In-Home Care in Austin, TX

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Austin Texas Home Care: Common Terms, How to pay for Home Care, Licensing and Questions to ask

Austin is vibrant with entertainment, art, and culture. Austin is the state capital of Texas, an inland city bordering the Hill Country region. Home to the University of Texas flagship campus, Austin is known for its eclectic live-music scene centered around country, blues and rock. This city is home to hundreds of live music venues and some of the premier music festivals in the country. It’s a city brimming not only with music but also fitness and delicious cuisine. Austin’s many parks and lakes are popular for hiking, biking, swimming and boating. South of the city, Formula One’s Circuit of the Americas raceway has hosted the United States Grand Prix. No matter how much time you’ve spent in Austin, there’s something new to discover in every neighborhood.

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 Austin

Home Care is often also called In home Care, the two terms tend to be universal. In-Home Care is suited for seniors who may only require some basic assistance at home. The home aides may support with activities of daily living (ADLs), which include medication reminders, assistance with bathing and eating. Care plans can be customized for each individual, however, in Texas home care agencies are not required to create care plans for clients. 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.

Home care agencies are licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. They monitor to ensure all clients receive safe and proper care. There are no laws in place requiring home care agencies to conduct criminal background checks upon employment of new staff. However, management must undergo background checks. The agencies who participate in Medicare are required to only employ home health aides who have finished certain training criteria (75 hours of training, which includes 16 hours of classroom training and practical training)

Considerations when looking for care in Austin

In Austin’s city of 964,177 people, there are nearly 200 home care agencies at your service.

The hot season in Austin is from June to September, with an average high temperature above 90°F. The hottest month in Austin is August, with an average high of 96°F and low of 75°F. The cool season lasts from November to February, with an average high temperature below 68°F. The coldest month of the year in Austin is January, with an average low of 43°F and high of 62°F.

Cities Near Austin

  • Round Rock – 18 miles north of Austin
  • San Marcos – 31 miles south of Austin
  • Lake Way – 22 miles west of Austin
  • Garfield – 13 miles east of Austin

Pricing and How to Pay

The cost of in-home care in Texas is less than the national average. A month of home care in Texas is $4,600 and the national average is nearly $5,000. Because of the size of Texas, the cost of home care will vary between cities within the state. In Austin the average monthly price is $5,200.

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 Healthcare Providers

People’s Community Clinic

2909 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78722

Capital Medical Clinic

1004 W 32nd St Suite 400, Austin, TX 78705

St. David’s Medical Center

919 E 32nd St, Austin, TX 78705

Ascension Seton Southwest Hospital

7900 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Austin, TX 78737

Texas Department of Health and Human Services Texas Health and Human Services — which includes the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services has hundreds of programs and services that help more than 7.5 million Texans a month live better lives, and it’s our strong foundation of dedicated people who make it happen every single day

Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area All the services of AAA and ADRC. Information Referral, Care Coordination, Caregiver Support programs, Benefit Counseling, Ombudsman, health and wellness, streamlined access to LTSS through the ADRC.

Health Information, Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) The program offers counseling and assistance on a variety of topics including: Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Supplemental Insurance- long term care financing options and other health insurance options.

Texas Legal Services Center Legal Hotline for Texans: If you are age 60 or older, our attorneys can give you legal advice – all for free and over the phone. We offer counsel and advice on certain civil (non-criminal) legal matters like: Advanced Directives, Defense of guardianships, Power of attorney, Transfrer on Death Deeds, Mmedicaid, Long-term Care

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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