
- Can authorized individuals monitor care and make requests online in real time?
- Does the agency offer caregiver replacement when the “fit” may not be right?
Documentation and Supervision
- Does an RN/MSW/Care Manager conduct a free home care assessment?
- Does an RN/MSW/Care Manager create a home care plan?
- Does an RN/MSW/Care Manager supervise the caregivers?
- Do caregivers receive client orientation before arriving at a client’s home?
Policies and Cost
- Can services be cancelled with a 4-hour notification?
- Does the agency offer flexible scheduling, custom care plans, and a continuum of care?
- Does the agency have weekly or monthly minimums?
- What is the hourly minimum per shift?
- Does the agency offer home care discounts?
- What is the required deposit?
- Will the agency accept long-term care insurance?
Local Hospitals and Care Providers
Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham
810 St Vincents Dr, Birmingham, AL 35205
Birmingham VA Health Care System
700 19th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
Grandview Medical Center
3690 Grandview Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35243
University Alabama Hospital
1887 6th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35294
Resources and Links- Alabama
Alabama Department of Senior Services – LSA serves low-income people by providing civil legal aid and by promoting collaboration to find solutions to problems of poverty. LSA offices handle civil cases only.
Alabama Department of Human Resources Adult Protective Services Division – The mission of the Adult Protective Services Division is to support and enable County Departments to protect elderly and disabled adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation and prevent unnecessary institutionalization.
Alabama State Health Insurance Counseling Program – The Alabama Health Insurance Counseling Program gives free information and assistance on Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, long term care, supplemental insurance, and other health insurance benefits.
Legal Services Alabama, Inc – LSA serves low-income people by providing civil legal aid and by promoting collaboration to find solutions to problems of poverty. LSA offices handle civil cases only.
Eldercare Locator This is a great resource to search for specific care in specific counties and cities. This database is a nationwide resource that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. Connect with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver education or respite from caregiving responsibilities. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
Medicare provides a search feature to find & compare providers near you, most senior housing and care providers are included on CareAvailability.com. Find & compare plans in your area. Determine if you qualify for premium savings
Medicaid offers information on how to apply for Medicaid, eligibility criteria, links to local state offices, and additional resources
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with the disease, information and resources are available.
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