Senior Home Care in Michigan [Elder Care or “Aging at Home”]

Senior Homecare is also known as elder care, senior care, or “aging at home.” At Assisting Hands in Michigan, this is our specialty!

Assisted Hands Home Care, Senior Care & Elder Care Services

Table of Contents

What is senior care, elder care, or “aging at home”?

  • Many seniors today say that they would prefer to stay in their homes or “age in place” for as long as possible. This can sometimes be a great alternative to staying in a nursing home.
  • But as people get older, several age-related conditions can make living at home increasingly difficult. Challenges like cognitive decline, difficulty getting around, and decreased mobility can make a living at home without assistance difficult and unsafe.


What is Senior in-home care with Assisting Hands Home Care?

  • In-home care can make aging in place much safer for most seniors, especially when used in tandem with home modifications and assistive technology. 
  • In-home care aides can provide the personal care assistance, companionship, and monitoring that one would receive in a long-term care community while allowing them to remain in the comfort of their own homes. 
  • Home care offers the best of both worlds for seniors who need assistance but are not ready to move to a residential care community, which may be part of the reason why millions of Americans use in-home care services each year.


What is in-home care?

  • In-home care, also known as home care, is non-medical care provided in the client’s home. 
  • Family caregivers frequently use home care services as a respite when they need to travel, work, or attend to other personal errands. In-home senior care includes custodial care for older adults and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, and providing medication reminders. Home care aides also provide companionship, socialization, and cognitive stimulation for seniors. 
  • Family caregivers frequently use home care services as a respite when they need to travel, work, or attend to other personal errands.
  • The assistance of home care aides allows many elderly adults to remain at home when they are not ready to relocate to a residential care community. It’s also a good option for those who need some assistance and is otherwise independent, as the amount of care can be personalized for each individual’s needs, from one afternoon per week to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Assisting Hands Senior Home Care, Elder Care, Aging at home, Respite care

What Are the Different In-Home Care Options?

  • There are different types of in-home care to accommodate elderly adults with different needs.
  • The levels of care span from basic companionship and light housekeeping to skilled medical care administered by specially-trained home health care aides.


Respite Care:

Respite care refers to assistance to prevent burnout or overload.

  • We see this frequently with children or families of difficulty caring for the client. For example, if there are signs of dementia or difficulty providing 24-hour care, we would be available for 4, 6, or 8 hours to watch the client.
  • These can include going for walks, going to the grocery store, taking the client out for errands, or more. 


Companion Care Services

 Companion care providers do just what the name says: provide company for older adults, especially those who are isolated at home because of frailty, cognitive impairments (such as mild- to moderate-stage Alzheimer’s disease), or because they live alone.

  • Sometimes called “elder companions,” these aides keep a watchful eye, drive clients to appointments, safeguard someone unsteady on their feet, read aloud, play cards, prepare light meals and snacks, and otherwise function as an extra set of hands, eyes, and feet for your loved one.
  •  Companion care is ideal for someone who would otherwise spend part of the day alone and requires some light assistance. Companion care also provides a valuable social benefit, decreasing isolation and improving mood. Warm relationships are often formed when a consistent companion is on the job.


Personal Care Assistance:

  In addition to providing companion care, home care aides offer assistance with all kinds of activities of daily living, from grocery shopping to non-medical personal care like toileting, dressing, grooming, and bathing. They can also provide temporary respite care for families.


  • Many families enlist personal care assistants to solve problems in their home care situation, such as a small woman hiring a strong aide who can lift a spouse for bathing or a son concerned about privacy hiring a woman to bathe his mother.
  • Personal care assistants can also fill a need for seniors who are starting to have difficulties maintaining their home or completing all ADLs independently but who do not yet need the full-time assistance available at an assisted living community.
  •  In addition to assistance with ADLs, personal care assistants can arrange for meal preparation, escorts to doctor visits, and any other type of non-medical assistance your loved one may need to live at home longer. If you need to get away for a few hours a week or overnight, in-home care can ease the worry, especially if the in-home caregiver is familiar to your loved one because they provide regular services.


