In-Home Care in Chattanooga, TN

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Chattanooga Tennessee Home care: Common Terms, How to pay for Home Care, Licensing and Questions to ask

Chattanooga, a city in southeastern Tennessee, is set along the Tennessee River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Incline Railway features stunning views of Ruby Falls, Rock City, sandstone formations, and gardens. Point Park atop Lookout Mountain, marks the site of a Civil War battle now honored at the Battles for Chattanooga Museum. Along with the views and American history, Chattanooga has major contributions to the music world like the many other big cities in Tennessee. Chattanooga is in Hamilton County and is one of the best places to live in Tennessee. Living in Chattanooga offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. While more than half of the population in Chattanooga is relatively young, the city is also an attractive retirement destination due to its mild weather, lack of state income tax, and excellent healthcare; it is estimated that about 15.6% of Chattanooga residents are over the age of 65.

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. 

Companion 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 Chattanooga

The low cost of living in Tennessee helps make it a desirable location for seniors and retirees. The mild climate and beautiful scenery also appeal to aging adults. The state ranks high for senior care and housing, and the healthcare system is premier in the United States. Nearly 17% of the state’s more than six million residents are aged 65 and older. With the passage of time, challenges of aging may cause living at home to become increasingly difficult. Typically, senior citizens prefer to age in place as long as possible, rather than move into a senior living community. Tennessee Home Care (or In home Care) is designed specifically for aging adults who only require some basic assistance at home.

Home Care (or In home Care) is suited for seniors who may only require assistance with daily activities and tasks at home. This 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. The home aides may support activities of daily living (ADLs), which include medication reminders, assistance with bathing and eating. 

Considerations when looking for care in Chattanooga

The hottest month of the year in Chattanooga is July, with an average high of 89°F and low of 70°F. The coldest month of the year in Chattanooga is January, with an average low of 33°F and high of 50°F.

With 182,113 people who call Chattanooga home, you are bound to find the right home for you or your loved one. careavailability.com results show that there are 50 agencies providing home care within the area.

Cities Near Chattanooga

  • Soddy-Daisy – 17 miles north of Chattanooga
  • Cleveland – 31 miles east of Chattanooga
  • Jasper – 25 miles west of Chattanooga
  • Fort Oglethorpe (GA) – 9 miles south of Chattanooga

Pricing and How to Pay for Home Care

The average cost of home care in Tennessee is $4,600 / month. This is less than the national average of $5,000 / month. Costs vary within the state. Some cities are more than others due to economic factors. In Chattanooga the average price form home care is $4,775 / 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- MAYBE

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.

Private Pay

  • 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

Agency Information

  • 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?

Caregiver Information

  • 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

Kindred Hospital Chattanooga

709 Walnut St, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Parkridge Medical Center

2333 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404

Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

6098 Debra Rd #5200, Chattanooga, TN 37411

CHI Memorial Hospital – Chattanooga

2525 Desales Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404

Greater Nashville Regional Council, Area Agency on Aging and Disability The GNRC serves as a single point of entry for older adults and adults with disabilities in need of home and community based supports and services.

Aging Commission of the Mid-South Area Agency on Aging and Disability SERVICES INCLUDE- Adult Daycare, Home Delivered Meals, Medical Equipment, Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), Medicaid Waiver Program, Personal Care, In- Home services, and Information & Referral (Home Modifications/Repairs, Legal Aid, State Health Insurance, Transportation).

Southeast Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability Programs include: Congregate and Delivered Meals, Homemaker Services, Options for Community Living, Caregiver Support Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program application assistance. Whether you’re a senior, an adult with a disability or a caregiver, your first call should be to your Area Agency on Aging and Disability. The statewide, toll free number connects you to the local Aging and Disability Resource Center.

East Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability Regional not-for-profit agency providing information, advocacy, access and home support services to elders and persons with disabilities in the middle East Tennessee region. As a regional office, we administer funds to provide group and home-delivered meals, homemaker services, personal care services, legal services, ombudsman services, limited transportation services, information and assistance services, case management, Medicare insurance counseling services, health promotion services, senior centers, county offices on aging, and public guardianship services. These services are provided directly and through a number of service provider contracts in the region

Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee The CAC Office on Aging is a public nonprofit agency. It has the major responsibility in Knoxville and Knox County of planning for services for senior citizens; assessing needs of older citizens and developing resources to meet those needs; coordinating services for the elderly to minimize duplication and avoid overlap–whether provided by public, nonprofit, or for-profit organizations; providing information about services and programs to older citizens and their families and connecting them to those services; and advocating on behalf of older citizens.

Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability The Commission is the designated state unit on aging mandated to provide services of the Older Americans Act and other discretionary grants.

Department of Human Services Adult Protective Services Division Adult Protective Services may assist an adult in any living arrangement including nursing homes, group homes, their own homes, homes of relatives or friends, etc.

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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Written by The Care Availability Team
Experts in the senior care & retirement living industries

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