Chicago Illinois Home Care: Common Terms, How to pay for Home Care, Licensing and Questions to ask
Chicago offers world-class cuisine, a vibrant arts and culture scene, easy access to transportation, exciting entertainment options, a beautiful lakefront, and outdoor spaces. Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago with its noted Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. Sitting on the banks of beautiful Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, is the third-largest city in the United States, just behind New York City and Los Angeles. Chicago is known for its jaw-dropping architecture, vibrant music scene, amazing food, — including deep-dish pizza — and iconic neighborhoods
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 Chicago
One of the most desirable aspects of Illinois is the fact that the state has 19 of America’s safest cities. Seniors and retirees, families and young people looking to find a comfortable new home love Illinois. Illinois’ beautiful 26 miles of salt-free coastline invites swimming and quality beach time for families and anyone looking to enjoy some leisure. The growing number of aging adults in Illinois is nearly 16% of the state’s overall population. And as the number of residents aged 65 years and older continues to grow, it is common that some may require care at some point. Most of the time, when people think of senior care the first thing they envision is a nursing home. This couldn’t be further from the truth: There are many different types and levels of care for our population of people 65 and older. Typically, people prefer to age in place as long as possible, rather than move into a senior living community – but the challenges of aging may cause living at home to become increasingly difficult. The focus of Illinois home care is to keep people healthy and safe.
In Illinois, home Care (or In home Care) is suited for seniors who may only require some basic assistance at home. Care plans can be customized for each individual. The home aides may support with the activities of daily living (ADLs), which include medication reminders, assistance with bathing and eating. 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, a sense of connection.
All home care agencies serving elderly adults must be licensed by The Health Care Facilities and Programs division of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The department conducts any inspections and investigations to ensure all agencies are in compliance with state regulations.
Considerations when looking for care in Chicago
Chicago’s climate is typically continental with cold winters, warm summers, and frequent short fluctuations in temperature, humidity, cloudiness, and wind direction. 2.697 million people live in Chicago with a full metropolitan of care and culture.
Home Care Communities near Chicago, Illinois
Cities Near Chicago
- Naperville – 33 miles west of Chicago
- Chicago Heights – 32 miles south of Chicago
- Northbrook – 25 miles north of Chicago
Pricing and How to Pay for Home Care
The average monthly cost of in-home care in Illinois is above the national average. A month of in-home care in Illinois is $5,350 / month. The cost of non-medical home care in Illinois will vary by city. The average charge for Home Care in Chicago is $5,675 / month.
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 healthcare providers
Kindred Hospital Chicago North
2544 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
251 E Huron St, Chicago, IL 60611
Ascension Saint Joseph – Chicago
2900 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60657
2611 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Resources and Links – Illinois
Chicago Department of Family and Support Services DFSS Senior Services is designated through the Older Americans Act, and by the Ilinois Department on Aging, as the Area Agency on Aging for the city of Chicago and provides a range of services that allow older adults to remain healthy, safe and independent.
Illinois Department on Aging Area Agencies have the primary task of planning and coordinating services and programs for older people in their respective areas. The Area Agencies receive funding from the Department based on a formula which takes into consideration the number of older citizens and minorities in that area, as well as the number living in poverty, in rural areas, and alone.
AgeOptions As the Area Agency on Aging of suburban Cook County, Illinois, we advocate, plan, coordinate and fund services for older adults. Together with a network of community-based senior service organizations, we connect residents with vital services such as information and assistance, community dining programs and home-delivered meals, housekeeping help, employment services, access to benefits and support for family caregivers.
Adult Protective Services Hotline To report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect of an older person, age 60 and above or a person aged 18-59 with a disability, call the statewide 24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline
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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