Home Health Care:

  Home health care is in-home care that involves higher-level medical care and therapy. Unlike personal care assistants, who cannot perform any medical care, home health aides must undergo specialized training and have a nursing degree or certification to perform skilled nursing tasks such as administering injections, maintaining oxygen tubes and catheters, and conducting physical or occupational therapy.

  •   Note that home health care is the only type of home care that involves skilled nursing or therapy services. Those who need skilled nursing care, medication administration, or physical or occupational therapy should look into home health care rather than regular home care. Standard home care does not include any medical service.


What Services Do In-Home Caregivers Provide?

In-home caregivers come to the home to help with activities of daily living, such as light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, medication reminders, and grooming. And while home health care aides can also provide personal care assistance, the opposite is not true (personal care assistants can not provide in-home health care).

  Some options for in-home care and home health care services can be found below.


Home Care Services

Personal care assistants do not provide medical care, but care can be tailored specifically for each individual’s needs. Available services include:

  • Assistance with ADLs
  • Assistance with mobility
  • Grocery shopping and meal preparation
  • Housekeeping and cleaning services, including laundry
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments, social activities, and more
  • Companionship, social engagement, and cognitive stimulation
  • Medication management (but not administration)
  • Respite for family caregivers

Home Health Care Services

Home health care aides provide more skilled medical care than personal care assistants. The care one will depend on their own medical needs, but available services include:

  • Skilled nursing, first aid, and wound care
  • Post-surgery recovery care
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Respiratory therapy and assistance with oxygen tanks and tubing
  • Assistance with maintaining and cleaning feeding tubes, catheters, and other medical devices
  • Medication administration, including injections
  • Assistance managing and chronic monitoring conditions
  • Blood withdrawals

How Much Does Home Care Cost?

  • According to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey, in-home care costs about $28 an hour. That comes out to $2,240 per month for 20 hours of care a week or $4,480 per month for 40 hours of care per week. Home health care is slightly more expensive at an average rate of $28-31 an hour.
  •  These figures are the national average, so average costs in your state or city may be quite different. For example, in Vermont, where senior care tends to be more expensive than the national average, 20 hours per week of in-home care costs an average of $2,640 per month, about $400 higher than the U.S. average. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, the same amount of in-home care costs just $1,463 per month, on average.


Financial Assistance for In-Home Care:

  • It’s always an option to pay out-of-pocket for in-home care, but many people utilize some form of financial assistance to make the cost more manageable. Below are some of the most commonly used resources available to pay for home care.


Long-Term Care Insurance:

Standard health insurance will not pay for personal care assistance, but some long-term care insurance policies may. 

  • While long-term care (LTC) insurance policies are specifically designed to cover senior care, the exact coverage details can vary depending on several factors, most notably the beneficiary’s age when they signed up for their policy. 
  • LTC insurance often will not cover in-home care until the client needs help with at least two ADLs. 
  • Check the details of your loved one’s policy to see if in-home personal care assistance is a covered benefit.


Medicare for home care

  • Original Medicare does not cover standard in-home care as it is considered “custodial care” and not medical. 
  • However, it may cover personal care assistance if delivered with home health care services from the same provider. 
  • Additionally, some Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans may cover in-home care services, but rare.


Medicaid for home care: 

  • Medicaid always covers home health care for those who meet medical and financial eligibility requirements. Medicaid does not cover custodial care, including standard in-home care. 
  • However, many states have some form of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver, designed to expand the state’s Medicaid benefits to cover additional services such as personal care assistance.


Life Insurance for home care: 

  • Though one’s life insurance benefit is intended to be accessed after they pass, in some cases, it makes more financial sense to access the funds early and use the life insurance payment to finance long-term care.
  • This may be in the form of an “accelerated death benefit” from the insurance provider, or you may look into selling the policy to a third party for a cash payment.
  • Look into the specifics of your loved one’s policy to see if this option makes sense for your situation.


Veterans Benefits

  • In addition to a VA pension, some veterans are eligible for the Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefit, an additional monthly payment intended for long-term care.
  • One of the eligibility terms is needing help with one or more ADLs, so most veterans in need of in-home care will likely qualify. 
  • You can learn more about the benefit and apply directly on the VA website or apply in person at your local VA office.


