Montana Home Care: Common Terms, How to pay for Home Care, Licensing, and Questions to Ask
In Montana, over 18% of the population are aging adults aged 65 years and older. As individuals age, there may come a point where some level of care is required. Often, people’s first thought when considering senior care is a nursing home, but it’s essential to recognize that nursing homes are not the only available option for those in need of assistance. Montana Home Care, also known as In-Home Care, is a tailored option for aging adults who may need some basic assistance at home but do not require medical help. This service allows seniors to maintain their independence while receiving the support they need in the comfort of their own homes.
Home Care, also known as In-Home Care in Montana
Home Care, alternatively known as In-Home Care, is an ideal solution for seniors in Montana who may only require some basic non-medical assistance at home. Home aides are trained to support with activities of daily living (ADLs), which include tasks such as medication reminders, assistance with bathing, eating, and other essential activities. Home Care can be an excellent option for family members if they need to leave town or simply require a break from caregiving duties. The presence of Home Care aides not only assists with the physical needs of seniors but also brings a sense of personalization, offering companionship, socialization, and a sense of connection, contributing to the overall well-being of the individual.
Home care and aging in place
In home care services include assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). These in-home aides may assist with personal care and monitoring like they would receive in a long-term care community. All while they remain in the comfort of their own home.
How do you know it may be time for Home Care?
What are the signs to look for?
Have you noticed your loved one is spending less and less time managing their hygiene or personal appearance. They may stop brushing their teeth or let their facial hair grow in an unkempt fashion when they didn’t before. Are they going longer periods of time in the same clothing, or neglecting relatively scheduled eating habits? Grooming and hygiene live under the umbrella of ADLs, and as such a Personal Care Assistant may help with these tasks.
Is your loved one forgetting things more frequently? Typically, people forget things sometimes, but if you notice they are forgetting simple tasks they normally perform regularly, this may be a a sign that assistance is necessary.
It is not uncommon for elderly adults to experience trouble walking, getting up from a seated position or need help getting in and out of bed. Signs like this can be dangerous. The risk of a fall increases as mobility declines. The aide of a home care caregiver may assist with moving around the house safely.
Did you notice your loved one’s home is in disarray? Have they usually shown signs of tidiness or regular cleanliness, and now the home is disheveled and dirty. In Home Aides may assist in normal household maintenance like dusting and sweeping, cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry.
What Assistance do In-Home Care Aides Provide?
Home Care Aides provide a variety of services and assistance. Depending on the individuals condition, elderly adults may require different types of care.
Caregivers in may not administer medications themselves. In addition, these caregivers may not make any decisions regarding medications for patients. Registered nurses may administer medications.
Services included in home care:
- Cognitive stimulation
- Medication reminders
- Grocery shopping
- Respite for family caregivers
Often times, people think of nursing homes or retirement homes as the only places for senior care. As we’ve discussed earlier, there are multiple care options. And even within home care, there are levels of care suited for an individuals needs. The specific services offered in home care will vary state by state.
Laws and Regulations for Home Care in Montana
In Montana, unlike Alabama, home care agencies are required to be licensed, ensuring that they meet specific state standards for safety and quality of care. Regulations can vary, so it is crucial to ask pertinent questions to the agencies you are considering.
Montana mandates that home care agencies develop individualized care plans for each client, detailing the specific services to be provided and ensuring that the care received is tailored to the individual’s unique needs.
The state of Montana has established requirements regarding staffing in home care agencies. These regulations ensure that there is a sufficient number of qualified staff to meet the needs of individuals receiving care.
Suspected abuse or mistreatment must be promptly reported to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Individuals receiving care have the right to:
- File a complaint with the agency concerning their treatment, care provided, or the failure of the agency to respect their property and/or person.
- Participate in, be informed about, and give or withhold consent for their care in advance of and during treatment.
This approach aims to protect the rights of individuals receiving home care services and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect, while also receiving the appropriate level of care.
How much does home care cost in Montana?
The cost of home care in Alabama is well below the national average, and is also lowest in the region compared with neighboring states.
- National average cost of home care per month: $5,000
- Montana : $4,825
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?
Resources and Links – Montana
Montana Office on Aging The Aging Service Bureau is housed in the Senior and Long Term Care Division under the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The office is responsible for the administration of the Older American Act through the ten Area Agencies on Aging.
Area 2 Agency on Aging is an Adult and Disability Resource Center providing information and assistance to elderly individuals and adult individuals with a disability. They connect individuals to needed services, provide counseling on long term care needs, help with applications for assistance to various programs and help develop programs to meet the needs of local residents. Area 2 serves those in Judith Basin, Fergus, Petroleum, Wheatland, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Sweet Grass, Stillwater, Yellowstone, Caron, and Big Horn.
Area 5 Area Agency on Aging is an Adult and Disability Resource Center providing information and assistance to elderly individuals and adult individuals with a disability. They serve those in Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Granite, Madison, Powell, and Silver Bow.
Missoula Aging Services Missoula Aging Services provides a wide array of programs and services for older adults, people with disabilities and those who care for them. As a one stop shop, comprehensive services and referrals are available (both an Area Agency on Aging and an Aging and Disability Resource Center). Programs include homemaker and respite services, hospital to home transitions, retirement services, personal consultations, help with Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security, transportation assistance, Meals on Wheels, liquid supplements, congregate (group) meals, farmers’ market coupons, veteran directed care, caregiver support groups, companions for older adults, hundreds of volunteer opportunities, certified local ombudsman (advocates), onsite resource library, community classes (Medicare workshops, training for caregivers, balance improvement), elder abuse prevention, and statewide Medicare fraud prevention.
Area 8 Agency on Aging It is the mission of Cascade County Aging Services to promote an enhanced quality of life for a diverse population of older adults residing in this community by providing a comprehensive and coordinated system of services such as information and assistance, Senior Medicare Patrol, State Health Insurance and Assistance (SHIP), congregate and home delivered meals.
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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