Reverse Mortgage Loans

  • Reverse mortgages are a loan that one can take against the value of their home, essentially converting part of their home’s value into a cash payment while they continue to live there. 
  • The only federally insured, and thus most reliable, form of a reverse mortgage is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), available to adults age 62 and over to help finance long-term care or other expenses. 
  • No matter which type of reverse mortgage one chooses, the loan will need to be repaid with interest once the home is eventually sold.


What Are Some Signs That It May Be Time for In-Home Care?

Decreased Mobility:

  • Mobility issues can have far-reaching effects, making it tough to get around the house safely. 
  • Difficulty walking and moving around can make it tough to complete daily living activities, making in-home care avital part of daily living.
  • This can lead to many other problems.
  • Home caregivers can help your loved ones get where they need to go.


A Decline in Hygiene and Grooming:

  • One of the biggest indicators that your aging parent needs in-home help is a noticeable decline in hygiene and grooming. This may include infrequent bathing, overgrown facial hair, or a generally unkempt appearance.
  • Typically hygiene and grooming habits decline when a person can no longer keep up with these routines, either physically or due to cognitive impairments.
  • Maintaining one’s hygiene and grooming is considered an activity of daily living, and many people work with a home care provider to help their loved ones with these tasks. 
  • Personal care assistance can physically help clients complete their ADLs and help them stick to a more routine and grooming schedule. In-home care aides can also help with other hygiene-related ADLs, including toileting and bathing.


Physical Changes:

When you hug your loved ones, you may notice that they feel thinner and frailer than before. Or, maybe you’ve spotted bruises on their body. These types of physical symptoms may be signs that your parent needs some extra help at home. Significant weight loss can signify that your aging parent is struggling to prepare meals for themselves or have trouble getting around the kitchen, or possibly remembering how to cook properly (a sign of cognitive decline). These types of physical symptoms may be signs that your parent needs some extra help at home.

  •  Bruises tend to be evidence of falls or other accidents, although your loved one may be reluctant to admit that this is happening. An in-home caregiver can help ensure that your parent is getting the proper nutrition and can help them prevent falls.


Increased Forgetfulness:

We all forget things sometimes – the name of that book you read, or whatever it is you walked into the room to get. But increasing incidents of forgetfulness over time, especially when it comes to important to-dos like taking medication or paying bills, may indicate that home care help is needed.

  • Suppose your loved one’s memory issues interfere with their everyday activities and well-being. In that case, it’s a good indication that they should see a physician about their memory problems, as these may be signs of cognitive decline. Working with an in-home care assistant, you can help ensure that your loved one stays on top of their normal activities, despite any cognitive decline.


Difficulty Maintaining One’s Home:

Difficulty keeping up with housework is a common indication that an older person needs in-home assistance. They may be unable to perform these tasks the way they did before due to mobility issues, cognitive decline, or even depression.

  • Some signs that your loved one is struggling to keep up with the housework may include dust, dirt, or grime in areas that used to be clean, excessive clutter, or piles of dirty dishes. Many in-home caregivers provide housekeeping assistance such as cleaning countertops and appliances, sweeping the floor, running the dishwasher, and doing laundry.


Loss of Interest in Activities and Hobbies:

Have you noticed that your loved one no longer seems to enjoy many of the hobbies they once loved? Maybe their previously well-tended backyard garden has been neglected, or their weekly card game with friends has gone by the wayside. You might notice that your mom or dad has even given up more sedentary activities such as knitting, reading, or watching a favorite TV show.

  • Losing interest in hobbies and activities can signify numerous underlying problems, notable depression. While an in-home caregiver won’t be able to solve these medical or mental health issues, they can help ensure that your loved one adheres to treatment plans, has regular social interaction and companionship, and can provide much-needed help so that your mom or dad is still able to enjoy favorite pastimes.


How Do I Find an In-Home Caregiver?

  • When starting finding in-home help for a loved one, doing some homework on your candidates will help ensure that you hire a trustworthy and reliable aide.  
  • We pride ourselves on having the best reviews and one of the biggest local networks for acquiring clients locally.